Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Wednesday Afternoon (this is out of chronological order)

Wednesday afternoon;
The next blog entry is about Wednesday night's hearing and is more recent. Sorry.



Ooops. I don't care for facts very much. (Myers-Briggs ENFP) I told our deputation about the hearing our committee was having with the fab four liturgists testifying. This was the John, Paul, George and Ringo of liturgy -- Weil, Hatchett, Mitchell and Westerhoff at 2:00. So Bishop Maze and about half our our deputation showed up in a nearly empty room. Wrong day. Wrong time. They'll be here tomorrow morning at 7:30. Did I say how far you have to walk to get to the Convention meeting locations? Or how slow the elevators are? Dennis Campbell said it took 10 minutes to get to the Hotel (they are a mile away); it took him 12 minutes to get to the Arkansas deputation room via elevator.

Our committee did some outstanding work to re-write the proposed betrothal/engagement ritual and replace a single proposed prayer with a whole group of prayers for persons serving in the military and a couple of prayers for those who are conscientious objectors.
We're voting for 12 persons to be elected to the Church Pension Fund. We have new electronic remote voting units. So far the error rate is nearly 20%. We're longing for good ole paper hanging chads. Great confusion. 800 strong willed persons trying to work something a little less complicated than your TV/DVD/CD/VCR remote.
We finally finished the vote after about 45 minutes of semi-chaos. After all of that, 96 of the 829 ballots were disqualified, so by our rules, we'll have a paper vote tomorrow. (Jesus didn't pick his 12 this way. Or... maybe that explains Judas?)

The leader of the Episcopal Relief and Development Fund gave us a moving presentation of the needs and possibilities for responding to the challenges of poverty, disaster and illness in the world. I'm hoping I can get a copy of his speech and some of the statistics. Compelling stuff.

In our most substantive action thus far, Pan Adams, the chair of the Program, Budget & Finance Commission presented the mission priorities for the church in the upcoming triennium. PB&F ranked the priorities in the following order:
1. JUSTICE AND PEACE: Promoting justice and peace for all of God's creation and continuing and accelerating the leadership role and programs of the Episcopal Church, which support the eight Millennium Development Goals in the dioceses of the Episcopal Church and in the world.
2. YOUNG ADULTS, YOUTH AND CHILDREN: Reaching out to young adults, youth and children through intentional inclusion and full incorporation in the thinking, work, worship and structure of the Church.
3. RECONCILIATION AND EVANGELISM: Reconciling and engaging those who do not know Christ by participating in God's mission of reconciling all things to Christ and proclaiming the Gospel to those who are not yet members of the church.
4. CONGREGATIONAL TRANSFORMATION: Revitalizing and transforming congregations through commitment to leadership development, spiritual growth, lifelong learning, dynamic and inclusive worship, greater diversity, and mission.
5. PARTNERSHIPS: Reaffirming the importance of our partnerships with provinces of the Anglican Communion and beyond and our relationships with ecumenical interfaith partners.

3 Comments:

At 7:46 AM , Blogger Bill Fulton said...

Lowell,
Thanks for taking the time to write your observations on Convention. It's really helpful to those of us out here in the boondocks. I feel as if I have a peek tinto the workings of Convention. Keep it up!

 
At 8:58 AM , Blogger Lisa said...

I'm one of those liberal revisionist Wackadoos, quite happy with the progressive path TEC has been following. But I must say I am stunned -- stunned! -- that evangelism only rises to Priority #3 for PB&F. I find that more than a little unsettling. Did anyone in the House raise express similar discomfort?

And I'm very grateful for the time and care you are taking in your blog. I check it daily, and it helps to hear about issues other than the one grabbing the headlines.

Thank you.

 
At 5:38 AM , Blogger Lowell said...

Yes, Lisa,

There were some who raised the same objection that you did, and urged us to make evangelism #1.

My own sense is that congregational development should be our primary priority. If we are doing our job well in creating faithful, energetic, serving, praying communities of people committed to the Gospel, the rest of it falls into place pretty naturally -- we reach out in compassion to the world; we raise up children formed in the faith; we bring others to know and love Christ in the Church.

Healthy congregations make a healthy, growing church.

Thanks for contributing to the blog.

Lowell

 

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