•General Convention convenes June 25 through July 3, 2015 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Thinking about “Political” Resolutions at General Convention

I commend to you the 27–minute address that Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori shared with the Bishops and Deputies to General Convention.  It's at http://www.generalconvention.org/r/gc-orientation/pb.  

Her address did one particular thing that's going to be helpful to me as a Deputy next month. At the last General Convention, I was very uneasy with the huge number of resolutions that seemed to me more "political" than "churchy," and I voted against many of them. Although I personally agreed with the content of many of those resolutions, I didn't think the church should be taking a stand on them. (Mind you, the vast majority passed on a voice vote, despite my tiny little "nay.")  

Bishop Katharine's passionate elucidation of the Five Marks of Mission, adopted by the entire Anglican Communion, now helps me understand my votes at General Convention in terms of what Jesus would be saying were he here among us now.  I don't think I'll be so conflicted about many of those votes when General Convention meets in Salt Lake City.  

Homework for General Convention Deputies

The Episcopal Church consists of 9 geographically connected “provinces.”  The Diocese of Missouri is in Province V.  In the lead–up to General Convention, each Province is being offered an online orientation session to introduce us to the role of GC, some of the new legislative procedures (including a “paperless convention”), training in how to use the iPads we’ll use instead of paper reports and resolutions, and some of the “hot topics.” 
The online orientation for the Deputies in Province V will be offered via the Web on the morning of May 30.  We have received “homework” for that session: We are to watch four videos, which run to a little under 2 hours altogether.  Links are provided at http://www.generalconvention.org/r/gc-orientation. They include addresses from Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, President of the House of Deputies Gay Jennings, the Standing Commission on Constitution and Canons, and the Task Force on the Study of Marriage. 
If you're a “GC wonk,” as I have been for several years, you might want to view those videos.

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