Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Steaming to General Convention: More than merely local

The 76th General Convention of the Episcopal Church, the once every three years gathering, gets underway this morning in Anaheim with the first committee hearings scheduled to begin at 7 am Pacific Daylight Time. 

There is not much yet to report; mostly what I've been hearing is about the travels to Anaheim. Some drove, many flew and a few, like my friend Bishop Greg Rickel of Seattle, took the train. Bishop Greg put this on his blog late last night, and it bears worth repeating because he bears witness to why General Convention is more than about mere legislating:
I learned for the first time that, other than the government of India, our General Convention is the largest parliamentary body in the world. That, in and of itself, is not necessarily something to be proud of, but it does seem to point to the desire for vast representation, and a willingness, or at least a wish, to hear others, to be the wider Church, in one place, even if only every three years. Lambeth, the gathering of bishops from around the Anglican Communion held last summer, is another such event and chance at that, held every ten years, and I must say that experience did shape me, that brief moment in time; being the wider Church in one place. In such situations one cannot hold so readily to the provincial notions that are so easily held when we are merely local.
I will post here from time-to-time about General Convention as developments dictate, and from time-to-time we may veer off the convention path and blog on other things -- maybe a poem or two. 

Lori and I will be at Shrine Mont this weekend with about 150 of you, and we are so looking forward to being there and spending time getting to know our wonderful parish and its people more deeply.

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