So, last day at home before heading out to the 77th General Convention of The Episcopal Church meeting in Indianapolis. Susanne has already driven down as she has some major responsibilities as Executive Director of the Association of Episcopal Deacons (formerly knows as NAAD).
She coordinates the scheduling and orientation of deacons serving in the daily liturgies at Convention as well as collaborating on the writing of daily Prayers of the People for each Eucharist. Since she rarely gets recognition, or even thanks, for those responsibilities, I’d at least like to give her a shout-out here.
I have my usual mixed feelings about Convention. As an introvert “off the chart” it is an exhausting experience for me to be with all the folks pretty much 24/7. On the other hand, it is a wonderful family reunion and important issues are decided which effect our life together as Episcopalians. And it’s an honor to be a part of those deliberations and decisions.
Major issues this time: making some sense of the budget fiasco we’ve created; approving liturgies for the blessing of same gender unions; seemingly endless discussions on restructuring of our church’s governance and staffing structures; wrestling with how, and if, we should continue implementation of a church-wide denominational health insurance plan; new statements on Israel/Palestine; and a couple of ecumenical resolutions I’m particualrly interested in because of my past role as ecumenical officer for The Episcopal Church.
I have often dreaded General Conventions, concerned about some kind of ‘melt down,’ but have usually come away reassured about the faithfulness and common sense of such a large legislative body. These are good people who care about God’s church and God’s world and who give hugely of their time and efforts to provide leadership and direction for this community.
Can the structures be improved? Certainly. Do we need to make significant changes in order to respond to the challenges of the 21st century and beyond. Absolutely. Are we — under God’s grace — up to the task? I think so.
We’ll appreciate your prayers and support.
(I’ll be blogging regularly, if not daily, if I think I have anything constructive to say!)