Sorry for the lack of posts. When I went to my first committee meeting I was pressed into service as the Recording Secretary. (Mostly because I had a laptop…. ) So I’ve been busier than expected dealing with getting motions organized and printed after our committee has finally moved them to the floor of Convention.
I’ve had long conversations with lots of people. Every one told me that you can’t move from one area of Convention to another without seeing at least one person you know and having a “get caught up” conversation. It’s true. I’ve seen friends from other dioceses that I’ve served in, friends from old parishes, friends from Seminary, and my former Bishops. So far it’s the best part. I eveven saw Bishop Tennis again (after 10 years!) and was able to tell him that his wish that I would continue to teach physics and serve as a priest has finally come true.
There’s an amazing diversity. I’ve gone from breakfast with a founding member of the American Anglican Council to coffee with a member of the Steering Board of Claiming the Blessing. (I know many people in both organizagtions.) It’s a testimony to the breadth of our church that we can move so easily in conversation with each other.
People here are serious about what they are about. Right now I get the sense we’re coasting along working out the kinks in the system. There were questions this afternoon about the accuracy of the voting machines that we’re using on the floor to handle tabulation of ballots. Turns out a significant number were not working. It was the deputies themselves who figured it out and made convention stop to fix the problem. The Diocese of Florida has offered to help in any way needed because “you KNOW we’ll get it right….”
I used to think I knew something about the use and abuse of Robert’s Rules. I now know how little I do understand. We had a bit of a kerfluffle this morning when we voted to admit Puerto Rico as a Diocese of ECUSA. Seems the committee moving the action had forgotten to check to see how this would impact the canons of the church. We fixed it on the floor but it took lawyers, federal judges and state and federal legislators to work it all out. One of the legislators stood up at the end and said. “In all my years in legislatures I’ve never had this much fun with the rules!”
The real work starts today. Many members of our deputation are serving on Prayer Book and Liturgy. That’s the committee that is dealing with the question of same gender blessing liturgies. They’re looking at 16 hour day (at best). There’s a hearing tonight for the public. We’re all expecting it to be packed. (Consecration of Bishops Committee is dealing with Gene Robinson’s consecration. They’re holding their first major hearing on that matter at 7:00 AM this morning.)
Fred Phelps and his minions show up today as well. We’ve been warned to not allow them to draw us into confrontations that might be cause for a suit in civil court. (Same drill that we went though in Bethlehem). I’ve been out looking for some anchovy paste with garlic cloves that I can offer them in an attempt to show hospitality…)
Our committee work slows down this afternoon – and may be finished early next week. Hopefully I’ll have more time to post in the coming days. I’ll try to make sure to give my impressions of the bigger issues as they arrive on the floor of the House of Deputies.
Oh – and the worship here is amazing. I’m really enjoying the table bible study and prayer that is a central part of our mornings.