The 79th General Convention will be in Austin Texas, July 5th - 13th, 2018

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Sunday, July 12, 2009

A few of my favorite things

Some lovely things have happened here at General Convention, some funny things, too.

Here is a random list, really:

When we started voting on Church Pension Fund Trustees, a pigeon flew low over the room, like a sign of the spirit that the voting machines were working. We vote with little remote control devices. At GC 2006 the voting process gave no end of trouble. The instructions on how to vote were garbled to the point of ridiculousness and the devices did not seem to work well. Winnie Verghese is the voting secretary this time and she offers her instructions calmly and gracefully, interlarded with funny comments like, "It has been pointed out to me that people cannot understand my voting instructions when they are talking." Some of you will have seen her in Via Media.

The Integrity Eucharist was absolutely PACKED with people and one saw tons of people one knew there, including a bunch of sitting bishops. Ed Browning, the PB of "There will be no outcasts in this church" was there and honored with much affection by V. Gene Robinson and others. Barbara Harris was her own "tell it like it is" self, with much quoted lines like the one about how we had same sex marriage for centuries, because marriage was a contract between the groom and the father of the bride. You can hear her sermon (and catch sight of the cool red streamer banners) here. Integrity expects to have the whole service online soonish. The African drummer and chant and various other things had John Speller (yes, the John Speller you know and love) clapping and swaying... carried away, I guess.

Ray Suarez:
Today's preacher was Ray Suarez of the New Hour. I've been proud to know he is a life long Episcopalian ever since I found it out. He did a fine job preaching on "Hospitality" on the feast of Benedict of Nursia. Just as intelligent and well informed when speaking of the church as when commenting on the news. One of my heroes. His sermon is here.

Jenny Te Paa
Jenny Te Paa, one of the members of the Lambeth Commission and a lay theologian & indigenous person from Aotearoa/New Zealand was one of the President of the House of Deputy's "visitors." She spoke at some length encouraging our church to do what is right for us in our cultural context and to be assured that we have friends in the global south. She said that the Lambeth Commission had not understood our polity and the role of our PB and had treated the American church badly as a result. Pretty amazing. Her remarks are going to appear in print, apparently, but not for a while.

Gregory Straub
The Secretary of Convention, Gregory Straub, wears bow ties and madras patchwork sports coats and occasionally more outrageous things like the astonishing printed and patched jacket he wore on the opening day of convention. He does announcements with humor and wit and seems unflappable. Here is a picture of the amazing jacket.

Deputation Meetings:
There is easy hospitality in the diocesan suite (aka Dan Smith's room), with internet access, wine and other beverages, snacks, office supplies and a chance to talk over what has happened during the day and what is coming up. We don't plot or collude in any way but let each other know what we've heard about various pieces of legislation and the bishop let's us know what the House of Bishops have been up to and so on. We also pray together. Dan has worked hard to look after us and to arrange for people to use the room if they need the computer.

Tomorrow is the big Sunday Eucharist. Peg Cooper says that she heard that they are putting up 10,000 chairs and previous PB's Frank Griswold and Ed Browning will be there. (They've both been here for book signings.)

It isn't my day but I just felt like writing some of these things down. There continues to be a good mood in the house. People seem to be willing to disagree and remain in community. As we get into the "moving beyond B033" resolutions, it will be interesting to see how this develops.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this Lydia.

    I was gobsmacked to read what Dr. Jenny Te Paa said -- that the Lambeth Commission [a.k.a. Windsor Group} had so totally misunderstood our Episcopal Church. And then this: "Your generosity of spirit in spite of all you have suffered so unjustly and unnecessarily over the past few years is just so perfectly admirable. That you continue with such magnanimity to gather international friends, to share with us so openly, so willingly all that you do so formidably, so precisely, so efficiently and so compassionately is a gift offering of such magnitude that it seems so utterly insufficient for me to simply say thank you, thank you, thank you." WOW! Stunning!

    I was able to see Bishop Harris' sermon, but (of course) not the whole Integrity Eucharist. It looked like a true lovefest, and I am glad to know you were there.


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