Friday, June 26, 2015

Friday, June 26

Today is my birthday. I awoke to find a wonderful video message from my grandson Reid, "Happy Birthday to LoLo!" As our Prayer Book, Liturgy and Church Music committee came to order at 7:30 I got serenaded with another chorus of the birthday song. We passed a resolution asking for funding for the Standing Commission of Liturgy and Music to begin a plan aimed toward a comprehensive revision of the Book of Common Prayer.

During the committee meeting we got word that the Supreme Court had affirmed gay marriage. That felt like a fine birthday present for me. (But my friend sitting next to me, a bishop from another diocese, felt it was a tragedy.)

As we entered the worship hall, a jazz group was playing and singing "Walking in the Light of God"—a wonderful female singer, pianist-clarinet, trombone, two saxophones, stand-up bass, and drums—singing and playing with such energy that I walked-danced down the aisle to get a seat close to the front. They led us singing several great hymn tunes with delightful accompaniment. The psalm included a sung versicle; while we read the psalm verses the musicians played creatively in the background. I was surprised when we got to the postlude, and our wonderful organist started playing an old favorite—the Widor Tocotta—a favorite of mine that Charlie plays so beautifully. The organ soared, filling the hall. But a surprise. Two or three minutes into the Widor, the organist stopped, and the jazz combo picked up the piece, creatively adapted. It was thrilling! The organ and the combo continued back and forth through the piece, until the final crescendo when they joined together for the ending. I had my phone recording and videoing much of it (once I realized what was going on). I'll try to figure out a way to post it. If you weren't watching on livestream, I recommend that you get on your computer with the speakers turned up high and watch it online. (I'll send a link to the service as soon as I get it.)

After worship we held a joint committee meeting with the House of Bishops in order to have a discussion on our church structure. Half of our Arkansas deputation and half of the Georgia deputation had conversation about what we liked and what we would like to change about the work of General Convention, the Church Staff and Executive Council, the Provinces, and Dioceses.

After a quick lunch we came back for committee work. We had extensive conversation about a resolution asking for ways to bring communion to congregations who rarely have access to priests to celebrate the Eucharist. We passed a resolution instructing bishops and ecclesiastical authorities to make provision for such congregations.

At 4:30 we went back into the big Legislative Session. We started with a series of nominations. I had the honor to again nominate Gay Jennings for President of the House of Deputies, who was the only nominee and thus re-elected.


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