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

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Thursday, June 25, 2015

DAY ONE - Deputy Booker

The Salt Lake City Salt Palace - home of General Convention 2015

Missouri's Deputation Marker
The first session of the House of Deputies started at 8:00 AM with a number of routine resolutions needed to get things under way.  If you watch any of the live streams of the House of Deputies, pay special attention to the Chaplain -- he's amazing!  There were 840 Deputies in attendance, and so far the electronics are holding up as well as can be expected.

At 9:30 we
had Eucharist, with the Presiding Bishop leading the service.  If it weren't for General Convention, I'd never know what it's like to celebrate Rite II with over two thousand other Episcopalians.  Eucharist is celebrated every day of Convention (if it seems odd that we "had church" on a Thursday).

In the middle of the day there were a number of meetings of legislative committees.  I sat in on Liturgy and Music, which was calmer than I expected -- mostly people from smaller congregations spoke about the challenges of having services without a priest available.

The House of Deputies re-convened in the afternoon.  One of the memorable things about that sessions was the recognition of the VIPs in attendance from churches around the world.  There's a full list at this link:

The main item of business was setting the rules for running the rest of General Convention.  This, in turn led to questions like whether it was appropriate or not to applaud during the Convention (we decided it was) and whether we should have a consent calendar* [*voting on small, routine matters all at once instead of one-at-a-time] or not (we will).

In the evening there was a gathering of the Diocese of Missouri.  When I was in Indianapolis three years ago, I always found that to be the highlight of the day.  Anyone from the Diocese - or who had ever been a member of the Diocese - was welcome to share in food and drinks and conversation.

The last item of the day was an evening meeting for hearings for the Task Force on the Study of Marriage.  There people spoke (Bishops, Deputies and guests) about a series of proposals to rules governing marriage in the Church.  Some spoke in favor of the proposed resolutions and others spoke against them, though there were more of the former than the latter.  I'm glad to say that the conversation was quite civil and some serious technical issues were raised.

I spoke with a Bishop after the meeting to get a take on how the Canons and BCP might need to be changed if we were to move ahead with expanding the definition of marriage.  He said that there is a lot of debate on that very point, and that the mechanisms of change may require two Conventions.  However, as another Bishop stated at the hearings, if we do it, we need to do it right.

Tomorrow will look a lot like today, with the exception of a joint meeting (Deputies and Bishops) to discuss possible restructuring of the Church.  Nothing controversial about that, nothing at all...

Michael Booker



1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the report, Michael. I was pleased to see that "Black Lives Matter" made it to our diocesan standard. I recognize the two sports flags. But what's the significance of the pony?


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