Way back in 2003, I started closely following the actions of
The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion. By the close of the 2003 General Convention,
I knew I wanted to stand for election as a Deputy.
But wanting to be a Deputy is not enough if one has a
secular job. One must accrue enough
vacation time to spend nearly two weeks at General Convention. One must also have enough “vacation time” to
attend meetings of the Deputation in the 9 months leading up to General Convention.
In my case, it took six years for me to do so.
I was deeply honored when the Diocese of Missouri elected me
as one of the Deputies to the 2012 General Convention. In the intervening months, I have continued
to follow the e-mail listserv of the Bishops and Deputies, as well as the news
from The Episcopal Church. Starting in
October, I have also met with the other GC Deputies from the Diocese of
Missouri. We have worked to get
acquainted. We have studied the news from
TEC. We have shared perspectives on the
resolutions and legislation that will come to General Convention this month in
|The Floor of the House of Deputies is massive. |
Having closely followed many of the Deputies who have
blogged about General Convention since 2003, there are some things I know. I know it is an exhausting experience, with
many 14-hour days. I know it is a
delightful time when I will get to meet people I have only “virtually” met
through e-mail and the blogosphere. I
know that the GC agenda is loaded so that most of the crucial resolutions come
to the floor in the last few days, when Deputies are most exhausted. I know that many complex issues are coming
before us this month –including the blessing of same-gender covenants, the
question of allowing communion before baptism, removing the requirement for
confirmation before leadership, action on the Anglican Covenant, and a
gazillion other actions that have received less publicity.
I have done my best to study all those issues. I have studied the proposals. I have listened
to the other Deputies in our diocese as well as others nationally on the HoBD
listserv. When we arrive in Indianapolis
and convene, I will listen to still more voices though the committee hearings.
And then the resolutions will come to the House of
Deputies. And I will have to vote “yea”
or “nay” on each one. The Rules of the
House of Deputies require that each Deputy must vote on every action; no
abstentions are allowed.
The closer I come to General Convention, the more I covet
the prayers of all my friends. I pray
that the Holy Spirit will be flowing through the House of Deputies more
powerfully than the air-conditioning vents.
I pray that my friends throughout the Church will be holding us in
prayer. I pray that – on each resolution
– I will do the right thing. I also pray
your forgiveness for those moments when I will fail to do the right thing.
I have never been more humble than I am in these hours as I
move toward Indianapolis and the General Convention.
I have never been more aware that I am “standin’ in the need
Please pray for me and the whole General Convention. Pray that we will be able to be still and
hear the whisper of the Holy Spirit amid the cacophany that sometimes characterizes General Convention. And
please forgive me if I am so overwhelmed by GC that I won’t be able to blog