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

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Saturday, July 14, 2012

Telling our story

Lots of Episcopalians in our diocese and beyond get the Wall Street Journal delivered straight to their door. Most of them probably have not been following General Convention very closely. But their eyes may have fallen on the article published Friday. So I thought it might be helpful to gather into one place some of the refutations and comments on General Convention, for those who have not seen them. You may want to share them with your WSJ subscriber friends. I am putting the WSJ article link at the end of this entry. Also a similar post from BeliefNet, once also a NewsCorp (Murdoch) outlet, like the WSJ.

What I wonder is how we can get out in front of the story. It looks as if the offices of our bishop have done this pretty well in the Post Dispatch, helping Tim Townsend to be clear about our bishop's position on Blessings and the position of the Bishop of Springfield.
Having spent much too much time watching streaming video of GC77 and following twitter feed, the things that stuck me were the willingness to restructure, the deep involvement of younger clergy and lay deputies, the Acts 8 group, a grass roots discussion about hopes for a new and hopeful future of the church, the amazing amount of streaming video and twittering which really made the people on the House of Deputies' floor feel connected and those of us outside the house feel engaged, the civil tone of all debates I caught in House of Bishops and House of Deputies. Why can't we get a headline out that says, "New generation shaping future of Episcopal Church?"  The Episcopal communications people did an amazing job. How can we get the word out that numbers are not the whole story about the Episcopal Church?

From the Bishop of Arizona, the Rt. Rev. Kirk Smith's blog.

From the Rev. Scott Gunn's blog  Scott, who worked as an IT guy before ordination,  is a frequent  blogger, twitterer (tweeter?)  and is generally well known as priest who is in touch with a new generation and social media. He is the Executive Director of Forward Movement Publications.


From the Rev George Conger. This one is remarkable because Conger is a frequent contributor to a variety of press outlets and sharp critic of many of the actions of the Episcopal church in the last decade. Many people (myself included) feel that his reporting is sometimes biased and negative. So for him to feel that this article misrepresents the Episcopal Church and the General Convention is truly remarkable. It makes me want to take his criticisms more seriously in many ways that he "tells it as he sees it."

From Dirty Sexy Ministry Two young and lively women clergy take turns at blogging. This reply to the WSJ  was written by the Rev. Laurie Brock, who is the rector of St. Michael and All Angels, Lexington KY and was first alternate from Lexington. She blogged all through #GC77.

Here is a response from a lay blogger.  [Luke Taylor, Diocese of Ohio]
And another blogger whom I do not know but who I think was tweeting from GC2012

Neil Houghton  An active supporter of Integrity and lay person from diocese of Rochester.

Analysis of WSJ bias of Male Privilege by the Rev. Jay Emerson Johnson, bay area blogger, on the staff of the Graduate Theological and senior director, Academic Research and Resources, of the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry at the Pacific School of Religion.

This one is not strictly about the WSJ article but is an interesting comparison of GC and UMC General Assembly. [Taylor Burton-Edwards, Director of Worship Resources, GBOD]

Here is a summary of "What we Did" [Episcopal Cafe]

Here is a response from "Anglo-baptist" . [Tripp Hudgins]


Wall Street Journal Article The comments include comments by the Bishop of Maine and the Bishop of Spokane.

Beliefnet another former Murdoch organ, now belonging to BN media.

Ross Douthat in this Sunday's NYTimes. He is the "youngest ever" NY Times op ed writer and author of the recent Bad Religion.


  1. Here's a humorous take on the whole thing:

  2. From Michael Booker. Jay Akasie's editorial in the Wall Street Journal about General Convention has created deep concern among some members of my congregation, and I think that it merits an item-by-item response. By way of background, I have been an Episcopalian since 1987 and am currently a member of St. Francis' Church in Eureka, Missouri. I am a college professor during the week, but I am actively engaged in the life of my congregation and am nearing completion of three years of study at the Diocese's Episcopal School for Ministry. I spent a week in Indianapolis so that I could attend 77th General Convention and report back on it to my congregation. I regularly read the Wall Street Journal, and I saw Mr. Akasie's editorial when I returned from Indianapolis and was stunned by how far off-target his comments were.
    Full article at

    Response from Bishop Dean Wolfe, Diocese of Kansas:

  3. The new president of the House of Deputies, Gay Clark Jennings, has written for the Washington Post's On Faith blog.

  4. Thanks for this, Lydia. And don't forget this marvelous essay by the Rev. Winnie Verghese:

  5. Yes! Links continue on the next post...Telling Our Story II

  6. And Gay Jennings, newly elected PHoD, in today's Washington Post: First paragraph: "Every three years, the Episcopal Church lays itself open to criticism and ridicule by gathering about a thousand people together for eight days and thinking out loud." It's a great essay!

  7. Oops! Just saw your 4:48 comment, Beth.
    Have you seen the recent traffic on this post? I think Canon Harmon loves you, Lydia. ;)


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