The Acts of Convention

Year   
         

Resolution Number: 2006-A123
Title: Study Economic Benefits Derived from Slavery
Legislative Action Taken: Concurred as Amended
Final Text:

Resolved, That the 75th General Convention of The Episcopal Church declare unequivocally that the institution of slavery in the United States and anywhere else in the world, based as it is on “ownership” of some persons by other persons, was and is a sin and a fundamental betrayal of the humanity of all persons who were involved, a sin that continues to plague our common life in the Church and our culture; and be it further

Resolved, That The Episcopal Church acknowledge its history of participation in this sin and the deep and lasting injury which the institution of slavery and its aftermath have inflicted on society and on the Church; and be it further

Resolved, That we express our most profound regret that (a) The Episcopal Church lent the institution of slavery its support and justification based on Scripture, and (b) after slavery was formally abolished, The Episcopal Church continued for at least a century to support de jure and de facto segregation and discrimination; and be it further

Resolved, That The Episcopal Church apologize for its complicity in and the injury done by the institution of slavery and its aftermath; we repent of this sin and ask God’s grace and forgiveness; and be it further

Resolved, That the 75th General Convention of The Episcopal Church through the Executive Council urgently initiate a comprehensive program and urge every Diocese to collect and document during the next triennium detailed information in its community on (a) the complicity of The Episcopal Church in the institution of slavery and in the subsequent history of segregation and discrimination and (b) the economic benefits The Episcopal Church derived from the institution of slavery; and direct the Committee on Anti-Racism to monitor this program and report to Executive Council each year by March 31 on the progress in each Diocese; and be it further

Resolved, That to enable us as people of God to make a full, faithful and informed accounting of our history, the 75th General Convention of The Episcopal Church direct the Committee on Anti-Racism to study and report to Executive Council by March 31, 2008, which in turn will report to the 76th General Convention, on how the Church can be “the repairer of the breach” (Isaiah 58:12), both materially and relationally, and achieve the spiritual healing and reconciliation that will lead us to a new life in Christ; and be it further

Resolved, That to mark the commencement of this program the Presiding Bishop is requested to name a Day of Repentance and on that day to hold a Service of Repentance at the National Cathedral, and each Diocese is requested to hold a similar service.

Citation: General Convention, Journal of the General Convention of...The Episcopal Church, Columbus, 2006 (New York: General Convention, 2007), pp. 664-665.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

Author: The Executive Council
Originating House: House of Bishops
Originating Committee: Committee on Social and Urban Affairs

House of Bishops

The House of Bishops Committee on Social and Urban Affairs presented its Report #8 on Resolution A123 (Slavery and Racial Reconciliation) and moved adoption with amendment.

Original Text of Resolution:

(A123)

Resolved, the House of Deputies concurring, That the 75th General Convention of The Episcopal Church declare unequivocally that the institution of slavery in the United States and anywhere else in the world, based as it is on “ownership” of some persons by other persons, was and is a sin and a fundamental betrayal of the humanity of all persons who were involved; and be it further

Resolved, That The Episcopal Church acknowledge its history and the deep and lasting injury which the institution of slavery and its aftermath have inflicted on society and on the Church; and be it further

Resolved, That we express our most profound regret that (a) The Episcopal Church lent the institution of slavery its support and justification based on Scripture, and (b) after slavery was formally abolished, The Episcopal Church continued for at least a century to support de jure and de facto segregation and discrimination; and be it further

Resolved, That The Episcopal Church apologize for its complicity in and the injury done by the institution of slavery and its aftermath and ask the Presiding Bishop to call for a “Day of Repentance and Reconciliation” and to organize a Day of Repentance and Reconciliation service to be held at the National Cathedral.

Committee Amendment:

Resolved, the House of Deputies concurring, That the 75th General Convention of The Episcopal Church declare unequivocally that the institution of slavery in the United States and anywhere else in the world, based as it is on “ownership” of some persons by other persons, was and is a sin and a fundamental betrayal of the humanity of all persons who were involved, a sin that continues to plague our common life in the Church and our culture; and be it further

Resolved, That The Episcopal Church acknowledge its history of participation in this sin and the deep and lasting injury which the institution of slavery and its aftermath have inflicted on society and on the Church; and be it further

Resolved, That we express our most profound regret that (a) The Episcopal Church lent the institution of slavery its support and justification based on Scripture, and (b) after slavery was formally abolished, The Episcopal Church continued for at least a century to support de jure and de facto segregation and discrimination; and be it further

Resolved, That The Episcopal Church apologize for its complicity in and the injury done by the institution of slavery and its aftermath; we repent of this sin and ask God’s grace and forgiveness; and be it further and ask the Presiding Bishop to call for a “Day of Repentance and Reconciliation” and to organize a Day of Repentance and Reconciliation service to be held at the National Cathedral.

Resolved, That the 75th General Convention of The Episcopal Church urgently initiate a comprehensive program in each and every Diocese to collect and document during the next triennium detailed information in its community on (a) the complicity of The Episcopal Church in the institution of slavery and in the subsequent history of segregation and discrimination and (b) the economic benefits The Episcopal Church derived from the institution of slavery; and direct the Committee on Anti-Racism to monitor this program and report to Executive Council each year by March 31 on the progress in each Diocese; and be it further

Resolved, That to enable us as people of God to make a full, faithful and informed accounting of our history, the 75th General Convention of The Episcopal Church direct the Committee on Anti-Racism to study and report to Executive Council by March 31, 2008, which in turn will report to the 76th General Convention, on how the Church can be “the repairer of the breach” (Isaiah 58:12), both materially and relationally, and achieve the spiritual healing and reconciliation that will lead us to a new life in Christ; and be it further

Resolved, That to mark the commencement of this program the Presiding Bishop is requested to name a Day of Repentance and on that day to hold a Service of Repentance at the National Cathedral, and each Diocese is requested to hold a similar service.

The Bishop of Central New York moved an amendment.

Proposed Amendment:

In the fifth resolve clause, after the words “The Episcopal Church” add the words “through the Executive Council,” after the words “a comprehensive program,” delete the words “in each,” and after the word “and” add the word “urge.”

Motion carried

Amendment adopted

A vote was taken on Resolution A123 as amended.

Motion carried

Resolution adopted with amendment

(Communicated to the House of Deputies in HB Message #134)

House of Deputies

The House of Deputies Committee on Social and Urban Affairs presented its Report #11 on HB Message #134 on Resolution A123 (Slavery and Racial Reconciliation) and moved concurrence.

Deputy King of Western New York moved the previous question.

A vote was taken to terminate debate.

Motion carried

Debate terminated

A vote was taken on Resolution A123.

The House concurred

(Communicated to the House of Bishops in HD Message #203)

Resolution Concurred by Both Houses, June 21.

Report Reference:   Executive Council, Reports to the 75th General Convention, 2006, pp. 313-328.
Abstract:   The 75th General Convention acknowledges and apologizes for slavery and its aftermath. It directs the Executive Council to initiate a study of the Episcopal Church's involvement and derived benefits from slavery with a view toward reconciliation.
Notes:  

Resolution A123 was reported to the House in place on resolutions A093, A124, and C005, which were discharged.