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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Day Eight

(Left, our Hondural table neighbors with their Honduras Soccer shirt.)

So, for the first time, I'm blogging--not just for the first time from General Convention, but for the first time, ever. Some of us are just slower than others . . .

Lydia and I have made a list of topics each of us may speak to in blogging this evening, so here are a few tidbits:

Yesterday in the House of Deputies, a large number of ecumenical and interfaith representatives visited the House of Deputies (HOD). Among these were a variety of Christians, as well as Sikh, Hindu, Muslim, and Jewish leaders, and others, primarily from the Los Angeles area. A powerful conclusion to our morning session was a blessing, offered by a rabbi, an imam, and an Episcopal priest, in Hebrew, Arabic, and English, first separately, then together--not really competing, but so that the words hung separately and together--hard to describe, but haunting (in a good way).
Today, the HOD concurred with action of the House of Bishops on guidelines for interfaith dialogue, effective not only in the various national bodies of The Episcopal Church around the world, but also at the diocesan and congregational levels. We addressed a number of other issues, more shortly.

Just a a few words about the floor of the HOD. Eight hundred people are at tables, with our deputations marked by poles with the names of our dioceses. On top of some poles are yellow bows, marking a deputation with a senior deputy, someone who has been a member of the HOD for seven or more conventions--that's 21 years or longer! In addition to the official yellow bows, most deputations have affixed to their poles some other symbol of their diocese--for example, your Missouri deputation has a Cardinals hat with three Missouri flags on top of our pole. Behind us, the Diocese of Honduras sports a soccer jersey; Maryland's pole is topped with a crab. Maine has a lobster; Lexington has a large balloon horse. A loon decorates Minnesota's pole; San Diego has a beach umbrella; Fort Worth, baskets of blue bonnets; Wyoming, a lariat and a cowboy boot.

Clever advertizements: Alaska is looking for a bishop. The Alaska deputation has tee shirts, all of which, on the back, say "Alaska is calling." On the front, their green tee-shirts say, Call of the Wild; the blue ones, The Frozen Chosen; orange ones say, Got Bishop?; purple ones, 1-800-BAK BSHP. Members of the Alaska deputation say nominations are coming in quickly. Kentucky is also advertizing. They're handing out snazzy bookmarks with the question, "Is purple your color?"

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