I always feel conflicted at Convention. I enjoy spending time with our parish delegates. But I also want to spend time with people I don't see every week.
If you want to know what’s on the agenda for our convention, you can go here. Beth Felice, our marvelous Director of Communications, has made all the printed materials available there: agenda, nominations, resolutions, reports, everything! Kudos to her!
Sunday I joined our other delegates in offering a “convention preview” to our parish. I said there that one of the things that most delights me is that we’re not going to be talking about sex or the Anglican Communion. There are no hot-button items on the agenda. It’s all about getting on with the business of the Church, and I am glad for that. Of course, some folks may present last-minute resolutions, but I don't hear any sense they will derail us. In this corner of the world, we have moved our focus to where I think it belongs.
Several of you know this, but I’ll put it here: After following national and Communion-wide issues since 2003, I finally decided to “put my hat in the ring” as one of the nominees to serve as a Deputy to the 2012 General Convention. We have seven fine lay people running for the four Deputy slots (and 4 “alternate” slots). Among them, all four of our GC09 Deputies are running for re-election. Given the power of GC incumbency, I don’t expect to be elected. But after spouting off for so long, it seemed only fair that I stand for election this time. As I have said to some folks, I don’t have any ego invested in this election. I am trusting in the Spirit (or dumb luck) in this election. If elected, I will be honored and serve faithfully. If not, I will – frankly! – be relieved. After all, who but the craziest masochist would want to spend 10 days of “vacation time” locked in a convention hall for so many 14-hour days? Policy wonk that I am, even I have better ideas about how one could spend one’s vacation days. We shall see.
We will also be considering the budget, as do all diocesan conventions. Ours is a heart-breaker. Revenue is too low … especially because a couple of our wealthiest congregations choose not to contribute their fair share to the work of the diocese. So the budget is lean, and we will not be able to fund many things we would like to fund.
This year, for the first time in a long time, we are not having a guest speaker and preacher from outside the diocese. Instead, the Rev. Dan Handschy (a priest in our diocese) will be our preacher. I look forward to hearing Dan preach. We’ve served together on the Companion Diocese Committee, and I deeply respect him. I’m eager to hear what he has to say to the Diocese.
After this weekend’s diocesan convention, I’ll let you know what happened. Please join me in prayer for our diocese.