General Convention: Day 6

Tuesday, June 30, was not a day with much active legislation in the House of Deputies — at least as far as votes — but that doesn’t mean the deputies were not engaged. After morning worship, at which the Rev. Kimberly Jackson preached (sermon available here), bishops and deputies gathered in the House of Deputies for a joint conversation on the Five Marks of Mission

The joint session opened with a greeting from the Governor of Utah, Gary Herbert, who recounted the history of The Episcopal Church in Utah for the convention. He noted that The Episcopal Church was the second religious group to be organized in Utah after the Latter Day Saints, and that Brigham Young was one of the largest donors for the building of St. Mark’s Cathedral.

For the next hour, deputies, alternates, and bishops spent twelve-minute groupings discussing three questions available for each Mark of Mission. The question conversations happened after each Mark had been introduced by a video produced by The Episcopal Church. One question about Mark 1, “How are we proclaiming the good news to different demographic groups?” was an excellent introduction to the Diocese of California’s vitality practice of diversity. The overarching hope of the conversation was that participants would take their learnings and hopes back to their home dioceses to incorporate the Marks of Mission into their local life.

The morning joint session concluded with an extensive tribute to Katharine Jefferts Schori as Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church. The tribute featured photos of Bishop Katharine through her tenure with audio clips of her speaking as the voice over. After that video was a video of people throughout the church giving laud to all of her work. That video is available on the General Convention Media Hub

The afternoon session was not joint between the House of Bishops and House of Deputies, and the House of Deputies encountered many technical issues in its attempts to get its work done. According to the President of the House of Deputies, the convention has been moving too quickly for the translators, so resolutions concerning restructuring The Episcopal Church and concerning Title IV were not available for discussion. Before this realization, resolution A158 Task Force to Review and Revise Policy on substance abuse, addiction and recovery. The Rev. Grace Burton-Edwards from the Diocese of Atlanta has some of the debate on her blog.

The House of Bishops spent the afternoon electing members to the Joint Nominating Committee for the Presiding Bishop. They discussed three resolutions: on using the Revised Common Lectionary during Holy Week, planning for a new Book of Common Prayer, and whether to create a taskforce to study serving Communion to the unbaptized. More reporting from the afternoon session of the House of Bishops is available from The Living Church.

Tuesday, June 30, was seminary dinner night, so many deputies — particularly clergy — attended their seminary dinners to network with other alumni/ae and to hear updates about the ongoing work and development at their alma maters. The Episcopal Service Corps had a reception with heavy hors d’oeuvres and talks by three young adults: the Rev. Broderick Greer, Grace Aheron, and Logan Rimel. Aheron and Rimel are former participants of the service corps in the Diocese of California. 

The Diocese of California’s Facebook album is being updated almost daily with photos from the convention, so don’t miss what’s new. As debates about marriage, structure, and the budget progress on July 1, follow along on Twitter by tracking #gc78.