(From our Bishop & Deputies)

"Faithfulness and the courage to offer love and acceptance to those with
whom we disagree is the great need of the moment."

—House of Bishops Theology Committee Paper

A Letter from our Bishop


August 5, 2003



Thursday, August 7 - Everyone here seems eager to finish up and go home, despite the excitement and investment in various resolutions. The HOB today passed the budget for the next triennium, and got through the whole of the Title III (canons on ministry) just before we adjourned for the day. The latter took the better part of two hours, but no major changes were made. All hope that this package will rapidly pass the HOD tomorrow. There will be significant changes (and improvements) in the way we approach ministry (lay and ordained) as a result.

Michael Battle, who is a divinity professor at Duke, as well as one of the chaplains to the House of Bishops, preached a powerful sermon this morning about the great treasure hidden in a field. The thrust was basically that we often have to let go of what glitters (or, perhaps what we are deeply attached to) in order to gain the greater treasure.

I was unexpectedly carried off to a dinner tonight, which turned out to be hosted by the Diocese of Alaska. It was a joyous celebration of the many connections in this church to Native ministry, to Alaska, and to their bishop, Mark McDonald. I first met Mark in 1987 when I was senior warden of the church in Corvallis, Oregon. The rector had just convinced me to serve a second term, and we went off to Portland to meet with Mark, who was going to host the vestry retreat that weekend.

The rector announced he was going to leave -- and Mark did a most elegant job of facilitating our wrestling with that news and the implications for the future. I had two opportunities to meet that priest while I was here in Minneapolis -- Bob Hardman is the primary reason I ever began to wrestle with a call to ordained ministry -- and it was a great joy to see him again.

Stories like that, and connections like that, are part of what makes General Convention so rich. This gathering is always an opportunity to reconnect with old friends, and to share something of how your lives have changed in the interim. It is also a remarkable opportunity to make new friends and share something of life, worship, and work with them.

I hope you will consider whether or not you might serve the Diocese of Nevada as a deputy in 2006. Gifts needed: willingness to learn, openness to new experience, and willingness to share what you learn at GC with the rest of Nevada. The next General Convention will be held in Columbus, Ohio, from 13-22 June 2006. We will elect deputies at our Diocesan Convention in 2004. In the meantime, please ask our deputies to visit your congregation and share their experience!

Shalom, Katharine

Thursday, August 7 - I'm sitting in the airport in Minneapolis waiting to board the plane returning me to Reno. How can I possibly relay the message of the 44th Triennial to the women of Nevada? Our message was the "A New Light is Shining". That light shone through the spirit shared with the women from the Virgin Islands, Canada, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Navajoland, West Virginia, Idaho, Oklahoma, on and on.

The training I received on Women's Empowerment was life transforming. Women in a tribe in the Philippines must spend eight hours everyday hand grinding the rice into powder for dinner as well as carrying water for their family. They do not have a choice in their daily lives. The women of Nevada have a choice. What will our choice be?
I am looking forward to our Women's Luncheon, Saturday the 11th of October at our Diocesan Convention in Las Vegas. Thanking God each day, - Sharon Scott (Nevada Representative to Triennial Convention of the Episcopal Churchwomen)

Wednesday, August 6 (6pm)- Committee hearings are nearing an end for nearly all. The two houses are laboring under the number of resolutions still to be addressed -- and it seems likely that one or both will be in session tomorrow night. Our morning session in the HOB was devoted primarily to hearing reflections on and responses to our decision yesterday to confirm the bishop-elect of New Hampshire. He and the bishop of Venezuela (which was admitted to ECUSA yesterday) were both seated in the house today. As each bishop-elect has been confirmed, he has been welcomed onto the floor of the House of Bishops, to join in table conversations and to have voice in debate. None of the elected but not yet consecrated bishops may vote.

Our worship was grace-filled, as usual. The enormous gathering of deputies, bishops, and delegates to the Episcopal ChurchWomen's Triennial meeting fills the vast worship space. [SHARON SCOTT was our Nevada representative to the Women'sTriennial *]

The Rev. Rosemari Sullivan preached an excellent sermon that had much to do with openness to the motion of the spirit, which often comes in unexpected ways and encounters. She related the story of meeting a mentally ill woman one day who bore on her highly decorated sneakers the letters BV. When asked, the woman said, "well, of course, it's the Beatific Vision! Don't you know that?" The beatific vision in our own lives can be transformative, and it can come even in the midst of pain. The unlikeliest people around us may be its bearers.

The two houses met together briefly to receive the proposed budget. We will consider it separately.

The afternoon session in the HOB was long but patient. As usual, we began with well over half an hour's private time in reflection and conversation around our tables. The chaplain shared a story from Flannery O"Connor about a woman whose attitude in life was one of chronic superiority. Her redemption happens as the steward of a pigsty. The chaplain invited us to consider how each one of us was being purified or consumed in the fire around us. These table conversations have been uniformly gracious, and enormously helpful in facilitating our work together, as they do so much to build an intimate community.

We dealt with a few minor legislative matters, and then began debate on a resolution to permit study of same-sex blessings. The final version passed with a number of amendments, but acknowledges the variety of pastoral practice toward gay men and lesbian women in our church, and asks the Presiding Bishop to bring together a body to direct study of the issue of blessing unions.

I am going to celebrate my first free evening here with an extended nap!

— Shalom, Katharine


Bill and Sharon Scott from Trinity, Reno are also our Diocesan UTO co-ordinators.



Tuesday, August 5 - Well, the Ministry Committee finished its work this morning, sending the Title III revisions to the Canons Committee. We hope that the big resolution (A111) will finally get to the floor of the House of Bishops(HOB) tomorrow or perhaps Thursday. We have nearly exhausted the time left to get it through the legislative process.

But the big news of the day is obviously the HOB's process of considering the election of Gene Robinson as the next bishop of New Hampshire. It was a difficult, but grace-filled afternoon for us. We first heard the report of Bp. Gordon Scruton, who had been given the task of leading an investigation into the charges against Robinson. He found no grounds for continuing the investigation.

The HOB continued its closed session with a time of prayer and opportunity for anointing, which was a powerful sacramental moment. We admitted the gallery, and then spent 30 minutes in table conversation. The first 15 minutes were devoted to a consideration of reasons to vote against the confirmation of Canon Robinson. Prayer followed, then 15 minutes to consider reasons to vote for his confirmation. We then spent an hour in debate, distributed paper ballots to the bishops with jurisdiction (diocesan bishops), and then continued with our legislative business while the ballots were counted.

It was abundantly evident that a number of bishops were exceedingly distressed by the possibility that Canon Robinson would be confirmed. When the outcome was announced (62 votes in favor, out of 107 bishops with jurisdiction), 19 bishops went to the front of the house, where one of their number read a prepared statement of protest.

Another highly significant vote was taken to remove the vote from retired bishops -- the bishops passed the resolution resoundingly. It goes next to the House of Deputies.

We continue tomorrow, and the HOB is likely to consider a resolution to develop rites of blessing for same-sex unions.

— Shalom, Katharine

Tuesday, August 5 - Reynalda James' comment appeared on the front page of the General Convention Daily today: “We should be more inclusive of young people in the Episcopal church in every way, as well as to encourage diversity A participant at General Convention, she is a Vestry member and Diocesan Convention delegate from St. Michael's and All Angeles, Wadsworth, Nevada

Tuesday, August 5(9am) - In addition to two controversial resolutions, our [Miscellaneous Resolutions] committee has dealt with pest management and toxic chemicals as well as greater access for the physically and sensorarily disabled.

At one point, I thought the number of resolutions dealing with so many issues was fruitless. Who cares if the Episcopal Church says it wants to promote multi-cultural understanding or conservation of water resources?

But as I have listened to passionate people advocate for what they believe is important to living a life of righteousness in the world, I have been renewed to consider my own commitments.

We all have faced the overload of trying to decide what it means to live faithfully. What products should be buy? What are we to invest our money in? Should we offer our printed materials in Spanish? The issues are many and personal resources of time and energy are limited. But I find myself wanting to examine more closely my life and our life together.

It's not just about sex here! Living a life of righteousness and obedience means a conscientious examination of all we do. It's what our [St. Paul's] Stewardship Team has been emphasizing in terms of stewardship being about so much more than money:

These are important actions that we as individuals, parishes and dioceses can take to heart and then put in action to make a difference in our world.

That is one of the great values of this convention and I hope those of you who read this will remind everyone who gets their information primarily from the media, that we do good work here. It is varied, complex, thoughtful and passionate as we work together into building the "dream of God" for the world.

— With faith, hope and love, Rev. Britt

Tuesday, August 5(8:30am) - There was an interesting bit of debate yesterday over the proposal to require candidates for ordination to show competency in a contemporary second language. The debate in the house of deputies will continue this morning on this issue. The bishops had approved the option of a language or study of a culture. The committee decided to change it to requiring the language before sending it to the House of Deputies. The concern is that this will be too difficult a requirement for locally trained clergy. [Nevada's deputy] ERIC is on the list to testify to this, and someone from Northern Michigan raised the same concern yesterday. This could be important for Nevada.

-Elizabeth Tattersall

Monday, August 4 - More Ministry Committee hearings this morning -- we're getting closer to finishing all the Title III (the canons on ministry) revisions. By the end of tomorrow morning's session, we should be able to send them on [to the House of Deputies].

We had a brief legislative session in the House of Bishops this morning, with most of the time taken by an address from the presiding bishop of the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America), with whom we are in full communion. About 40 ecumenical visitors were also introduced -- people from many different communions, including the Roman Catholics, the Moravian Church, Methodist, UCC, Mar Thoma, and others. All have come to observe what we are doing.

During the afternoon legislative session we expected to have a vote on Gene Robinson's election, but we were told at the beginning that allegations of misconduct had been made against him yesterday, and would be investigated before we proceeded. The bishop of Western Massachusetts is overseeing the investigation. The general hope is that some conclusion can be reached this week, so that we can proceed to a vote.

Two highlights -- we have adopted a proposal to substitute the Revised Common Lectionary for the Episcopal lectionary (this still must be approved by the House of Deputies) -- and major questions were raised about the timing of the next General Convention in 2006. It is scheduled for mid-June in Columbus, Ohio, but many bishops protested that their youth deputies and delegates would be unable to attend if it were held so early. We delayed a vote until Friday in the hopes that more information may be forthcoming.----Shalom, Bishop Katharine




at a break in the

Legislative Session





Monday August 4 - I write you from the Episcopal Church's General Convention in Minnesota. We began meeting July 29 and I will be here until August 9. As you are probably aware from the news media, this may be a very intense and politicized conference as we deal with issues of human sexuality, ordination policies and our relationship to the worldwide Anglican Communion.

This is a real education for me. As one of the 40% of first-time delegates, I am on a steep learning curve regarding what our business is and how we do it. This involves extensive reading and attending hearings for the nearly 200 resolutions which deal with everything from "pest management" to "recognition of saints." The committee I serve on is "Miscellaneous Resolutions" so you can guess how I know about pest management!

In reality, our committee has been given two politically sensitive resolutions and we have wrestled together on how we might best deal with them. The process is similar to how many of you wrestle in your jobs and schools and communities with the different positions and approaches to any issue. I am learning that our differences can also be our strengths. Our committee is composed of a Caribbean Bishop from Florida, a Jamaican priest, a British archivist living in Pennsylvania, a powerful female Rector from Atlanta, a laywoman from the traditionally Anglo-Catholic Diocese of Quincy, a french man from Louisiana and yours truly. It is safe to say that we do not all think alike.

And yet, together we do good work, laugh a lot and have grown to respect one another. I see a similar dynamic at work in our very own St. Paul's parish. We are not all called to agree, but we are called to "respect the dignity of every person," to listen to one another carefully, to learn and even to have our minds changed. I know our strong and forthright Vestry have often helped me re-think my position and it works both ways.

We who are many, are one body, for we all share the one bread. —Rev. Britt

Sunday, August 3 (10pm):A full 24 hours! Saturday night we attended the CDSP reception -- a great opportunity to catch up with old friends and meet some of the current students. Then to the "New Community" celebration, which was a gathering of several different ethnic and cultural communities -- a chance to gather, eat, listen to music and/or dance with friends of many, many different backgrounds. My sense was that a number of new friendships and connections were starting.

An enormous service this morning -- the Convention Eucharist and UTO ingathering. The primate of Uganda preached a fine evangelical sermon and we had a great procession and variety of music.

The afternoon legislative session in the HOB was highlighted by conversation about the proposed Anglican Congress in 2008, which will occur in Johannesburg. Five people will be invited from every diocese, and the resolution we considered was designed to give dioceses some warning to make financial plans. The Archbishop of Canterbury will invite the bishops to join this gathering rather than the traditional "Lambeth" gathering in England.

The real action of the afternoon was in the House of Deputies, which considered Gene Robinson's election as bishop of New Hampshire. The bishops were at dinner before we heard the positive results of the election. The evening closed with a powerful anti-racism session, including the showing of a video title "Seeing the Face of God in Each Other." We will have two copies of the video in the diocesan office around the end of September. I highly recommend it.

Tomorrow will likely see a decision in the House of Bishops about Gene Robinson's election, as well as other legislative business.

—Shalom, Bishop Katharine


[Photo by Dick Schori -(l to r.) Sherry Mattson (Indiana), Dorothy Ramsdell (Galilee Camp & Conference Center), Mitch Pearlstein (Minneapolis), Rob Ramsdell]

Dick Schori writes: "We were all at a Minn Twins BB game in private suites supplies by theRamsdell's and their relatives. Food and drink, great."

[Below Left. JUDI DIXON and CAMERON CARR, Youth Delegates, St. Paul's Sparks

Below Right. ROB RAMSDELL, St. John's Glenbrook with BILL SCOTT, Trinity, Reno











Sunday, August 3 (Noon):Today is the day the deputies vote on the consent to the election and consecration of The Rev. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire. Our traditional morning worship included a sermon by the Archbishop of Nigeria who reaffirmed the need for the church to commit to purity and obedience to Jesus. Having travelled in Africa, I was reminded of the style of African preaching which is fairly unemotional and more expositional. The Archbishop was an exemplar of this style which is so different from African American preaching. He mentioned that while Bishop Michael Curry of North Carolina preached on the unity of the church the previous day, he was concerned about the purity of the church.

I am faced ever more intensely with the painful nature of the decisions we make here and the importance of prayerful and loving consideration of all those involved. It is a heavy day but also an exciting day as we have the chance to affirm the Spirit's moving in the life of individuals and this church.

I have only 5 minutes on this computer and more to say. God is touching me with passion for an inclusive, vibrant and growing church. Our two young adults, Judi Dixon and Cameron Carr have arrived safely for the concurrent Young Adult Festival. They remind me of the energy and enthusiasm they bring to an aging church. I am grateful for their presence.

— With faith, hope and love,Britt Olson


Saturday, August 2 - July 1 was a VERY long day! Friday began with hearings at 7 am, and broke for worship at 9 am (a Morning of Prayer, ending with eucharist at noon). It was a blessed slowing down of the frenetic pace. There was a lunch for diocesan deployment officers and bishops, hosted by the Church Deployment Office. The afternoon was filled by a long legislative session, and there were several receptions in the evening, beginning with one hosted by the Hispanic Network.

One of the great delights of General Convention is running into friends from all across the church -- people you went to church or school with years ago, people you met in a meeting last year, and the new friends you make here!

More early morning Ministry Committee hearings today, Saturday [July 2], then worship ---- with a remarkable sermon by Bp. Michael Curry (North Carolina). He spoke of the wolf and the lamb lying down together, when both go to the mountaintop. He echoed ML King, Jr., and stirred us all with images of being fixed on the mountaintop, enveloped by the presence of God, who is most fundamentally love. It was a powerful sermon, that brought the gathering to its feet twice, and will, I hope, continue to build a sense of community among many factions here.

We had a short legislative session following, beginning with a lighthearted announcement by Bp. Jerry Lamb (N. California) and Bp. Geri Wolf (Rhode Island) that they were going to be the sermon illustration.

The most remarkable decision was probably the admission of Puerto Rico as a diocese of the Episcopal Church.

We confirmed the HOD(House of Deputies) affirmation of the new bishops of Oregon (Johncy Itty) and Milwaukee (Steven Miller). I attended a lunch sponsored by Every Voice Network, which is a new coalition of congregations, dioceses, and groups committed to spreading the good news of God's inclusive love through prayer, study, and action. They have developed a number of excellent congregational curricula, provide progressive news coverage, and make connections between people and things of interest. Check out their website...

—Shalom, Bishop Katharine

Thursday, July 31- (9pm): he Ministry Committee began again with 7:30 am hearings. We are making progress with the pieces of the Title III (Ministry canons) revisions. One of the proposals is to eliminate the distinction between Canon 9 and Canon 7. I would expect us to vote on the package by early next week, at least in the House of Bishops. The House of Deputies will get the resolution after HOB votes.

Two bishops-elect have been confirmed, George Councell of New Jersey and Joe Burnett of Nebraska.

The Primate of the Anglican Church in Canada, the Most Rev. Michael Peers, spoke to the HOB today about his church's experience with the residential schools problem. The litigation has bankrupted one diocese (Cariboo), and two others have very nearly exhausted their resources. A fund for restoration work in First Nations (native) communities has begun, and has included contributions from churches and dioceses in the United States. Bishop Peers own witness in this process has been remarkable. He also spoke to us about the situation of the Episcopal Church in Cuba. One of the pieces of fallout from the Patriot Act has been the inability to send any funds at all to the church there, including pension payments which are owed to clergy who served in the church while it was part of ECUSA. The financial situation there grows increasingly desperate.

Dick and I were invited to a reception this evening hosted by the Indigenous Theological Training Institute -- a great opportunity to break bread with representatives from native Church communities in New Zealand, Hawaii, Minnesota, Navajoland, Nevada (Reynelda and Delia James), Virginia, and other dioceses. The ITTI does excellent work in providing culturally-appropriate theological education.

The daily eucharist is an enormous gathering. Today Bp. Lloyd Allen of Honduras presided in Spanish, and we sang hymns in English, Spanish, Swedish, Finnish, and an unidentified southern African language (Thuma Mina).

One of the women at my table for eucharist told a great story this morning. She and her husband went to a baseball game last night, and she had a conversation with a man riding in an elevator. They talked about their families, what they enjoyed doing, and just before the doors opened, what they do for a living. The woman told her companion she was an Episcopal priest, and the man, who had told her his name was Cal, that he played baseball. Then the doors opened, and they were greeted by hordes of people asking for the man's autograph -- she didn't know who Cal Ripken was. I told her that he was probably grateful for an opportunity to be anonymous!

-— Shalom, Bishop Katharine

Thursday, July 31(7am)— Several of us from Nevada attended the Integrity eucharist Wednesday night at the cathedral of St Mark's. The cathedral is similar is plan to Trinity Reno. The church was packed. In the procession, there were several acolytes with kites on long poles that they swirled, so the kites flew. The Rt Rev Gayle Harris gave a stirring homily. She referred to the election of Gene Robinson in New Hampshire, saying "God will call whom God will call."

There are many daily newletters and publications available, published by various different groups [AND THOSE ARE AVAILABLE ONLINE HERE]. One of them had an article today entitled "Dioceses have rights too." The Rev Lauren Stanley writes, "If the General Convention were to refuse to consent to the election of a bishop--of any bishop--then the church would be telling and individual diocese that it both knows better than the people of that diocese and it is willing to deprive that diocese of its right to make its own canonical decisions."

There is only once in our history that General Convention refused consent to the election of a bishop, in 1874, but that candidate became a bishop four years later in another diocese.

— Elizabeth
(Rev. Elizabeth Tattersall, Deputy
St. John's Glenbrook, Nevada)

Wednesday, July 30 (House of Bishops) — An enormously busy day! It started with a Ministry Committee meeting at 7:30 am -- we got 4 resolutions out of committee and sent to the House of Bishops (they consider all Ministry resolutions first -- other committees' resolutions may go to either house initially).

We had the first joint eucharist at 9:30 -- everyone sits at round tables in an enormous hall. The sermon is followed by 10 minutes of sharing and reflection at each table -- it's a very gracious way to meet people and build relationships. This time all the worship materials are printed in both English and Spanish. The Presiding Bishop presided and preached at eucharist, and even did part of the service in Spanish.

Following worship, each House had its first business session -- a time to organize and get ready to consider legislation. I found it very moving to sit in the HOB and listen to the roll call, beginning with the longest-serving living bishops -- many of whom were consecrated more than fifty years ago. Few of them were present, however.

A number of bishops from other provinces and dioceses with some connection to the US are with us -- e..g., Panama, Liberia, Mexico -- and several visitors from other parts of the Communion -- Uganda, Southern Africa, Brazil, Canada, etc. We broke for lunch about 12:30.

My committee [Ministry] held hearings on direct ordination (to the priesthood, without ordination to the transitional diaconate) and there was surprisingly little dissent from the resolution's recommendation that this be implemented. We'll see what happens on the floor -- few people expect it to pass.

Another legislative session from 4:15 to 6 pm, where we actually passed a number of resolutions -- they will be sent to the House of Deputies, and if approved, will become official policy. Few of them were particularly earth-shattering -- the controversial ones will come later. For example, the HOB rejected a resolution to remove confirmation as a requirement for the Presiding Bishop's chancellor [lawyer].

Dick and I had dinner with the National Altar Guild Association, who are just beginning their meeting. Three representatives of Nevada are present: Reynelda James, Delia James, and Victoria LeGarde of St. Matthew and All Angels and St. Mary's, Nixon. The NAGA meeting is focusing on the arts as they enrich worship.

More tomorrow!---------------------------------------------------------------------— Shalom, Bishop Katharine


Wednesday, July 30 (House of Deputies)— We celebrated our first Eucharist in honor of William Wilberforce. Katharine will celebrate on Sat. We were regaled by people with bullhorns condemning us to Hell for perversion.

We organized the House of Deputies, and learned some history: The first House of Deputies convened in 1785. There were no Bishops. William White was still a priest.

I had lunch at an Indian shop called Bombay Bistro, very nice.

We passed about ten resolutions mostly housekeeping, and defeated one: It wanted to shorten the amount of time allowed to submit a resolution before Convention.

We observed the birthday of a lady from Alexandria Virginia who has been a member of the Episcopal Church for 101 years. She wasn't here, but has an extensive history of service to the Church.

— Mildred Pierce Springer, Deputy
--------St. Paul's, Virginia City


Tuesday, July 29— This morning began with organizational meetings for Committees. [The Committee on] Ministry organized into five subcommittees, each charged with responding to a different set of resolutions. Hearings begin this evening, when this committee will address relatively uncontroversial resolutions on the following:

The bishops and deputies had a rare joint session this afternoon to hear from the Presiding Bishop and from the President of the House of Deputies (George Werner). Both presentations were moving and focused on encouraging continuing dialogue -- i.e., maintaining unity even in the face of radically different opinions and theologies.

The HOD had an orientation following, but the HOB had the time free (that will be the last time that happens!).. I spent time looking at all of the exhibits . . .

The Nevada deputation had dinner together, joined by JoAnn Roberts-Armstead

— Shalom, Bishop Katharine

Tuesday, July 29— I am on the credentials committee. Our job is to certify the deputies for each session. We sign in people as they arrive and register, and then enter them into the computer. If a deputy and alternate are swapping for a session, we make that change, and they are given the appropriate badges for the floor. If there is a close vote when voting by orders, then we may have to review the voting records. We are busy every day, as deputies must be certified for each session, morning and afternoon each day.

— Elizabeth
(Rev. Elizabeth Tattersall, Deputy
St. John's Glenbrook, Nevada)

Monday, July 28— Minneapolis is lots cooler than southern Nevada, but more humid. The meeting is in downtown Mpls, and it's lovely.

I am secretary of the Bishops' Ministry Committee, which meant that orientation began for me this morning, gathering with the officers of the Bishops and Deputies' cognate committees on Ministry. We will hold hearings on a number of resolutions about changes in the Canons related to ministry (lay and ordained).

Province VIII held an orientation session this evening, including

When I was in Wells late last fall the people there told me that there were ads for the Episcopal Church on the local (Salt Lake) TV station.

Priorities in the proposed budget include:
1) full incorporation of youth and young adults
2) mission efforts that engage people who don't know Christ according to their needs
3) revitalizing and transforming congregations
4) enhancing diversity; justice and peace toward all of creation; reaching out to those on the margins
5) mission partnerships with other provinces in the Anglican Communion and beyo

— Bishop Katharine

Sunday, August 31— Hello all! I would like to take a moment and tell you about my experience at General Convention.

The experience was wonderful. I learned a lot about the plans that the Episcopal Church has in mind and how the whole process of General Convention works.

The most exciting issue for me was the consecration of Gene Robinson. It was very interesting to listen to the different views expressed by the youth on this subject.

The house Cameron and I stayed in was absolutely beautiful. And the church next door was even greater in beauty. I especially enjoyed the evening services held in the sanctuary.

One thing in particular I enjoyed was the individual retreat sessions held at the house for the youth. The retreat consisted of a number of things. There was a financial aid advisor and a nutritionist. There were yoga sessions, and a spiritual director. I had a meeting with the spiritual director and found the meeting to be very helpful for me. Being 19 years old and in college can really make you question yourself. This meeting helped me take the right steps toward finding the answers to most of these questions.

My favorite thing about the individual retreat was my massage therapy appointment. Well, who wouldn't enjoy a great massage? It was relaxing and calming. It was just what I needed.

I also had the chance to visit the exhibit hall and see the different booths that were set up. It was great to walk through and see so many people dedicated to different causes and programs. The booth I enjoyed the most was the military ministries booth.

My trip was a very wonderful experience. I am thankful that I had the opportunity to go and be part of this convention. Thank You and God Bless,

Judi Dixon
St. Paul's, Sparks




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