General Convention: Day 0

Although the General Convention did not officially begin until Thursday, June 25, some of the work of the convention started days in advance. Exhibitors and those campaigning for various offices gathered on Monday and Tuesday, June 22 and 23, to set up their wares and display, begin campaigning, and start networking. While most provincial synods are meeting later this week, Province VIII met on the evening of Tuesday, June 23. One of the roles of provincial synods is to elect members of the churchwide Executive Council. Warren Wong, a deputy from the Diocese of California, was elected to serve on Executive Council.

Before the official beginning of convention, both the President of the House of Deputies and the Presiding Bishop give opening remarks, usually the day before convention begins. The full texts of their remarks from Wednesday, June 24, are available here (Presiding Bishop) and here (President of the House of Deputies). Video of their remarks is available on demand here.

Following the presiding officers’ remarks, deputies were oriented to General Convention. This year’s General Convention is a paperless (mostly) convention, and deputies were oriented how best to use their iPads — which are completely loaded with all of the legislative materials for the General Convention. After a lunch break, the Houses of Deputies and Bishops gathered to get to know the bishops who have been nominated for Presiding Bishop. The next Presiding Bishop will be elected on Saturday, June 27. More information about the introductory session — including on-demand video — is available from the Episcopal News Service.

The evening of June 24 was very busy — although convention still had not yet official started. Episcopal Peace Fellowship, Indigenous Ministries, and Integrity all had receptions from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. After dinner and receptions, many legislative committees — including Committee 20, Special Legislative Committee on Marriage — began hearing testimony on resolutions before them. The Rev. Vanessa Glass from the Diocese of California serves on that committee. 

Scott Pomerenk and Anna Marie Hoos testified before the Prayerbook, Liturgy & Music committee (on which the Rev. Paul Fromberg serves) about inclusion of particular people in the Episcopal Church’s calendar of holy people. Pomerenk spoke about the Rev. Peter Williams Cassey and Anna Besant Cassey — who are already celebrated in the Diocese of California and the Diocese of El Camino Real — and has blogged about his testimony here. Hoos testified about the importance of continuing to celebrate John Muir.

Live streaming of the General Convention is available through the Media HUB. Deputies from the Diocese of California will continue to blog their experiences, photos will continue to be updated through Pacific Church News articles and the Diocese of California Facebook page. You can track the conversation live via Twitter by following #gc78.