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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Deputation listens to the diocese

This Saturday members of the Missouri deputation to General Convention held listening sessions in Creve Coeur and Columbia to give a brief overview of the upcoming triennial meeting of the church, and to hear concerns of diocesan folks. You have one more opportunity to talk with the deputation this coming Saturday, June 23, 10-11:30 AM at All Saints' Church in Farmington

Report from Columbia by Maria Evans

Deputies Lisa Fox, Tamsen Whistler, and Jason Samuel met with 10 diocesan members (from four congregations) at Calvary-Columbia for a listening session. They presented an informative Power Point which included nuggets from the history of GC (Did you know the first female deputy to GC was from Missouri, in 1926?), the legislative process of GC, and what the deputation and those attending felt would be "hot topics" at this GC 2012.  The "hot topic" discussion included items such as health care for employees of the church, trial liturgies for same-gender blessings, the Anglican Covenant, the budget, possible changes in the canons to the relationship of Baptism as a requirement for Communion, and the overall structure of the Episcopal Church. 

One of the uplifting opinions from the deputation was that it was expressed that many things that seem to be challenges or difficulties at this General Convention may well be opportunities for greater empowerment of lay people in ministry and mission.  "It's interesting that people are seeming more willing to say 'let's talk' about these challenges rather than invest their energy in protecting their pet project," Samuel said.

Following the presentation, those present also expressed sentiments that "the church has to change, and it is hard work, but it's Gospel work."

Report from Creve Coeur

About 20 people attended the listening session at St. Timothy's Church in Creve Coeur with Deputies Dan Appleyard, Kathy Dyer, and Mike Clark. The session was similar to Columbia's, utilizing a powerpoint for overview, some brief personal insights from deputation members, then rich conversation.

Clark, a member of the evangelism committee at GC, commended Dwight Zscheile's report (found in the Blue Book on pg 510) "General Convention in Context." Diocesan members may remember Zscheile's address to our diocesan convention in 2009 (link to convention address, text, and Eucharist sermon, video).
Topics of interest discussed in this session included the trial liturgy for blessing of same-gender relationships (the proposed trial liturgy, "I will bless you and you will be a blessing", is included in the Blue Book, pg. 184), open communion, the Anglican Covenant, and national church offices restructuring.

In discussing the covenant, Appleyard, who serves as chair of the Ecumenical Relations committee, noted that conversation about the worldwide Anglican Communion can feel heavy and complicated but that "in the last 30 years our sense of being a worldwide Christian movement has blossomed in a way that is quite wonderful, in a way that people in the pews actually care about. I think these things actually do make a difference in how we perceive ourselves in the world, and that's good."

On this blog. Resources abound and we've tried to gather most of them here:
  • Convention live streaming: again this year there is a "media hub" planned by TEC. Live streaming of some GC events, other videos including the Make Your Mark entries, Twitter and Facebook comment streams. Choose TEC Media Hub tab, above.
  • Blue Book and other publications: are all available as PDF downloads. Links to these materials are on the "GC: Overview, Blue Book and Resources" tab, above.
  • The deepest resources you will find on General Convention are on the TEC website. Apparently they are not easy to find, so we've linked to them. These resources include history, overview, maps of the provinces, map of the Anglican Communion, unfamiliar words, summary explanations of issues on the table for discussion. Handy not only for GC, but also learning more about our church's structure and governance. Choose "GC: Overview, Blue Book and Resources" tab, above.
  • The powerpoint shown by the deputation is on the "GC: Overview, Blue Book and Resources" tab, above.
  • Final listening session: One last chance to meet with deputation members this Saturday, June 23, 2012 from 10 to 11:30 AM at All Saints' Church in Farmington.
  • Reporting session, when the deputation reports back to the diocese, will be scheduled after the end of GC.

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