GENERAL CONVENTION 2006
June 13-21, Columbus,Ohio
from Nevada's BISHOP & DEPUTIES
Reflections from Columbus
& “thirsting for the desert…”
WEDNESDAY June 21: (Last Day)
At 5:21 this morning, Elizabeth sent this photo from last night. With the time difference, the deputies were headed for the final session of Convention to attempt to come to a conclusion about the Church's relationship with the Anglican Communion in a joint session of both houses (Deputies and Bishops). They will then celebrate the closing Eucharist together, at which Bishop Katharine has been asked to deliver the homily.]
TUESDAY June 20:
[7:16pm] Paul Colbert
Controversy on the Windsor report (A161)
that was defeated by orders. Ft Worth and Newark were in agreement. on the
vote, but not the reason for the vote. However, since we defeated the measure
at the end of debate, there was no way to introduce language that would allow
us to deal with the subject for the rest of the world. Tomorrow will see
a joint session of the bishops and deputies so that we can have simple language
and get something on record as a response.
This evening saw another legislative session with two Windsor resolutions passing.
We also revised Title III on canons. However, the Nevada deputation was excused
from the floor so that we could meet with Bishop Katharine who took
us out to dinner .
Tomorrow will see a lot of last minute resolutions for the deputies to deal with. With Windsor out of the way, they should pass more quickly with fewer procedural matters to distract. There is also talk of having to formally end the Convention and then meet immediately in special session to finish ! -- Paul
[7:00am] Dick Schori
It is all quite daunting. There was a tremendous amount of enthusiasm for Katharine at the Delegates of Color reception last night [picture below] as in most situations here.
I'm in a News Briefing now presenting the satus of various bills. [Ed note- Reports on that discussion will be in the appropriate issues topic on this site. Click on the ISSUES button on the Homepage]
|Margaret hooking the squid||Here's where it all happens
-view from 20th floor of the Hyatt
|Kate Schori Harris talks with our deputies, Margaret, Elizabeth & Jocelyn|
[4:52am] Elizabeth Tattersall
We worked on some of the Windsor Report response yesterday, with more today.
I've got ballots to count for Exec council. More later.
MONDAY June 19:
[8:37pm] Dick Schori
It got rather hectic around here after the election. We were moved into the Presidential suite of a major hotel and provided a driver. It is especially hard for Katharine to move around since people want to crowd around and talk with her. I get some of that too !
media3 here was for a live broadcast. Don't know which network.
[7:06pm] Paul Colbert
So much happening in session today, that it is hard to get around. Some of
the more significant things that I can remember are that we agreed to allow
for the usage of Enriching Our Worship on a more regular basis, including for
We joined many deputations in decorating the pole [marker]. Larry was able to get a mitre and Margaret got some materials to make a crozier that has a jellyfish attached to it. ...
We began some work on the Windsor Report resolutions. A160 was amended in committee and then amended on the floor. The amendment leads to the General Convention expressing "regret for straining the bonds of affection". We worked late tonight, hearing debate on A161, which is intended to put a moratorium on consecrating bishops whose manner of life is problematic. Wording is a bit vague, which has contributed to the debate.
We got out of session too late for me to witness the signing of the concordat between the Episcopal Church and the Philippine Independent Church. Since the Filipino Episcopal Church became independent from the Episcopal Church about five years ago, we needed to have a clear relationship with the Filipino Independent Church and the Filipino Episcopal Church. This agreement was signed at an ecumenical gathering with representatives of the Lutheran Church (with whom we have a concordat), the United Methodist Church (we are looking at closer relationship at this convention), and the Old Catholic Church, which has had a relationship with the Episcopal Church for 75 years. The Old Catholic Bishop of Utrecht was the presider at the Eucharist this morning. At the ecumenical gathering, I had the opportunity to talk with Canon Kenneth Kaeron of Ireland about my two years living in Northern Ireland.
pax et bonum -- Paul Colbert+
[5:28am] Elizabeth Tattersall
[Bishop Katharine's election] was very exciting, but we are also sad that she will be leaving Nevada. We will soon be searching for a new bishop. We think she will make a wonderful presiding bishop. The NV deputation got to stand with her when she was introduced to the house of deputies. Last night she was moved out of our hotel to the main convention hotel (the Hyatt). When we saw her last night, I said to her that she will need a Pilatus [Turbo-prop, right] to get around her territory now. There were a few folks who left the floor of the house of deputies when she was elected. -- Love, Elizabeth
[4:14am] Paul Colbert
I shocked the Nevada Deputation in the morning by showing that I own a suit,
but that was nothing compared to the news later in the day. Being prepared
for her election helped a little, but it is bittersweet as we lose her. Today
will be a key day as the House of Deputies meets. We will have more resolutions
on Windsor Report to deal with.
The Deputies did some other work yesterday, passing basic resolutions supporting the Millenium Development Goals and tackling one of the first resolutions regarding the Windsor Report.
I saw some of the former Nevada crowd at the CDSP dinner. Eric Funston and Britt Olson were there.
pax et bonum - Paul Colbert+
SUNDAY June 18:
[4:13am] Kay Rohde
To the Diocese of
It has been a busy time. I am serving on the Legislative Committee for Church in Small Communities. Being on this committee has been fun and very fulfilling as those of us from dioceses like ours that have mostly small congregations both in rural and urban areas. More than 50% of the churches in the Episcopal Church are small - but small does not mean dying. As we heard, small churches are vibrantlyy alive and have much to offer to the wider church. We drafted a resolution that would direct the Standing Commission for Small Congregations: to develop ways to share programs, develop and distribute materials that would help congregations develop their gifts for mission and minsitry and to develop ways to raise the profile of the small congregations as valued and having gifts to share with the wider church.
There are lots of old friends here - Bishop Michael Garrison sends his love to you all. Britt Olsen, Eric Funston, Phina Borgeson and Shawn Duncan have all been sighted. The liturgies are always my favorite part of the day. The table conversations have brought new frineds and the liturgy is centering - to remind us whose we are and why we are here. The liturgies are often in multiple languages. Each day the 1st lesson is read in a different language - Navajo, Spanish, French, Japanese, Chinese.
[4:02am] Paul Colbert
Yesterday morning was the UNITED THANK OFFERING (UTO) ingathering. the UTO representatives (from each dioccese) processed in the aisle next to us, the bishops in a different aisle. The bishops then joinied us on the floor for the official nomination of the presiding bishop. Late afternoon saw a special order when we had a tribute to Dean George Werner whose term is up as president of the House of Deputies. Bonnie Anderson has been elected as new president and The Rev. Brian Prior as Vice President for the House of Deputies. Brian is from the Diocese of Spokane, in our province.
In an previous ceremony, the Episcopal Churchwomen (ECW) celebratied 30 years of ordained women's ministries with the link of chains. Photos and a brief biography were included in the display.
The Exhibit hall is full
of color. Having just purchased 2 Filipino chasubles for under $100 (a
parishioner's gift), I think of the vestment outlets as the "Why pay
Carmen Guerrero works part-time for the National Church as Jubilee missioner.
Behind her is Brian Grieves, of the Peace and Justice ministries at our National
office. Most of the National Staff are here at Convention to help with committees,
but also to be present here in the National Church booth for renewing relationships
and friendships, and to help people with various levels of ministry.
The gifts from the Holy Land Booth was at the Nevada Convention. The proprietors
attend All Saints in Las Vegas.
Some booths are small and simple - such as Episcopal AsianAmerican Ministries
with the Rev. Dr. Fran Toy who is retired from The
Church Divinity School of the Pacific (CDSP). The Rev Jen Adams of Western
Michagan is with her. Jen was at CDSP while I was at Incarnation Priory in
the early 90s.
pax et bonum - Paul Colbert+
[2:35am] Bishop Katharine's Reflections from Columbus #7
[Yesterday] we gathered for the big, festal eucharist of Convention, which included the UTO ingathering. Our own Sharon Scott presented Nevada’s offering. Dr. Jenny Te Paa, who is dean of the Anglican seminary in New Zealand, preached an incredibly powerful 30 minute sermon. . She spoke of the counsel of her Maori elders on keeping the communion together as well as her passionate belief that we must continue to include the ostracized around God’s table.
Some committees continue to work, and it is beginning to seem that a number of resolutions will not be acted upon before Convention closes on Wednesday. The House of Deputies elected a vice-president yesterday, the Rev. Brian Prior of Spokane.
The two houses met together for a brief time in the afternoon to nominate the candidates for Presiding Bishop. It was a wonderful chance to see our deputies in the midst of their work environment, and to catch up a bit.
The House of Bishops met for an abbreviated legislative session in the afternoon, closing early so we could celebrate a festival dinner of farewell for our eleven retiring members. I had the honor to sit at a table with the new Japanese primate, Bishop Nathanial Uematsu. He calls himself an “Okie,” having been sponsored for ordination by a parish in Oklahoma, despite the fact that he is a native of Japan. We also recognized the 89th birthday of our senior bishop present, Frederick Putnam. [Bishop Frederick Putnam (seated here with Bishop Katharine) was the rector Dick Schori’s family church, St. Matthews in Evanston, IL when Dick was a boy.]
The evening was given over to a lively and creative celebration of the ministry of our Presiding Bishop, Frank Griswold. The show-stealer was a little play about the PB meeting the Holy Spirit, in the form of a homeless woman with a wry sense of humor!
SATURDAY June 17:
at work in the Communications Committee
(picture by Larry Kirk--whose' seat is empty)
[5:03am] Paul Colbert
[Preparing the space for worship (left). The large projected images can be seen for each day by clicking on the picture to the left. Each day's images are available by selecting the "Visual Preludes" button in the right column on our Homepage]
[Paul writes]: I was eucharistic minister two days in a row ... There are 6 areas of the hall with eucharistic ministers - 4 bread and 8 wine.
[The group of Eucharistic ministers
at right are preparing for the Liturgy]
More resolutions being dealt with yesterday.After a fair bit of debate,
the Deputies agreed to make the Revised Common Lectionary the standard, which
now allows better distribution and printing of materials. It will also show
that it is worth translating materials into other languages.
The Deputies also decided, by a narrow vote by orders, to continue their
involvement with consent to election of bishops. [A bishop
who is elected by a diocese within 3 months of a General Convention must
still await confirmation by the Convention before the bishop can be installed]
I went to the eucharist sponsored by Integrity last night. A powerful and
moving service, with preaching from Gene Robinson. I then went across the street
to a multi-cultural
party sponsored by the ethnic ministries desk at our National
Church headquarters. Native Americans, Asians, Latinos, African Americans and
others were present to celebrate the new emerging multi-cultural church. The
event was held in the state capitol and I got a chance to tour the building
along with Dick Schori.
pax et bonum -Paul Colbert+
[4:08am] Bishop Katharine
I was struck
the night before last by how much
Sen. Danforth reminded me of George Allison!
Not just his physical aspect, but his demeanor
and his message.
FRIDAY June 16:
[7:31pm] Bishop Katharine's Reflections from Columbus #6
The Ministry Committee finished everything it could this morning, but we are awaiting the work of the Canons Committee before Title III (the canons on ministry) can be sent to the House of Bishops. We will probably meet again tomorrow morning for tidying up.
The worship this morning was absolutely wonderful. The music, much of it written by Isaac Everett, incorporated modern instruments and might have been termed “jazz fusion.” The most striking aspect was an ostinato or sustained theme played as background and counterpoint to the eucharistic prayer – exceedingly powerful. Our table discussion following the sermon is in both Spanish and English, as we seek to include a deputy from Colombia. Two of us can speak some Spanish, so we muddle through – with enthusiasm. That deputy and the other who can speak Spanish stood up in the House of Deputies yesterday and asked that when sermons are delivered in English, that Spanish and French texts be provided to each table beforehand. We’ll see what happens!
The House of Bishops heard from the Rev. Canon Kenneth Kearon, who is Secretary of the Anglican Communion Office. He spoke about the beginnings of a Communion-wide listening process which will be monitored, but not directed, from the AC Office. This is designed to help all sides in the current theological controversies hear each other and other persons’ experiences. He spoke movingly about visiting the AIDS quilt in his home town of Dublin, and speaking with a woman whose job was to repair the strains and stresses in the various fabrics of the quilt after the exhibit closed each night. He drew the parallel with the Anglican Communion and its continual need of repair.
The House of Bishops consented to the elections of five bishops, and welcomed them to the floor of the House. One more remains, and should be heard in the next day or two. We passed resolutions on slavery (especially learning more about it and beginning to explore ways of repairing the lasting damage resulting from it), the proper locations for General Convention in relation to the civil rights of gay and lesbian people, and we began to work on the multiple resolutions related to the Windsor Report and strains in the Communion.
The highlights of the evening were the Integrity eucharist, at which Bp. Robinson preached, and the New Community (multi-cultural) reception, which has been the liveliest party at the last couple of Conventions!
[6:56am] Dick Schori
The Ministry Committe of which Katharine is a member (on the
They are hearing testemony from Bonnie Studdiford,
Executive Director of FOCUS, requesting funding.
In the Exhibition Hall:
Last night PB Frank Griswold is introducing John Danforth, former Senator from Missouri and former UN Ambassador.
Danforth gave an excellent talk on the theme that the Episcopal church should have has its central focus the work of reconcilliation in the world and not get tied up with such things as sexual orientation issues.
There is a large contingent of HIspanic Episcopalians here,
from many countries and the Mexico:
A Hispanic band playing just outside near the Convension bus stop.
[4:53am] Elizabeth Tattersall
Here is our deputation; this is how we felt during the ten minute debate on which month of the year should be designated Debt Awareness Month:
Should it be??? - Feb..., April, Jan,
December777 ........................or October?
PB Frank Griswold had to leave the Reconciliation Forum a few minutes early to go to the media van waiting outside for his interview last night on LARRY KING LIVE. The Reconcilaiton Forum was great: reminders of what is really important in the church--reconciliation,love.
THURSDAY June 15:
[7:33am] Paul Colbert
The Columbus Convention center is built in an over the old train station, part of the long walkway being over the main tracks. The groundhogs were out and grazing when Elizabeth and I walked by - totally unphased...
Longer sessions today and we got some resolutions passed. The highlight was tonight when there was a a powerful forum on reconciliation and our work in the world featuring Senator John Danforth and a panel of responders.
pax et bonum - paul colbert
[8:13pm] GETTING ATTENTION AT GENERAL CONVENTION - Lest you think this is simple, Larry Keirk (Trinity, Reno) takes us behind the scenes:
The large plasma display shows
the log-in numbers of the deputies as they queue up to speak. It is intended
to indicate who they are, and whether they are speaking for or against a topic
or trying to call the question. The president has to look at time of arrival
and try to balance debate, where possible. The light bulb over each speaker's
station is activated by a pressure switch on the platform, so a light goes
on when anyone steps up, which helps get the president's attention.
Pictures from Larry Kirk
[7:30pm] Bishop Katharine's Reflections from Columbus #5
Well, the Ministry Committee finally finished an amended draft of Title III revisions (the Ministry canons), and sent it off to the Canons Committee. We have just a couple of shorter resolutions remaining – perhaps we will finish our work tomorrow!
I was wrong yesterday when I reported that we had passed the resolution on interim eucharistic sharing with the United Methodist Church – we put it off until today, when we did pass it.
The House of Bishops also passed resolutions on fundamental principles on justice in immigration work. We voted to add a number of observances to the calendar of saints: Harriet Bedell, Anna Julia Heyward Cooper, James Theodore Holly, Oscar Romero, Tikhon, Vida Dutton Scudder, Frances Joseph-Gaudet, and for a revised rite for Celebration of a New Ministry; as well as additions to the burial rites.
We called for a review of the General Ordination Examinations, as well as to remove the vote from retired bishops (though this was a first hearing of a constitutional change, and can’t take effect until it’s passed again at the next General Convention).
There were two very powerful encounters for me today: seeing a documentary which is still in production, Traces of the Trade by Katrina Browne, which is about a New England family’s history in the slave trade, and our subsequent table conversation in the House of Bishops. This film may eventually be shown on PBS, and I can only most highly recommend it.
[Here are some photos from the film - PREVIEW ! ]
The other great event was the evening “Presiding Bishop’s Forum on Reconciliation” which featured addresses by the Rev. Senator John Danforth (retired, from Missouri), Dr. Jenny Te Paa (New Zealand theologian and seminary dean), and three other Episcopal Church luminaries. We heard repeated calls to engage the needs of the world around us – our neighbors – rather than focusing on what divides us within the church. Powerful stuff! -- Katharine
[10:56am] Elizabeth Tattersall
After 2.5 hours of ballot couting (!) by more than a dozen people, we have an election for Church Pension Fund... Delaney Armstead was Deacon in this morning's Eucharist. [picture here tomorrow] - Elizabeth
[6:32am] Dick Schori
Yesterday, 65 of the Bishop Spouses went on a mission trip to St. John's Episcopal Church in Columbus for activities including work projects for neighborhood residents, a Bible study, fair for the area children, and a dinner for residents.
Most to the people in that neighborhood are third generation Appalachians and aren't doing well...
[5:29am] Elizabeth Tattersall
There were over 1000 people in the room for the Windsor response hearings last night, and more listening outside in the hall. Most of what people had to say was pretty reasonable, and there seemed to be general support for the resolutions that came out of the Special Commission. There was a ticket system for reserved setaing: each diocese got 5 tickets.
The deputies had trouble understanding how to use the electronic voting machines (they are sort of like a TV remote) for voting for Church Pension Fund trustees, so today we go to a paper ballot. Credentials committee (which I am on) then gets to count the ballots by hand (lots of fun). -Elizabeth
[4:22am] Paul Colbert
A busy day for
me yesterday. I was a eucharistic minister in the morning, where the service
was primarily in Spanish. International diversity continues to show in various
ways, with a woman from Haiti at the table for Eucharist and a man from Liberia.
The Episcopal Peace Fellowship asked me to sponsor a resolution supporting conscientious objectors to paying taxes for war purposes. I met with various people to get appropriate wording for that resolution and got it submitted. Now I need to find the appropriate committee times and places to speak to that issue.
I attended part of the hearing last night regarding the Windsor Report and resolutions to provide responses. The meeting can be best summarized by the observation of Bob Ihloff, Bishop of Maryland who noted that he recognizes that there are varieties of interpretations of Scripture and expects a variety of interpretations of what Windsor does and does not say or request. From the varieties of statements, he was quite accurate....
pax et bonum - Paul Colbert+
WEDNESDAY June 14:
[6:25pm] Bishop Katharine's Reflections from Columbus #4
The House of Bishops today heard from [David Pringle] one of the members of the official youth presence, who spoke eloquently about Jesus’ ability to heal with mud, as he and his fellow PYE (Provincial Youth Event) participants dug a ditch in the summer of 2004. His focus was on Christian Formation, and the effects of PYE after 10 years of being an acolyte “sitting in hot pews in stuffy clothes, with stuffy ‘old people’ and wondering with his high school friends about his faith: Was he an atheist too?” It was an amazing address, and speaks volumes about the talents of the younger members of our church. In the afternoon, we heard from a youth representative to the Anglican Consultative Council, a young woman from Scotland, who gave an equally stirring speech about the church’s work of justice and peace, especially in the Millennium Development Goals.
The Ministry Committee has come close to finishing its work on the variety of other resolutions beyond the Title III revisions, and hopes to finish its work on the Ministry canons (Title III) tomorrow.
I left the morning committee session briefly to join a breakfast for FOCUS (Families of Clergy United in Support). This group sponsored a pilot project on clergy family wellness in seven dioceses, including Nevada. Deb Beebe offered leadership in writing the report from Nevada, and she was joined by Dick Schori in presenting information to the gathering. [See Dick's report and pictures below]
The House of Bishops deferred a decision on the vote for retired bishops – we are apparently not yet ready to decide whether bishops should relinquish their votes or not when they retire. We did make several fairly significant decisions, however, including adopting the Revised Common Lectionary as the official lectionary of the church, to be phased in over the next four years. We also voted for interim eucharistic sharing with the United Methodist Church (this is the way we began to work toward our full communion agreement with the ELCA a number of years ago). And we agreed that the Millennium Development Goals should be a central focus of the church’s mission and ministry. The House of Deputies must still concur with all these decisions before they become final.
Perhaps the highlight in a very full day was our worship this morning. The bishop of Puerto Rico presided, mostly in Spanish, and the Rev. Miguelina Espinal preached an incredibly dynamic and centered sermon about humility and God’s wisdom. She was astounding, and even though many people had to read her sermon in an English text, her message was readily understood and embraced. After the sermon each day, we have a short time for discussion about the lessons around the table. It is a rich and deep time of encounter with people from all across the church.
This evening a hearing was held by the Special Legislative Committee #26, which is considering all the resolutions related to the Episcopal Church’s response to the Windsor Report. The hearing dealt specifically with the resolutions of the Special Commission on four issues: expression of regret, consecration of bishops, blessing of same-sex unions, and pastoral care of dissenting minorities. Upwards of a thousand people were in attendance.
[5:28am] Dick Schori
Attended a FOCUS breakfast with this morning: Families of Clergy Wellness United in Support.
This was a panel discussion on the Resource Guide for and about clergy wellness in seven dioceses representing six provences. Richard Schori (Epiphany), and Deb Beebe(St. Patrick's), discussed the Pilot project in Nevada with the group
[5:28am] Elixabeth Tattersall
The U2 eucharist was packed, people sitting on the floor, etc. Bp Michael Curry preached a livley sermon, as is his style. the theme of the U2 eucharist is for the MGD's, and the One campaign to eliminate extreme poverty. the prayers of the people used are really good.
Margaret got a copy of them. There was lots of music and singing along--much more music than in a usual service. There were at least 10 bishops there. - Elizabeth
[Some of our deputation at Dinner last night (Heather, who is attending the Young Adult Festival, Margaret, Kay and Jocelyn]
TUESDAY June 13:
[6:13pm] Bishop Katharine's Reflections from Columbus #3
The first real day of legislative business opened with committee work at 7:30 am, followed by Eucharist and table discussions of the readings at 9. Our first legislative session began at 10:45, and the House of Bishops passed a number of early resolutions without any debate at all (an act not likely to be repeated at this Convention!).
The most important of the resolutions in my mind is one that charges the Church Pension Group to explore the possibilities of a church-wide healthcare plan. While the impetus for this is initially to provide for church employees, I believe that, if successful, it may hold seeds for a national health care initiative for all Americans. The House of Deputies must still concur before this resolution is adopted, but there is little doubt they will.
The Ministry Committee’s work continues this evening with hearings on Title III (the Ministry canons), in conjunction with the Committee on Canons (they give advice whenever there are canonical implications). We’ll hope to send this package to the full Convention by Thursday or Friday.
The House of Bishops has a large number of overseas visitors – from England (the Archbishop of York, who read a letter from the Archbishop of Canterbury), Australia, Canada, Tonga, Uganda, Tanzania, Melanesia, and other places. Each is granted seat and voice, but not a vote, in our deliberations. The House swells at such meetings with a significant number of retired bishops – more than 50 are registered – and more than 200 of us will be present when all are accounted for. The Secretary of the House called the roll this morning, and I found it a moving reminder of the faithful leaders who have been serving this church for many, many years. The senior bishop present is Fred Putnam, who was rector of my husband’s parish when Dick was a teenager.
This gathering called General Convention is in many ways a family reunion. An example: one of the visitors to our committee this morning said to a member of the committee as she left, “it’s nice to see you again after 18 years. We’ll have to find a time to catch up.”
I was able to attend a Native Ministries reception for a few minutes before the evening Ministry Committee working session. It was a delight to see old friends, and to hear something of plans for pending work. This group will have a big push for the anniversary of the Jamestown Covenant in 2007.
Paul Colbert [5:17pm]
I attended the committee hearings
on Title 3 ministry canons this evening and testified to add provision and
recognition that not all priests are employed within the church. This would
give recognition to bi-vocational ministries and make it more obvious as an
option for people to consider. Some others went to the U2charist.
Dean Werner reminded folks that we are not a National Church. Canons and procedures need to be modified to reflect the actions for this convention. The national flags from countries are represented here. The flag from Haiti is an older version and is being replaced. pax et bonum, Paul Colbert+
Dick Schori [12:22pm]
I attended my first News Briefing in the Media Room this morning. There were two members of the House of Deputies and two Bishops on stage to answer questions that were moderated by Bob Williams, Director of Communications for the Episcopal Church.
The tone of the questions from the briefing was friendly. There was a question about how the fact that there are currently no female Primates (top bishop in a country) and how this might effect the election this coming Sunday of the Presiding Bishop of ECUSA. The responses were slightly ambiguous but in general favorable to the possibility of electing a female PB.
ECUSA stands for the Episcopal Church of the United States of America. It was pointed out that ECUSA includes diocese from a total of 16 countries so a suggested renaming of ECUSA is TEC, The Episcopal Church!
Katharine and I attended a lunch meeting today for the PB candidates and their spouses. The agenda was to discuss in detail the time table and details of the election process on Sunday and the schedule for the rest of that day. Very interesting.
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MONDAY June 12:
[6:18pm] Paul Colbert
Today has been a day of
catch up for me, like a family reunion. Though it is my first General
Convention, I have lived in so many places I am catching up on old friends
from around the country. My priest from Wilmington DE in the 60s is now
a retired bishop in Rhode Island. I have encountered many folks who were
in seminary at CDSP while I was at Incarnation Priory of the Order of the
Holy Cross. The biggest surprises came as we gathered for opening session
in the Eucharist space. At the next table was someone from my EFM
group from Raleigh NC in the early 1980s, whom I was not expecting at all. He
is now in Western North Carolina. A few tables away was a woman from the
same group who is now in Florida. Another woman from the same group is
expected in the next couple of days!
Work is being tackled quickly - one reason to be on a committee is to stay on top of all the details for the group. One reason for not being on a committee is to be able to attend committee hearings and address a number of topics of interest. In the midst of revising the canons on ministry, I am trying to incorporate language that recognizes the increasing number of clerics who are not rectors or priests-in-charge. It is a subtle thing, but making tent-making ministries more obvious to the whole church may help introduce the possibilities in other parts of the church.
Having been a long-time member of the Episcopal Peace Fellowship and a former member of the governing body, I caught up with many friends from that group. They have organized with other groups in Columbus for a witness and commemoration of those who have died in Iraq. The "Eyes Wide Open" campaign involved placement of boots on the lawn at the State Capitol remembering the 2492 soldiers who have died in country. Additional shoes were placed to commemorate Iraqi dead. A very moving tribute that included reading of scripture from Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist and Sikh traditions.
pax et bonum
[5:18pm] Bishop Katharine's Reflections from Columbus #2
My committee work is with Ministry, which is reviewing proposed changes to Title III (the Canons on ministry). The current proposal would remove the minimum time periods from postulancy, candidacy, and the transitional diaconate – and shift to a minimum of 18 months from an aspirant’s acceptance of nomination to ordination (either as vocational deacon or priest). We’ll see whether it passes or not. Another proposal would restore the role of Standing Committee in consenting to Candidacy (as they did before 2003).
I testified today at lunchtime at a hearing of the Program, Budget, and Finance Committee. This hearing was about the church’s priorities for the coming triennium, and several of us spoke of the need to make the Millennium Development Goals a centerpiece of our work as a church.
In the afternoon, all the deputies and bishops met together to hear from our two presiding officers, the Presiding Bishop, Frank Griswold, and the President of the House of Deputies, George Werner. We were urged to “Grow in Grace,” which is the theme of this Convention. George Werner told a number of stories about the health (strong mission efforts) he has seen in his travels around the church. Then the bishops and deputies went their separate ways for orientations for each House.
Lots of walking and sitting, not much eating, plenty of greeting old friends and meeting new ones! Greetings from Paul Lambert, born in Reno, with a brother in Fallon, now serving in a diocese in the southeast.
This evening will include a stop at the Overseas Bishops’ Dinner (I can’t stay for dinner, but will go to the reception), and a Ministry Committee hearing. We’ll quit around 9, then rest up to do it again tomorrow!
I have heard repeatedly, from various people, “the atmosphere seems so calm.” Perhaps we have done the grieving we needed to do as a church, and are ready to return to our primary focus on mission.
[5:18pm] Dick Schori
Monday morning, June 12, 10:30- 12:00, the Bishop Spouses met in the Spouses
Room in an informal gathering to greet the spouses of the Presiding Bishop
nominees. Five of the seven spouses were present:
From left to right, Ginger Sauls, Barbara Gulick, Richard Schori, Lynn Alexander, and Rebecca Parsley.
The Bishops Spouses were also entertained by the surprise appearance of Bishop Philander Chase (1775 -1852 ) and his wife Sophia, founders of several churches and colleges in this country.
Bishop Chase founded Kenyon College in the early 1800’s, the undergraduate college of Richard Schori. Mary Swing, wife of Bishop William Swing was also in attendance. Bill and Dick were fraternity brothers at Kenyon.
[11:06am] All of the Nevada deputation arrived safely, and we met briefly Sun night to check in with one another. Legislative sessions being on Tues. There are some committee meetings today. --Elizabeth Tattersall
SUNDAY June 11:
Bishop Katharine's Reflections from Columbus #1
[Sunday evening, June 11] As the plane began to descend into the clouds over central Ohio this afternoon, I knew we were somewhere unfamiliar. Not only the clouds, but the air was thick and heavy with moisture. There is still something about that encounter with humidity that shocks me! Kay Rohde and Dick and I traveled together from the office in Las Vegas, and we quickly found our hotel once we arrived in Columbus.
Once we could leave our suitcases in a room, we raced across the street to the Convention Center, knowing that registration would close at 5 pm and we were unlikely to have any time in the morning before our various committees began our work. We met many familiar faces in the long halls of the Convention Center, found our name badges and GIGANTIC notebooks (eventually to be filled with resolutions), and had time to connect with several old friends.
Our Nevada deputation gathered at 6 for a brief meeting – mostly to find out where each one was housed, to see if there were any issues to be resolved, and to say hello in a new environment. Several of us begin work early tomorrow, but Elizabeth Tattersall has been busy most of the day registering deputies, bishops, and visitors, as she is the Vice-Chair of the Credentials Committee.
DeLaney and JoAnn Armstead were here in time to attend services at Trinity Church this morning, and exclaimed about the beauty of the church.
The heads of deputations from Province VIII met this evening to hear from several people seeking election to the Executive Council. We also heard about several resolutions submitted by members of the Province – one on Reconciliation work, and one on Repentance of Institutional Prejudice and Injustice (submitted by the Cathedral parish in Los Angeles), as well as other business that may come before the Convention.
[Sunday evening, June 11] We all arrived safely here in Columbus. We had a deputation meeting this evening at our hotel and these photos are from the meeting. Bp Katharine, Larry Kirk and I went to a brief meeting of the province where we met provincial candidates for Executive Council and heard about some of the resolutions coming forth.
pax et bonum - paul colbert
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