by Helen King Spence, alternate lay deputy


Day 2 is underway, and I am watching from the gallery in the back of the room. Meeting some new folks, and seeing old friends, as well. Technology continues to haunt the voting process, but once that was largely straightened out, we were able to proceed through the bulk of the voting – including electing Julia Ayala Harris of Oklahoma as the President-elect of the House of Deputies. The afternoon will finish off the voting, and then we can proceed to discussion of the resolutions at hand. It should be another long day, friends, so please continue to keep us in your prayers.
I was in the gallery for the afternoon session, and on the floor for the evening session. There’s a LOT to get through.
This afternoon, we dealt with a number of items dealing with the state of the church – specifically our ability to adapt to changing circumstances and new ways to do the things we feel are important. Experiments in Adaptive Change; Online tools for Adaptive Leadership; Research capacity for The Episcopal Church; Congregational Vitality task force report to include the ENTIRE Episcopal Church, which is an international organization; Revising the finance page of the Parochial report (for some this sounds mundane, but for the folks who have to do this every year it’s MAJOR); a task force to learn more about the State of the Episcopal Church (including the foreign churches which are part of our Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society)…
We then moved to an impassioned discussion about how we represent ourselves as a body of Christ in the world when we choose locations for our Triennial General Conventions. There are some who say we should stay away from states where the laws for women, LGBTQI and individuals of color are approaching draconian – and others who live in those places who feel that our presence there would show those people what it is to BE Christian. Two different resolutions that brought out deep and hard conversations – but I never once felt that either side was saying “I’m right and You’re WRONG!”
After our dinner break we went back to work. We thanked our Secretary, our Chaplain and our Assistant Chaplain – we also rejoice that the Episcopal Church Women are celebrating their 150th anniversary this year.
We witnessed and affirmed the reuniting of the Episcopal Church in North Texas with the Diocese of Texas – after the ECNTx was decimated by folks who no longer want to be Episcopalian.
We voted to create a staff position for issues of women and LGBTQI individuals. We Revised a canon dealing with the Archives of the Episcopal Church which we hope will make yesterday’s work about finding the truth in the sins of our institutional past easier. We got stuck on the final resolution of the evening – and have deferred that until tomorrow morning, when we will again take up the debate. We are a people of opinion, and most are not shy about sharing them. 🙂
A good day – now for bed.
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