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The Consultation Platform 2018

We meet in Austin, Texas for the 79th General Convention continuing to bear witness to compassion, justice, and peace in a time of turmoil; we meet as people of the Resurrection and with the unfettered hope for change. In response to the call of the 78th General Convention, our Church leadership has given us a path to follow to become The Beloved Community. There are more steps in this process that we need to take.  Our journey will require the commitment to inclusion of people of all genders, ages, races, abilities, and income levels, and will require the embracing of differences in our Church and society.

Many of our constituents and friends have rightly spent this triennium identifying injustice, lamenting brokenness, and calling for change.  Our next step must be to begin the very long journey of making and implementing these changes.

Therefore, the Consultation challenges The Episcopal Church gathered in Austin, Texas in 2018:

1. To strive for justice and peace among all people and to respect the dignity of every human being.  

Recognize our Church’s complicity in the suffering of the Palestinian people during the brutal Occupation, and take steps to remove Church investments contributing to the Occupation’s infrastructure.

Advocate for a fair, ambitious, and binding climate treaty and urge the full participation in future meetings of the United Nations Conference of Parties of Climate Change as an active, faithful, and engaged voice for all of God’s good earth.

Continue to support non-discrimination statutes in secular society that include the full range of gender and sexual diversity, and commit to fully implementing our own nondiscrimination policies across our Church.

Recognize our Church’s complicity in gender bias and discrimination, and take action to remedy our past; proclaim that women’s rights issues are human rights issues.

Advocate protecting the integrity of the democratic process by eliminating barriers which suppress access to the voting ballot.

2. To seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbor as ourselves.

Advocate for a comprehensive solution to the broken U.S. immigration system, specifically supporting the passage of a clean DREAM Act and reinstating Temporary Protected Status designation.

Demonstrate that we are committed to being a voice of Christian compassion, mercy, and justice for immigrants and asylum-seekers by becoming a Sanctuary Church.

Authorize a salary for the President of the House of Deputies, assuring the Church of more equitable opportunities for leadership.

Gather and make publicly available racial/ethnic/gender statistics about episcopal elections;  transgender and non-binary clergy; and their correlation with clergy compensation.

Advocate for strengthening economic safety net assistance, and oppose measures which create barriers to access.

3. To proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ.

Remove barriers to full participation in congregational life by making their gender-specific facilities and activities fully accessible to all, regardless of gender identity and expression.

Support in word and action social justice ministries including Jubilee Ministries, and create appropriate staffing.

Appoint a task force focused on implementation of Canon III.1 to affirm, empower, and equip all the baptized in their daily life.

4. To continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and in the prayers.

Support congregations in studying and utilizing the Book of Common Prayer 1979.

Create new culturally sensitive translations of the Book of Common Prayer 1979.

Authorize the proposed Book of Occasional Services 2018 and Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2018, while recognizing the need to develop liturgies that uphold the ministry of all the baptized.

Remove barriers to the use of authorized supplemental liturgies.

Encourage the creation of inclusive liturgies, avoiding gendered language that is exclusively binary.

5. To persevere in resisting evil and, whenever we fall into sin, to repent and return to the Lord.   

Advocate for sane, sensible legislation to decrease our country's gun violence epidemic.

Grow awareness, and work to abolish human sex and labor trafficking, today’s human slavery.

Address the issue of mass incarceration as a manifestation of systemic racism, and advocate for a system of restorative justice.