Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Tuesday the 23rd at General Convention

This will be the only day I'll have time to eat a normal hotel breakfast. Nice leisurely morning. At 9:00 I went to register. Three lines – credentials, badge, and virtual notebook. This will be an almost paperless Convention. Every deputy is issued an iPad with all of the reports, resolutions, calendars and other information to replace the huge three-ring binders of the past. It's promising, but I had to do some preliminary work to be able to guide the sub-committee I'm chairing so we could all look at the same thing at the same time.

After registration I took an opportunity to go through the exhibit hall. (I never got through the exhibits at the previous Convention.) Our friends from Thistle Farm—Magdalene House were there. Learned some interesting things about the "Living Compass" program that I think I want to bring back to St. Paul's.

At noon our Joint Nominating Committee went through a practice session for presenting the four nominees for Presiding Bishop. That happens tomorrow at 1:30.  You might want to watch the livestream. http://episcopaldigitalnetwork.com/gc/

At 2:00 the officers and aides for the Legislative Committees had an orientation session. We've made a significant number of changes to the process for handling legislation, all designed to be more efficient and more digital. Hope it works!

The first Legislative Committee meetings were at 5:30. I'm Vice Chair of Prayer Book, Liturgy & Church Music. It's a big committee, with 39 members, as well as consultants and aides. After introductions we went into sub-committees. I'm chairing the sub-committee to consider authorizing a comprehensive revision of the Book of Occasional Services. We had a very productive sub-committee meeting and are poised to report out our resolution favorably. If the legislation passes, it would start us on the road to creating a significant resource for the church's prayers and pastoral services.

I didn't get to eat lunch until 4:00, so when the Arkansas deputation went to a Vietnamese restaurant, I just ordered from the tapas menu.

We start in the morning at 7:00 a.m. with hearings. First from our committee will be hearings on the Book of Occasional Services (BOS) revisions. I'm hopeful that it will get positive input and may be one of the first things from our committee. We're asking for funding of $94,000 to do the hard 3-year work of revising the BOS. I think it is a worthy project that will give the church a compelling set of prayers and liturgies for so many circumstances that aren't addressed in the Prayer Book.

I want to testify about a resolution to encourage efforts to support the safety and affirm the dignity of LGBT people in Africa. I travelled last year to Kenya to be part of a conversation group about the Bible and LGBT persons. I have a similar trip planned to Ghana in September. I've come to know some good people who live threatened lives. I may be unable to speak to the committee about the resolution because it appears to be scheduled at the same time as the Book of Occasional Services hearing is scheduled. Two places to be at 7:00 in the morning. I'm hoping something works out for me to do both.

NOTE: Tomorrow the four candidates for Presiding Bishop will be presented in a meeting of both the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies, 1:30-4:30.  It will be livestreamed online. 


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