General Convention: Reflections Thus Far
The Rev. Lance Robbins, Deputy
"The Presiding Bishop spoke to both houses this morning. She addressed some if the issues facing this convention. Change in Canons, the liturgy of the Marriage rites, re-structuring, and justice. She suggested that we let go of non-essentials. Be fearless not foolish. We must discern in community. We have a Head of our church and it is not any of us. Our world yearns for human dignity. House of Bishops left then to meet.
She was followed by Gay Clark Jennings who is the President of the House of Deputies. She reminded everyone that we have 398 new members of the HOD and it’s the 230 anniversary of this gathering. Very good address. She mentioned that we are standing on Holy Ground between the old and the new. All voices need to be heard and all people welcomed. What is the vision of our Beloved Community? Issues to be raised, racism, gun violence, school to prison pipeline, income inequality and justice for every single person. She suggested that we be the man that Jesus heals."
The Rev. Paul Frolick, Alternate
"Here’s where things get, to my mind, a little wild and wooly. All of these resolutions will be referred to one of the legislative committees of the General Convention, committees which are made up entirely of bishops and deputies who only meet during these two weeks. The committees will consider them, hold hearings, revise, and either report them out or vote them down. If reported out, they go to the floor of the House of Deputies and House of Bishops for further debate and possible approval. And, if they require financial support from the budget (which nearly all of them do, of course) they will also have to go to the committee on Program, Budget and Finance so they can be incorporated in the budget for the next three years. Keep in mind that very few of the deputies and bishops serve on all those Commissions, Committees, Agencies, and Boards, and in the House of Deputies, many of us weren’t at the last General Convention. In many ways, we come at all of this ‘fresh,’ which can be a good and a bad thing. In any case, a LOT of moving parts here."
The Rev. Michael Hartney, Legislative Aid
"Speaking of past Conventions … I have been to a lot of them. I truly love them – and began attending General Conventions when I was in college, and now I am approaching retirement. Seeing persons from across our wonderful church in one place is invigorating and exciting all at once. We have a wonderful church and sometimes we lose sight of that from our local perspective and lens. I wish every parishioner could experience a little bit of General Convention at least once.
It has been a long day … so that is enough for today."