Thursday, June 28, 2012
General Convention introduction
General Convention gets started on the fifth of July, but things actually start rolling on the third with the opening of the exhibit hall and the officers of the legislative committees having orientation. I am very excited to be a deputy to Genral Convention. As the Rector of an average size congregation (we run 65 to 75 a Sunday), I feel I bring the perspective of most of the congregations in the church. Also, as the director of Resurrection House, an internship for young adults discerning their baptismal ministry which is one of the internships of the Episcopal Service Corps, I bring the perspective of one of the most exciting ministries occurring in the church right now to the House of Deputies. Finally, since I am a young priest, at least within the culture of the church I'm young, I bring the perspective of the generations that most need to step up and lead if the church will continue into the future. More important than my perspective, I take this responsibility seriously, very seriously. The decisions made during General Convention, especially this convention, will effect generations of the faithfull. I pledge to make my votes prayerfully and for the greatest good of the whole church not just my parochial interests. I pledge to focus my energy and effort to the task at hand, bringing to bear my intelligence, passion, creativity, and faith to every question before the house. There will be a lot of hot button issues addressed by this convention: the blessing of same sex unions, health insurance, and electing a new president of the house of deputies, to name a few. Most important, in my opinion, will be the conversation around overhauling the structure of the Episcopal Church. Everything could be on the table from Church Staff offices to the building at 815 second avenue, and from the composition and length of General Convention to the existence of dioceses. I believe it is the right conversation to have. We need to reform the structure in order to respond and evangelize in a rapidly changing world. My hope, however, is that we actually get to have some fruitful conversation. My fear is that we won't. As I have kept my ear to the ground regarding this topic, I have repeatedly run into a mind set of "everything needs to be on the table for reform except my pet project, which needs more funding." I have even caught myself responding this way. It is a normal human reaction to a change in a system. Therefore, my prayer and my prayer request is that I head the words of Jesus and "fear not" and trust in God to guide me in making healthy decisions for the greater good of Christ's Kingdom. My prayer and prayer request is for all the deputies, bishops, and leaders of the church to do the same. More to come...thanks for your time, and keep praying!