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

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Day Zero - Deputy Booker

Today (June 24th) was Day Zero for General Convention...because tomorrow will be Day One.  We didn't vote on anything yet, but it was still a very informative day.

This morning we learned about how we'll be carrying out a paperless General Convention.  Each Bishop and Deputy was issued a pre-loaded iPad (shown above).  It connects to an internal network that will replace the hardcopy Blue Book with a digital one.  This will allow for rapid updates of budget and legislation and save more than a few trees.

(Prior to General Convention it was asked if we could buy the iPads.  We were told no.  We did, however, have to sign for them.)

The item that looks like a Blackberry (remember those?) is the device
that we will be using to vote.  We each have a designated digital ID card (shown to the right) which plugs into the voting device.  When voting time comes, we can vote anonymously (no red and green strips of cardstock) and those votes can be tallied instantly.

All of this clever electronics assumes that the digital backbone won't break.  It's OK so far, but there will be about 875 deputies on the system at the same time.

By way of interest, of those 875 deputies, 398 are first-timers (such as Yours Truly).  On the other end of the spectrum, there are two deputies in attendance who are at their FOURTEENTH General Convention.  Do the math; that's one General Convention each three years.

This afternoon, the four nominees for Presiding Bishop spoke to a joint session of Deputies and Bishops for nearly three hours.  They were each allowed prepared remarks and they were each given pre-screened questions at random.  The process seemed very good and quite interesting.  If you'd like to learn about the four Bishops in consideration, there are materials available at  [].  They all seem like first-rate individuals, and I don't know that I'd have a problem voting for any of them.

(The process is that the House of Bishops will elect one individual on Saturday.  It will then fall to the House of Deputies to confirm that election if it so chooses.  We, as Deputies, will give one individual either a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down.)

Tomorrow is Day One and we finally get to do some voting.  If you can spare a moment, please pray for Bishop Smith, the Deputies, and for the wireless network.

--Michael Booker

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