Thursday, July 19, 2012

Bloggers Unite … and Meeting Virtual Friends IRL

One of the blessings of General Convention was that I got to meet some of the people whom I had only known “virtually” through the blogosphere,  through exchanges on the HoBD listerv. or through e-mail exchanges.
This one shouldn’t surprise anyone: On the first day I walked into the gigantic hall in which the House of Deputies met, a big, firm, and friendly hand reached out and grabbed me.  It was MalcolmFrench. Not surprisingly, he was urging me to take a hard line against the Anglican Covenant.  A couple nights later, our paths crossed again, and we spent a delightful (but sweaty!) hour or more talking outside the Marriott.    I would gladly spend many more hours with Malcolm.  He is even more engaging and delightful than I expected.
Among other things, I learned this from Malcolm: The Japanese have a word for “thank you” that translates to “Thank you for doing something that I didn’t really need and that didn’t help much.”  We concurred that that word for “Thank You” should characterize the Episcopal Church’s “thank you” for the bleeping Anglican Covenant.  
On the night of July 6, I returned to my hotel, heading toward the restaurant, hoping for dinner.  But then I spotted Mark Harris and thoughts of dinner flew out of my head.  I managed to shock the hell out of Mark, I think.  Spotting him, I went to his table, dropped to one knee, and offered some silly greeting.  We had a nice conversation, as he was just coming from a legislative committee about the Anglican Covenant.  I was delighted to meet Mark and talk with him. (Thanks, Mark, for letting me horn in!)  He’s as smart, gracious, and engaging as I expected from his blog.
I encountered Scott Allen (of the Diocese of Bethlehem) early in Convention and was blessed to spend much time with him.  Scott was one of the first people who welcomed me when I was a kibitzer on the HoBD listserv, and we’ve kept up an e-mail and Facebook connection for over 6 years.  Much time as we spent together, I wanted more. Scott is even more warm and generous and friendly than he seemed in our virtual communications.
To no surprise, I also had opportunity to spend a fair bit of time with Lauren Stanley.  Though we correspond a bit via e-mail and Facebook, I hadn’t spent time with Lauren for several years.  I was again impressed by her intensity and Gospel fervor.
To my surprise, I also encountered some people who have read this blog, but whose names I had not known before.  I thank you deeply, friends who offered such kind comments about my blog.  I won’t name your names, but I remember them.  Thank you for your encouragement.
I still have much more to write about General Convention . . . but I am still processing. 



Blogger Lay Anglicana said...

Thank-you, Lisa, for this. We exchanged ideas before GC and it is good to hear the human part of how it went. I will be interested to hear what you think about GC's treatment of the Covenant. From my point of view, although I would obviously have preferred an outright rejection, the line taken was in fact so lukewarm that most would take it as a polite 'no'! But of course I didn't have the advantage of attending, much as I would like to have done so, so it will be fascinating to see whether you agree with me or not!

7/19/2012 11:36 AM  
Blogger Jeffri Harre said...

Lisa, you'll be processing for months! But I'm sure you'll continue to be very glad you went. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

7/19/2012 3:00 PM  
Blogger Muthah+ said...

I too know some of those people who have been only on the other side of the keyboard. It is so easy to malign those we have never met, but much harder once you have met them. I am so glad you have gotten this opportunity of GC. It is so much more that just a big fat Church Meeting.

7/19/2012 4:58 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

LayAnglicana, I am content with what TEC said about the Anglican Covenant. In fact, that was much of the substance of my chat with Mark Harris.
On the floor debate, someone quoted Henri Noewen: "Don't just do something; stand there."
I think -- at least I hope -- the rest of the Anglican Communion will hear clearly that TEC isn't going to adopt the dastardly Anglican Covenant for at least 3 more years. Let them pound soap.

7/20/2012 11:10 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Thank you, Jeffri. It was such fun to serve as a Deputy ... even if I never get to do it again.

Yes, I have a lot more I want to process and share ... if only I can get over my exhaustion. I don't know how these other bloggers manage to post nightly.

7/20/2012 11:11 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Muthah, the folks about whom I wrote here were friends on "my side of the aisle."

But I also met and shared good times with some folks who have been my "sparring partners" on the other side of the aisle on the HoBD listserv, and you are right. It was great to meet them, and I am humbled by it.

7/20/2012 11:13 PM  

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