After two flights ~one to D.C. and another to Columbus~I’ve arrived at my first Convention. I am here as a guest, but here nonetheless. Nick is right about the Convention Hall. Cavernous. Delegations have brought things to make it home for the week: the Star of Bethlehem sits atop the pole at the Bethlehem deputation. A chicken perches on the pole from the Diocese of Northwest Texas, a loon at Michigan’s table and a lobster at Maryland. Yes, our deputations are open to holy humor, which brings me to my next GC topic~a rag by the name of “The unConventional Times: The Unofficial Journal of the 75th General Convention.” Evidently we Episcopalians have been celebrating way too much. This is what they reported today:
The U2charist. The General Convention’s daily Eucharist. The Integrity Eucharist. Alternative Eucharists…. that are straight BCP (’28 or ’79 we don’t know). Everywhere you go at Convention there is a Eucharist taking place. The Episcopal predilection to celebrate Eucharist has spawned a new group called Episcopalians Newly United for Fewer Eucharists (ENUFE).
The rubrics say you must have two people to celebrate Eucharist, not when you have two people you must celebrate Eucharist,” said a spokesperson for ENUFE. The group is also annoyed by all the services being held by special interest groups. In response, ENUFE will be holding a Nocharist. The service will be open to everyone.
I personally am sorry to have missed the U2charist. (Hmmm, maybe we’ll have to celebrate one in Bethlehem.) I love Eucharist –gathering around the table and sharing a meal. Don’t we need to gather to be nourished? And isn’t it around the table that we really get to know one another? Just hours after arriving, my friend Ann Fontaine and I attended the Integrity Eucharist along with hundreds of people. It was packed~not just the nave, but the basement too. Tomorrow morning, I’ll be taking communion again at 10 am. We sure do love to party. And Jesus does too…he’s there every time.
p.s. Saturday at 3pm I’ll be signing copies of my book My Faith, My Life: A Teen’s Guide to the Episcopal Churchk at the Church Publishing booth in the Exhibit Hall. I signed a book today for Angela, a teen from Florida who had been having a hard time finding a book for herself. Where are those books for teens? Makes me wonder…..why doesn’t the Episcopal Church have books about faith for teens? Teens are asking.