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