The 79th General Convention of the Episcopal Church convenes in Austin Texas, July 5th - 13th, 2018

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Wednesday chat room, post here: updates through the day, links, etc.

Good morning! Wednesday's chat room is open, a little later than usual! You are welcome to add your questions and observations in the comments below this post.

The morning began with one hearing. This morning's worship included a sermon by Stephanie Sellers, the chaplain of the House of Bishops.

Our deputation has a long legislative day ahead today, with a likely extended or evening session.

In addition to this blog, keep up with convention through:
Today's schedule:

Live webcast on the Media Hub 

(times in central daylight savings time) 

 8:30 am Eucharist. Celebrant will be Bishop Mark Sisk of New York. Preacher will be the Rev. Stephanie Spellers of the Diocese of Massachusetts and a chaplain for the House of Bishops. The Rev. Richard Schisler (Southern Ohio) will be the deacon. Commemorated on that day will be Benedict of Nursia, the 6th century monastic and abbot.

10:15-Noon House of Deputies legislative session 
10:15-Noon House of Bishops legislative session 

12:00 Noon Special Media Conference with the newly elected Vice President of the House of Deputies  webcast on the Media Hub.

1:15 pm-5:30 pm House of Deputies legislative session 
1:15 pm-5:30 pm House of Bishops legislative session

 5:45 pm (approx. 30 min. after close of afternoon session) – Media Conference 


You can track the resolutions addressed in these hearings on the general convention site:

Additional Events 

Elections of the Vice President, House of Deputies

Photo: Deputy Fox clarifies a point in HOD


  1. C095 which yesterday passed HOD by unanimous voice vote, has passed HOB unanimously.

    Background from ENS

  2. B013 to allow presiding bishop to remain diocesan has been discharged by HOB.

  3. And HOD passes the budget, now it moves on to HOB.

  4. Open Table/Communion/Baptism conversation now on HOD.

  5. C029 passes HOD as amended, now reads:

    Resolved, the House of Bishops concurring, that The Episcopal Church reaffirms that baptism is the ancient and normative entry point to receiving Holy Communion and that our Lord Jesus Christ calls us to go into the world and baptize all peoples. We also acknowledge that in various local contexts there is the exercise of pastoral sensitivity with those who are not yet baptized.

  6. At this evening's press conference, public affairs office Neva Rae Fox introduced the evening's panelists as Bp Michael Smith, ND, Deputy Jennifer Adams, W. Michigan, and newly elected Vice-president of the HOD, Deputy Byron Rushing of Mass.

    Rushing said he is looking forward to working with Jennings in the coming triennium.

    Bp. Smith noted the HOB got out early and the HOD worked late. Bishops began their day with hearing a minority report on the issue of blessing same-sex unions, read by him. He said the most exciting part of the day was the vote on restructuring the church and noted the recommending ctte had affirms it unanimously, the HOD accepted it unanimously, and the HOB, too, voted in the affirmative with unanimous voice.
    The bishops also passed the budget.

    Deputy Adams told Smith HOD was busy with a lot today so more would be on its way to HOB tomorrow. For her the most significant item today was the passing of the budget. "The PB&F ctte had a great listening process and they presented a sound yet flexible document for the church to work from in the next three years."

    David Virtue to Smith wanted to know about the "Bishop and Deputation from South Carolina that walked out" and does this have implications for our relationship with the global south.

    Smith said he "didn't have a clue" what it might mean to the global south and noted that the Bishop of South Carolina was with them today in private session and there are still deputies from South Carolina on the floor of the HOD. "They are still here."

    Cherie Wetzel, blogger, asked how Rushing spelled his name, and from what diocese he hailed. She then directed her question to Smith, asking which of the points of the report have the "greatest impact on the immediate future of the church."

    Smith replied that genuine theological diversity includes both conservative and liberal perspectives. The Communion Partners have worked hard to keep "conservatives in the Episcopal Church and liberals in the Anglican Communion." The bishop said that diversity is the heart of Anglicanism and vowed they will "stubbornly hold together" and see where the Holy Spirit is leading.

    George Conger, Anglican Ink, asked about a discussion in the HOB on A054, Rites and Prayers for the Care of Beloved Animals. He had heard the presiding bishop, whose name he has difficulty remembering, say that dogs go to heaven and he asked the bishop, "Where do animals go when they die/"

    Smith responded that Bishop Katharine's comment was tongue-in-cheek. [As a listener to the streamed session, there were several jokes being made at the time.] Smith said it is a pastoral issue, people do get attached to their pets and grieve their loss. He recounted something another priest had told him a time ago, "If Suzy needs her pet Fluffy to be with her for the beatific vision, then Fluffy will be there." Ever helpful the bishop added, "Spelled F-l-u-f-f-y."

    Fox closed with the schedule for the next day and the media conference was adjourned.

  7. A little bit of levity:

    Today was "dress like deputy straub day" and bowties were in great abundance.

    Two games are going on in the HOD: General Convention Bingo and Bonnie Ball. An article about them from the Diocese of Texas. When we last looked yesterday, Deputy Appleyard was in the middle of the pack in Bonnie Ball.

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