Monday, July 16, 2012

San Diego Makes its Mark at GC

The Diocese of San Diego made its mark on the 77th General Convention of the Episcopal Church. Carroll Levien, St. Dunstan's, San Diego, received the Distinguished Woman Award from Episcopal Church Women for outstanding work in our diocese.

Polly Getz, St. Bartholomew's, Poway, served as the parliamentarian for the sixth consecutive General Convention. She was elected to the nominating committee for the next presiding bishop.

Bishop Mathes participated in the work of the Program, Budget and Finance Committee. In his blog post, he calls it "an exercise in the stewardship of community...holy work." The 2012-15 budget is balanced and reflects a $30,000 surplus. The bishops approved a 19% diocesan asking for the Church, which will drop to 15% in 2015. Article from Episcopal News Service.

Bishop Mathes was elected president of Province VIII, which entails chairing provincial collaboration and resource-sharing. He will organize our province as a regional branch of the Episcopal Church.

Jacqueline Bray, St. Paul's Cathedral, San Diego, received wide recognition for the video she produced with Agape House, the campus ministry at San Diego State University. The video won first place in a video contest and was shown to the entire convention.

Father Andrew Green, St. Paul, Palm Springs, served on the Committee on Structure which produced Resolution C059 regarding re-imagining the Episcopal Church in time for the next General Convention in Salt Lake City in 2015. This resolution envisions a creative task force released to have conversations with the church and make concrete proposals. It passed both houses of the Episcopal legislature unanimously. Andrew was a part of the sub-committee which drafted the resolution.

Father Paul Carmona, St. Mark's, City Heights was a member of the Prayer Book, Liturgy and Church Music Committee and helped draft Resolution A049, which authorized the resources for same-sex blessings. They also created a Service at the Loss of a Beloved Animal. Father Carmona served on the steering committee for the Deputies of Color, and was a liaison to the Latino Caucus.

The Rev. Canon Allisyn Thomas, St. Paul's Cathedral, served as chair of our deputation, and as secretary of the Constitution Committee, and the Rev. Michael Russell served on the National and International Concerns Committee.

Thanks to all our deputies for their hard work and dedication to our Episcopal Church!

More resources:
  • Read a fine wrap-up article by Matthew Davies of Episcopal News Service (ENS) 
  • Search dozens of new stories about specific resolutions and events from ENS here.
  • Videos on Diocesan Facebook page 
  • The Lead at Episcopal CafĂ© 
  • Twitter ( hashtag #gc77)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Sing a New Church

Andrew Green
This is the hymn that we sang in the Structure Committee when we completed Resolution C095which calls for creation of a task force to re-imagine the workings of the Episcopal Church in the 21st century. We sang it again on the floor of the House of Deputies when it passed unanimously. We called C095 the "Big Kahuna," because it was our committee's big work. I was on the drafting sub-committee and I am very proud.

Sing a New Church

Set to the music of "Nettleton," the music for "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing," written by Dolores Dufner, OSB.

Summoned by the God who made us,
rich in our diversity,
Gathered in the name of Jesus,
richer still in unity.
Let us bring the gifts that differ
and, in splendid, varied ways,
sing a new church into being,
one in faith and love and praise.
Radiant risen from the water,
robed in holiness and light,
male and female in God's image,
male and female in God's delight. 
Trust the goodness of creation;
trust the Spirit strong within.
Dare to dream the vision promised,
sprung from seed of what has been. 
Bring the hopes of every nation;
bring the art of every race.
Weave a song of peace and justice;
let it sound through time and space. 
Draw together at one table,
all the human family;
shape a circle ever wider
and a people ever free.

Put Mission First: reflections on the final day

Butch Glosson
The first General Convention I attended was in 1985 in Anaheim. I was so impressed by the Eucharist because I came from a small church in Compton, Los Angeles, and I had a Baptist background and the music there just never felt right. But the General Convention Eucharist -- well, the music made a big impression.

 I think this General Convention is too short. We're not getting the resolutions to where they need to be in time to do much with them. The worship services have been fabulous because of the diversity. You never know what's going to happen when you walk into the worship service. All the Church's diversity is covered in the Eucharists.

 The bishops are accessible here. You meet old and new bishops, and old and new deputies.

 The Daughters of the King and the Episcopal Church Women are doing tremendous work here; they're the backbone of our church. Minority groups, too, have a voice here and are doing good work and bring something to the table.

 We have to pray about our processes dealing with structure and budget and thank both the dioceses that are giving the asking, and those who are giving the widow's mite. The funds go back to the provinces and dioceses in the expertise and resources that the Episcopal Church can supply.

 The key is to put our mission, our service to our communities first, and then not worry about the rest. 

Butch Glosson

5 "Marks" of Mission (with video!)

From left to right: Mark Lattime ( Alaska), Mark Sisk  (New York), Marc Andrus (California), Mark Beckwith (Newark), and Mark Hollingsworth (Ohio),   who presented themselves as the "Five Marks of Mission" including a wonderful funny piece of hymnody. 

-Bishop Mathes

Bishop's Update: the Last Day

Today is Day Eight or the last day of the 77th General Convention. I think it is fair to say that this has been a rich experience for our entire deputation and others from San Diego who came. The sense of community within our diocesan family was palpable. In some sense, I believe it is something that we modeled to the wider church over these almost two weeks.

Today will be incredibly busy as both Houses work to quickly and responsibly consider all the remaining resolutions. We will break at midday for the Eucharist at which the Presiding Bishop will preach and celebrate.

We will end our work at 6:30 p.m. and the General Convention will be finished. This evening will be our official deputation dinner. Then we will pack, print boarding passes, sleep fast, and fly home. I has been a privilege to serve our wonderful diocese in the House of Bishops at The General Convention. God bless you.

As we end this night, may this be our prayer:
It is night after a long day.
What has been done has been done;
What has not been done has not been done;
Let it be.

-Bishop Mathes

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Reflection: on hope

Yesterday was a day in the life of the church. A $111,000,000 budget was proposed for the next Triennium. What's exciting is that the budget is focused on the five marks of mission of the church. It also funds a task force to develop a plan to revise the structure of the church as the church moves forward into the world.

Also approved, for trial use, was a liturgy for the witnessing and blessing of a lifelong covenant in a same-sex relationship. The liturgy may only be used with the approval of the bishop. The liturgy can be used beginning in Advent of this year.

The church also affirmed its commitment to the Anglican Communion and determined that because there are currently several opinions of the Anglican Covenant, the Church will continue to study and follow covenant activities into the future.

What's exciting about all of this is that the Episcopal Church is serious about change, and about finding a new way into the future.

I am reminded of what the prophet Jeremiah said,"for I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future," ( Jer 29:11).

What is going on here gives me hope.

Verging on chocolate

Someone tweeted this photograph, with the comment ""trust the vergers not only to be handing out chocolate but DARK chocolate!"

Ariana talks about Youth (Video)

Ariana Gonzales Bonillas on the Official Youth Presence at General Convention

Sartorial Splendor

Gregory Straub, Secretary of the House of Deputies, is known for his sartorial splendor (like the checked jacket we showed you earlier).  To celebrate "Dress like Geoffrey Straub" the San Diego Delegation donned paper bow ties.

Happy Birthday Polly!

Jackie tells us, 

Yesterday was Polly's birthday so we threw her a surprise birthday party in the bishop's suite!

Bishop's Update: Approximately Right

The last couple of days have been a whirlwind of activity at the General Convention. Both Houses passed a resolution providing a service for same sex blessing. My committee, Program, Budget, and Finance presented the proposed budget to a joint session of the General Convention (both houses meeting at the same time and place). We passed resolutions that neither turned down the Anglican Covenant nor accepted it, but rather committed to our Communion relationships and the continued conversation. Before us today are important conversations about restructuring.

In earlier reflections, I have suggested that our work is the stewardship of community and being a community of prophets. The contours of these seminal actions over the last couple days are fleshing out these themes of action and identity. As someone once said to me, “You cannot be perfectly right. And so it is better to be approximately right rather than perfectly wrong.” I think the Episcopal Church at this General Convention is getting it approximately right, and I am immensely proud.

Finally, I want to also note that our deputy, Polly Getz, is on the ballot today for vice president of the House of Deputies. It is a courageous and graceful thing to put your name forward in this way. Polly has gently made herself vulnerable in this holy work of leadership discernment. Well done, Polly.

Colin Mathewson on GC (video)

Seminarian Colin Mathewson volunteered as a page at General Convention. Here's his view of the happenings particularly around Resolution A049, same sex blessings.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

In the Exhibit Hall

Here's San Diego Deputy Jacqueline Bray, taking a break in the Exhibit Hall!

"As good as it Getz..."

Deputy Jacqueline Bray nominates Polly Getz to be Vice President of the House of Deputies.

General Convention Thoughts and Other Musings

Today is day six of General Convention 2012 and there are just two more days to go. But, already a lot has happened that will effect the future church. No doubt the Episcopal Church is shrinking, as are all the mainline denominations. The good news is that we, in the Episcopal Church and in our diocese, are doing something about it.

This convention is focused on the mission of the church and restructuring the church. Some important things that have happened include agreement to sell the church headquarters in New York, called 815, which will generate considerable revenue when that does happen, and reduce costs. The center will be moved to a new location that will be studied in the months ahead.

The budget for the next triennium will also be focused on the five makes of mission of the church which will allow the church to more fuly meet the needs, hopes and concerns of the world.

Over 400 resolutions are being considered. Many have now been addressed by the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies. Some that readers may find of interest are those that incorporate the Revised Common Lectionary into the Book of Common Prayer Lectionary, developing a strategic plan, developing commissions to focus on the use of new technology, and communications affirming the human rights of all of us in the church and several resolutions that call for peace in the world, particularly the Middle East.

For me the most moving part of General Convention was the incredible daily liturgies and preaching. It's quite an experience to worship and to serve communion with 2000 of your brothers and sisters in Christ.

Some say that the  church is dying but I know it is being reborn. It is exhilarating. It is hopeful. It will be hard. It will be messy, but I know that the Spirit is with us as we begin our journey back to the apostolic church and doing what God calls us to do.

Faithfully; Rev. Bill Zettinger

Photos from GC day 6: about and around

Hannah Wilder sends these on to us:

Canon Peter Bergstrom and Mr. Bill Slocumb 
in the Episcopal Camps and Conference Center booth in the Exhibit Hall.

The Rev. Gay Jennings, just after being elected to serve as the president of the House of Deputies

What about resolution....?

If you want to check the status of your favorite resolutions, check this excellent site

Also you can review the legislative process in our previous post here.

Crazy Christians (Suzanne Foucault)

Words cannot do justice to the experience of worship at General Convention. Two days ago, we heard Bishop Michael Curry of North Carolina at the daily worship service, this one dedicated to Harriett Beecher Stowe. Curry took us from Harriet Beecher Stowe and the underground railroad and freeing slaves to Steve Jobs who told us to "Think Different" and changed our access to global communications. Curry's theme was about being able to envision change, and acting on it. He admonished us to be "Crazy Christians" who are crazy for peace, justice, and Jesus. He closed with a quote from Albert Schweitzer:

"the people who are crazy enough to think  they can change the world, are the ones who do."

I wish you all could have been there with me to hear Curry's spellbinding sermon.....and in my heart, you were.


Highlights so far (Dick Goodlake)

Many good experiences so far.

One of the highlights was the Sunday Eucharist. The music was spectacular. The Presiding Bishop gave a wonderful sermon. 3200 were in attendance!

Attended the Program, Budget, and Finance Committee meeting this A.M. The prospects for a good reception of the Budget by the House of Deputies over the next several days are good. The budget supports the Five Marks of Mission for the Episcopal Church which are:

~ To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
~ To teach, baptize and nurture new believers
~ To respond to human need by loving service
~ To seek to transform unjust structures of society
~ To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth

I am very impressed with all of the Deputies of House of Deputies. They are committed to strengthening the church, finding ways to grow its population and enhance it financially. Everyone gets along. The spirit of cooperation is superb. They could teach our Congress a few things.

Dick Goodlake

Monday, July 9, 2012

News from Polly

Last night, Province VIII elected to put my name forward as one of two nominees for the Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop. The whole convention will now elect one clergy and one lay from each Province. I am very excited to be a part of this process. My deepest thanks to everyone who supported me.

Tomorrow the House will elect a new President and, if a priest or deacon is elected, I will likely be standing for election to Vice President. I must be a "crazy Christian", as Bishop Curry would say.
Please continue to keep us in your players.

Polly Getz

Bishop's Update: The community of prophets and fearless love

Yesterday, our Presiding Bishop preached a tremendous sermon. Note I don’t say that it was wonderful or that I loved her message. That implies comfort and no necessary response. While reading a sermon is not the same as receiving it, I urge you to read this remarkable statement of mission: General Convention July 8 Sermon: Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori | Episcopal Church.

The Presiding Bishop calls us as a church to the prophetic work of being messengers of God. As we held up our hands, she suggested that they were "a sacrament of God’s mission". And she added that
"These hands can be instruments of warning, or to comfort and strengthen the wavering. Hands can be instruments of prophetic communication, a gift only some among us have learned." She closes with the phrase "a whole community of prophets."

As I reflected on her call to the church, I realized that we really did get it right in our diocese when we articulated God’s mission in our diocesan community of prophets—a missionary community that dares to follow Jesus Christ in his life of fearless love for the world.

Fearless love: that is our prophetic witness in the world. 

 A couple of days ago, my colleague Greg Rickel, Bishop of Olympia, noted that we were not taking up collections at our Convention Eucharists. He challenged us to change that. Unfortunately, the machinery of the General Convention is not as nimble as they would like to have you think. We were given all the reasons why a collection could not be taken. 

 Our deputation responded to Greg’s suggestion that we put our offering at the base of the baptismal font at the back of the worship area. Here is his excellent blog: and at the right you can see his photograph. 

 What you will not be able to see in the picture is what our deputation and others from our diocese did with their offering. We wrote the words "fearless love" on the bills. I am imagining these two prophetic words not touching the hands of all who use those bills in the commerce of their lives. Indeed, fearless love is the currency of the realm of Jesus, as the Presiding Bishop said “the world of God’s dream.”

Bishop Mathes

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Step Up Indianapolis

There was an event today in the stadium sponsored by Dio Indianapolis across from the Convention Center that raised money for mission with fun events and introduced The Episcopal Church to Indianapolis.
A one-third mile celebration of food, music, fun, and all-things-Indiana, highlighting the global partnerships of the Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis
They were going to try to set a new Guiness record for samba dancing.

Here's just a small sampling of the other events and activities.  Hmmm, one of these things is not like the others....
Caricature artist
 NASCAR photo ops
Verger Olympics with Episcopal Vergers Guild
Clowns and stand-up comedy
Magic and Mime

Bishop's update: Stewards of the Community

Unlike previous General Conventions, this 77th General Convention does not have an official “theme.” As I reflect on the issues with which we are grappling and what I am experiencing, I find myself thinking of the “stewardship of community.

For example, I am part of the process that is framing the budget.  This  is an exercise in stewardship of the community. It is coming together through careful listening, as we weigh hopes and dreams expressed, and through the shared wisdom of the body. It is holy work.

You may have heard that there is conversation in the House of Bishops regarding the actions of nine bishops of the church, who signed legal documents concerning property litigation in two dioceses.  These documents were an amicus brief in opposition to the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth in their litigation to safe guard the property, or an affidavit in opposition to the Episcopal Diocese of Quincy in their litigation to safe guard their property. As you might imagine, these conversations are not without passion and tension, yet they too are a part of the stewardship of the community. They are about being stewards of the community of the House of Bishops and the wider community of the Episcopal Church.

This same stewardship of community is also at the center of our conversations and decisions regarding statements on the structure of the church. We are wondering how we should change so that we can be the community that God is calling us to be, enabling us to participate fully in God’s mission in the world.

Let us pray that we can be good stewards of the community: the community of each of our congregations, our diocesan community, the Episcopal Church, the Church universal, and the whole human family.

Bishop Mathes

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Legislative update

Today was a really tiring day, but tomorrow promises to be even tougher because we have a great deal of time in legislative sessions. Today at 5 p.m. was the deadline for filing new resolutions so now we should know the full extent of the matters which could come before us. One issue that we will take up on Saturday morning is an omnibus resolution with lots of corrections and clarifications to several of our Rules of Order – without getting into any details, the Official Youth Presence will be wonderfully vocal, as they have been for the last few days. Please pray for us and for my feet.


Is Jackie our youth delegate?

What the room looks like

The House of Deputies is said to be the largest deliberative legislative body in the world.

Saturday: still toasty in Indy

Temps have been in the 100's the last couple of days; expected to reach 105 today and then a break tomorrow. The heat is dry (good), and without any breeze (not good). Indiana residents are taking great care, and using water sparsely. There are enclosed walkways between the major hotels downtown so that you do not have to venture outdoors, to get from one meeting to another.


Friday, July 6, 2012

Friday: the office is for sale

The last couple of days of committee hearings have produced a number of resolutions moving to the floors of the House of Deputies (clergy and lay members) or the House of Bishops. Eventually, all legislation must pass through both houses in order to be enacted.

Today, some significant legislation made it through the House of Deputies, and is now on its way to the House of Bishops. The first was a resolution which intends the sale of the building which houses The Episcopal Church offices in New York City. For many years, many have felt that the location is expensive to operate and maintain, and not easily accessible to the church members across the country. While the initial proposed resolution mandated sale by July 2015, discussion in open session of the House of Deputies resulted in it being amended without a date certain so that the sale could take advantage of a constantly changing real estate market.

The resolution moves next to the House of Bishops for concurrence.

Wow! Though there are a lot of unanswered questions right now, this is pretty exciting!!

Thanks for sending me here.


Baptism before Communion?

Today was a glorious day, Bill Zettinger and I attended a hearing this morning concerning whether the requirement to be baptized before receiving communion should be terminated, and replaced in favor of an open invitation for all to participate. 60% of those who spoke appeared to be in favor of retaining the requirement to first be baptized.

At 9:30 Bill Zettinger and I attended the Eucharist and served as Lay Eucharistic Ministers during communion. Bill had the privilege of giving communion to the Presiding Bishop. Communicants totaled over 2,000. Very moving.

This evening Bill and I will be attending meetings in the House of Deputies and the House of Bishops.

Dick Goodlake

The Cool Kids Wear Shades

Is that the San Diego Deputation in those sunglasses?

Day Two

Officially on the calendar this is “Day Two.” However, we began with our Provincial Synod on “ Day Minus One” and had the first Program, Budget and Finance Hearing on “Day Zero.” Maybe that is why it was hard to climb out of bed to make it to our 7:30 a.m. committee meeting.

I am pleased with the work of Program, Budget, and Finance. We are really working well as a committee. The task is daunting with fewer resources. With that said, I believe that it is very possible that will create a budget that funds new and exciting missional objectives. Stay tuned.

By the way, way it is currently 100 degrees in Indianapolis, 91 degrees in Palm Desert, and 95 degrees in Yuma—and that is not taking into account humidity.

Bishop Mathes

New: Follow the GC on twitter!

Over on the sidebar, we have added a twitter feed.  This shows you what people are tweeting about General Convention (#GC77).

If you're a twitter fan, you can follow the Diocese of San Diego (@diosandiego) or The Rev Mike Russell (@FrMike). If else in the deputation is on Twitter let me know!

Day One of GC in 60" (video)

Here's the first day of GC, described in 60 seconds. This video comes from Center Aisle, of the Diocese of Virginia


The Gang's All Here!

From Dick Goodlake:

Bill Zettinger arrived last night after a 1-day flight delay. The Deputation is now at full force and we're ready for action despite a record setting heat wave that has seen blistering temperatures over 100 for several days.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Mike Russell in action

Mike Russell in action, speaking about C057.

Organizing for mission

The Most Reverend Katherine Jefferts Schori, our Presiding Bishop, gave opening remarks to the Convention that were exceptional. I think she was spot on when she said.

"Discovering the most effective ways to organize and network ourselves for mission, for governance, and for supporting that mission is going to require us to look outside ourselves. We have to be willing to search out the gifts and assets already present. Something like a blue ribbon commission would be helpful – a leadership group that includes independent voices, that is non-partisan, that will offer the input of outsiders and people on the margins of the church, not just those already deeply invested in the church and in the way the church is now. That may not be easy for this body to engage, but God is already at work beyond this Episcopal Church and we have something to learn from that reality."

In other words we need to begin to think about the church and mission in new innovative ways.

Rev. Bill Zettinger

Rarin' to go!

From Dick Goodlake:

Arrived on July 4th at 8:00 P.M. (just in time for the fireworks).  Great flight on American through Chicago.  Interfaced with the rest of the Deputies last night.  Raring to get going!


MacDougal has accompanied Andrew Green to every single General Convention he has attended. Deputy Dog is experiencing his second convention with Allisyn Thomas. In 2009 in the lovely city of Anaheim, MacDougal and Deputy Dog met, and it was love at first sight. They have been pursuing a long distance relationship since 2009 and are so excited to be reunited today.

--Jacqueline Bray

The Resolutions: what they are and how they get passed

Here is a list of the different resolutions being considered at General Convention. Here is a helpful blog with commentary on them.

Interested in how they get passed?  Here's a helpful graphic to explain it.  Click for a closer view.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Bishop Mathes on the Marks of Mission Budget

Things got rolling today. My committee, Program Budget and Finance, was organized this morning and made a critical decision to not use the budget submitted to us by the Executive Council as the foundation of our work. Rather we are going to use a budget that was subsequently developed, which we are calling the Five Marks of Mission Budget. The Episcopal News Service story is linked here: Alternative ‘template’ will guide budget work at General Convention . I am pleased with this decision. While the final budget will surely look different, our starting place has items previously and unintentionally omitted, is balanced, and corrects some incorrect assumptions about income and debt service.

Gregory Straub, secretary of the General 
Convention, sporting his Indianapolis jacket.
In anticipation of the first day of official business tomorrow, bishops and deputies gathered to hear words of welcome from the Presiding Bishop and the President of the House of Deputies, after which both Houses met separately for orientation.  Our San Diego deputation has front row seating.  My table in the House of Bishops is in the back…hmmm.  I am off to an evening working session of Program Budget and Finance.  Stay tuned.

--Bishop Mathes

Polly Getz for VP!

Our own Pauline Getz is running for Vice President of the House of Deputies. Jaqueline Bray and Suzanne Foucault are sending us pictures from the floor.

Our Polly Getz, Convention Parliamentarian and Sally Johnson,
Convention Chancellor, sitting together on the dais are not only good friends
but are running head to head for Vice President of the House of Deputies!

Let's Get(z) things done! Vote Pauline Getz for Vice President of the House of Deputies. 

Meanwhile, within the Deputation....

Andrew Green groveling before Deputation Chair Allisyn Thomas 
who has sole.control of a special voting machine. 

Photo from the Floor

Presiding Bishop and President of the House of Deputies Presentation to Convention

--Jacqueline Bray

The Games Begin!

Gregory Straub, Secretary of House of Deputies,
calling Convention to order Weds.
Note the jacket honoring the Indianapolis 500.
Spent morning registering, collecting giant 4-inch binder of agenda materials, and touring exhibit hall.  The hall is filled with great exhibits and vendors:  lots of resource agencies for everything from stewardship to youth programming, lots of Episcopal church related agencies like the Church Foundation and Episcopal Services Corps (more about that later), and also "stuff" for sale such as religious art, jewelry, vestments, books, etc., etc.  

Spent afternoon at my desk in my hotel room.  The evening began with an important meeting of our Synod.  The Synod is the cluster of dioceses throughout the western states, and Guam.  The primary purpose is to collaborate on ministry.  New officer were elected for the next 3 years:  our own Bishop Mathes was elected President! 

 About 9:30, the entire deputation met in the Bishop's hotel room which serves as the team's hospitality suite.  Our tradition to to check in with everyone, share some end of day junk food and a glass of wine, and compare notes on the happenings of various committees and meetings, and prep for the next day - who will cover what, etc?   Tomorrow will be the first big all-convention meeting.  

Let the games begin!  Thanks everybody, for sending me!

--Suzanne Foucault

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Getting acclimated

I’m so glad I came early – getting acclimated and getting the lay of the land is so helpful.  Doing lots of preparatory work, last minute drafting, reviewing procedures and pending resolutions.  I attended the opening eucharist of the Union of Black Episcopalians – really wonderful service!  Lots of music – my favorite part!  Bishop Gayle Harris preached and she was awesome, and Bishop Waynick of Indiana celebrated. It’s the beginning of the biggest and best coffee hour of the Church and I love every exhausting minute of it.  We will have mountains of work to do but when you really love the work it feels a little less like work.  Pray us through this!

  Pauline Getz

Bishop Mathes gets started

After an uneventful flight from San Diego to Indianapolis (with a very brief stop in Houston), I found my way to our home away from home for the next two weeks. The bus ride from the airport to the hotel was a convention warm up. There were folks from all over the Episcopal Church including Andrew Green, Mike Russell, and Allisyn Thomas from our deputation. Can Indianapolis survive this many Episcopalians in such a short time? I hope so.

 On Tuesday evening, the Synod for Province VIII will be held. Province VIII is the region of Episcopal Dioceses west of Idaho, Utah, and Arizona, including Hawaii, Alaska, and Taiwan. Collaboratively, we work together to provide support for various ministries including youth, campus ministry, and discernment for ordination. At tonight’s meeting, we will elect officers, trustees for Church Divinity School of the Pacific, the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church, representatives to the Nominating Committee for the next Presiding Bishop, approve a budget and consider resolutions for this General Convention. While typically the Provincial Synod meets within the bounds of the province, we have chosen to meet just before General Convention as a way to save funds.

 During this General Convention, I serve on one of the few Joint Standing Committees of both the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies: Program, Budget and Finance. It is our job to take the draft budget from the Executive Council, all the requests for funding that come from resolutions passed and present to a Joint Session of both houses a budget. Our first hearing is tomorrow at noon and we present the budget on Tuesday of next week—seven days to do an incredible amount of work. To make matters a bit more interesting, because of some problems with the budget draft that we received, the Presiding Bishop has presented to us an alternate budget. It should be very interesting.

Bishop James Mathes

Video introduction to General Convention

From Dio. TX:

The 77th General Convention of the Episcopal Church from The Episcopal Diocese of Texas on Vimeo.

Monday, July 2, 2012

The San Diego Deputation

And away we go!

All packed up, checked in all I have to do is try to get some sleep tonight.  Jacque and I are traveling together from San Diego, through Atlanta, to Indianapolis - a long day, but so exciting!  We'll arrive there about 11:30 p.m., so I've warned my roomie, Chancellor Polly Getz, that I might disturb her sleep!

--   Suzanne Foucault