Friday Evening Check In …

General Convention

Wow! It’s been a seriously long day here in Columbus. First of all – Happy Feast of Blessed +Joseph Butler. If I have a patron saint, it’s Butler. He struggled to resolve the tension between faith and reason using the best tools of his time. And it was on this day 19 years ago that I first met with the Bishop of Delaware to discuss my possible vocation to the priesthood. I’ve always taken the concurrence of those two anniversaries to be a sign and the happy coincidence has given direction to much of my ministry in the Church.

We had a lovely worship service this morning. Bishop Wolf presided over what could almost be described as a “techno” mass. The music was very modern and the actual liturgy a straight-forward Rite II Eucharist. The sermon on Butler and the observance of thanksgiving for women’s ministry was brilliant. I felt God in the room in a way I haven’t been able to feel until today.

I’d love to tell you that feeling lasted. It didn’t. It’s not that God wasn’t present anymore, it’s just that for me, God felt more distant the rest of the day.

We had a long working day on the floor of the house. It was the first “normal” day we’ve yet had. There was none of the sense of maneuvering that we had yesterday. We dealt with serious questions, but we weren’t dealing with them as political blocks but as individuals trying to make the best decisions we can make.

I “lost” a number of votes – or at least I voted the opposite of the majority. The big question we acted upon was to concur with the Bishops on the adoption of the RCL as the only lectionary of the Episcopal Church beginning in 2010. I wanted it to be an authorized option, but such is not to be. I shall accept the wisdom of the Church and spend time trying to see what She has seen in the RCL. Which is actually the case for all the votes I “lost” – I shall abide by the decision of the Church.

On the very positive side, I spent the early evening tonight sitting in on the deliberations of the Special Committee. I am glad I did because I am very relieved. They are working carefully and thoughtfully through the work they have to do. While I was in the room, the committee members raised every point that I would have raised, or have raised, about our response to the Windsor Report. Nothing was decided, but speaking as a moderate who is desperately seeking a middle way, I now have utmost confidence in the members of the committee to do a much better job than I could hope to do. I can take that one off my list of things to feel personally responsible for. (It’s annoying being the oldest child sometimes…)

If I still have a fear, it’s that there may not be enough time for them to complete their work so that the House of Deputies will be able to work through what they present without being rushed. But I heard them sharing the same fear – so I know that it is a concern present to them in their work.

I’m dashing this off tonight between attending the Special Committee meeting and rushing off to a reception for Episcopal Communicators. I plan on sleeping better having felt God near this morning and having witnessed the Church doing it’s work in the very best traditions of our Communion.

I may post some more tonight, but we’ll see. Those media types know how to party. Grin.


The Author

Episcopal bishop, dad, astronomer, erstwhile dancer...


  1. Caelius Spinator says

    Sheesh. The change with the RCL directly affects the BCP. If I try to teach new Episcopalians the Book, it will be horribly and unnecessarily confusing.

  2. Amen and Amen. I guess the plan now it to make the switch over in Advent this year. For what it’s worth I think that the Rite Stuff has the full RCL lectionary included. And The Lectionary Website has it as an option as well.

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