Committee Work and PB Candidates

Legislative Committees began work in earnest on Tuesday and a joint session of the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies spent three hours getting to hear the Presiding Bishop nominees speak to issues.

Bishop Benhase and Canon Logue each offered testimony to the Evangelism and Communication Committee on Wednesday on behalf of a Digital Evangelism Resolution both proposed to the General Convention.

The work of the General Convention is underway as the 22 Legislative Committees consider the resolutions filed for this General Convention. Each resolutions is offered a public hearing where interested Episcopalians (not just deputies and bishops) may address the committee on the resolution. Some of these hearings, such as the one on the work of the Marriage Task Force, are large events attended by hundreds as witnesses line up to address the committee on a given resolution. Most committees are more sparsely attended, yet still provide an opportunity for a committee to hear interested persons speak to the value of a resolution.

Opening Remarks
A joint session of the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies began with opening remarks from Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and House of Deputies President the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings. The joint session, coming a day before the General Convention’s legislative business officially begins on June 25, is intended to set the tone for the work of convention. The Presiding Bishop played with language taking the work of TREC (the Task Force for Reimagining the Episcopal Church) and then using metaphors and references to the TV show Star Trek saying, “There is abundant adventure ahead on this heavenward trek, and it asks our courage to engage unknown beings, new challenges and unexpected opportunities. We’re bound for the galaxy called Galilee and the edges of the known world, because that’s where Jesus sent us and that’s where he promises to meet us.” The text of her remarks is online here or you can watch the video of her address here: Webcast of the Presiding Bishop’s Opening Remarks)

The President of the House of Deputies took the readings from the day, which mark the birth of John the Baptist and so referenced the biblical story of Zechariah, “Just like Zechariah, we are standing on a boundary between the old and the new,” she said. “Gathering here to wrestle with the future of our beloved Episcopal Church, we are standing on holy ground, straining to hear God speaking above all the noise…” She went on to say, “Let’s turn down the volume on the Pew Center’s statistics about the decline of the institutional church, the endless online arguments about what millennials really want and what one tweeter recently called the ‘church decline industrial complex.’ Let’s quiet our souls.”

The text of her remarks is online here or you can watch the video of her address here: Webcast of the President of the House of Deputies Opening Remarks.

The two houses then met separately for an orientation to engaging the technology of the paperless convention which is very iPad dependent. The House of Deputies also offered orientation to the rules of order, parliamentary procedure, and electronic voting.

Introducing the Presiding Bishop Nominees
In a first of its kind event, the nominees for Presiding Bishop joined in a session for both bishops and deputies to hear both formal presentations and answering questions on a wide variety of issues. Bishops Thomas Breidenthal, Michael Curry, Ian Douglas, and Dabney Smith introduced themselves separately by a two-minute self-produced videos. Each then offered an opening statement. After that, they took questions first from the Joint Nominating Committee, and next from those submitted in advance from across the church. Questions fell into several categories. There were seven “rounds” of questions. After the questions, the nominees had the opportunity to make another brief remark. The Episcopal News Service article summarizes the events and quotes some of the nominees answers: Historic session lets bishops, deputies meet presiding bishop nominees. You can also see the session online here: Webcast of Presiding Bishop Nominee Presentations.

Diocese of Georgia Photos
The growing photo album of the Diocese of Georgia at General Convention is online here: General Convention Photos These may be used in parish newsletters without further permission as you share news of the convention with your congregation.

Above, Georgia Deputy Jody Grant assists in registering deputies and alternates as a member of the Credentials Committee and the Georgia group gathers for a photo following Compline on Tuesday evening.

Kay and Sarah Riggle of St. Barnabas Valdosta staff the Integrity booth and Sisters of the Order of Saint Helena pose for a photo with their booth in the Exhibit Hall.



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