I have to say, I never went to an Episcopal General Convention. But I’m told that its profoundly not like this.
The majority of our time here together is intended for program, not legislation. And indeed, we heard a great talk this morning by Ed Stetzer about engaging people in meaningful ministry. I’m all about the things he said, I dare say the whole assembly of the faithful here would agree, that if you are a Christian you have gifts, and the duty of the leadership (lay and ordained) is to equip the saints for the work of ministry.
The mood here is very much like a family reunion. Greeting friends we haven’t seen in years, making new friends, and engaging in exchanges of resources, the better side of what the world calls “networking.” I get to run around visiting with and encouraging friends and talking about the diaconate, so I’m in my personal little hog-heaven. I’ll be presenting an ‘interest group’ on Saturday, and am looking forward to it.
Legislation happens tonight but having already read the documents at hand, don’t expect any earth-shattering headlines.
The only real news happened a few minutes ago, at the close of the opening Eucharist, when the Primate of Rwanda released to us a number of bishops, priests, and deacons, formerly of the Anglican Mission in the Americas. He noted to them that they have moved simply from one room to the next of the same house, at which words (and in honor of receiving these dear faithful friends) the congregation responded with a standing ovation.
I am hoping my son will report again on the Youth Assembly now that things are fully underway. The teens/young adults have joined us for many events, but there’s a lot of youthful fun to be had too, and some great talks, I was encouraged to see that the teen schedule included positive and healthy talks about sexuality and homosexuality. For those on the outside who think we are some sort of anti-sex anti-gay church, as well as for our youth who are growing up into maturity in all areas of their lives, it is so important to see healthy sexuality taught openly in our Church. They’ll also be teaching about social justice, and politics, and also retelling the Gospel consistently for these young leaders. They should have a lot to take home. I’m glad to see material directed especially for them without separating them from the comings and goings of bishops and other leaders. As I said to my son, the purpose of this event is in part to get them addicted to leadership.
Anyway, that’s all the news that’s fit to print! Needless to say, I’m feeling really positive about our church and the direction in which it is going! Thanks be to God.