by Helen King Spence, alternate lay deputy


Day #3 has completed our morning session. We began with Eucharist and a sermon by Bishop Eugene Sutton of the Diocese of Maryland, our host diocese. He spoke eloquently about reparations as our institutional church deals with our complicity in the sin of slavery, and so much else aimed at people of color. We then moved into passing resolutions, or concurring with second readings of constitutional and canonical issues. This is necessary, if boring, work … sausage making if you will. Coming up? A presentation to the joint houses – although the bishops will not be allowed to sit with the deputies – to preserve the spacing necessary to keep us safe. We are beginning to see an uptick in cases in the House of Deputies, so continue to keep us all in prayer, please.


And Day #3 is in the books. This was a day when technology was really not our friend – but we soldier on in spite of it.
As we returned from lunch , we began with a joint session with the House of Bishops to discuss the upcoming Budget for the next two years. There were some questions and clarifications, but it was an informative presentation. The Bishops were in the back of the room, with the Alternates in front of them, and the House of Deputies in front of it all. We are the “upper” house, you know. Once that was over, we determined to finish the elections we had not been able to accomplish due to technical difficulties. And we had more technical difficulties – LOTS more of them. But we did manage to elect the first female clergy person – and first Native American – as Vice-President of the House of Deputies. Congratulations to Rachel Taber-Hamilton of the Diocese of Olympia. We approved the consent calendar … and then the fun began. We had about a 30 minute roast and loving tribute to our outgoing President, Gay Clark Jennings. She has done good work for our church, and will be missed in this role. Her successor has big shoes to fill – and she knows it. Julia Ayala Harris will do well in this job.
The deputation ate together with our Bishop and had some interesting and vital conversation. The difficulty with meeting in a place that has good, but not many, restaurants within short walking distance from the convention center when 1000 people walk out the door, means that a party of 10, even with a reservation, has a lengthy wait for dinner. We were late back to the final session of the day. 🙂 However! In our evening session we passed the budget for the next two years – after discussion and clarification. We amended an article of our Constitution; authorized Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2018 for trial use; added some additional commemorations to LF&F; and thanked our Parliamentarian, our Vice-Parliamentarian and our EXCEPTIONALY patient voting secretary who has been the face in front of the technical failures that are not her fault in the least. She has been amazingly patient and gracious.
This is my last full day on the floor – and I want to thank the Lay deputies for sharing their time and space with me, so that I could be an active part of this shortened convention. It has been a complete privilege to serve the Episcopal Church in Delaware in this way.
Now, good night, my friends. Tomorrow is the final day!
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