Details on the General Convention - July 4th-13th Austin, Texas

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June 29, 2018

An Unofficial Letter from Bishop Assistant Mary D. Glasspool


Dear Friends and Colleagues,


In this issue: Preparing for General Convention


                        As with life in the still early part of the 21st century, there is more information about our General Convention on the internet than you either want or need. So as with life, the process for acquiring the information you may want is really one of discernment. My fanciful hope is that someone else has tried to imagine what it is like to be me and to need only the information that I want and have already edited out the superfluous material that someone else wants or needs, but not me. So let me go right to the distilling the salient features function of this letter.

            If you are someone who doesn't care at all about General Convention: press the Delete button now.

            If you are someone who wants to know the bare minimum in order to understand why your Rector (who happens to be a Deputy to General Convention) is not in church on Sunday, July 8:

General Convention will take place in Austin, Texas, from July 4-13, 2018. The theme is The Jesus Movement: Loving, Liberating, and Life-giving.  General Convention takes place every three years, and this one is the 79th General Convention of the Episcopal Church - the first one having taken place in 1785 in Philadelphia. ++Michael Bruce Curry is the Presiding Bishop. Gay Clark Jennings+ is the President of the House of Deputies.

            If you are someone who wants to know what the "hot button" issues are: Writing for The Living Church , Kirk Peterson lists: Same-sex marriage; Prayer book revision; Salary for the President of the House of Deputies; Title IV (our disciplinary canons); The Episcopacy; Israel-Palestine conflicts; and The "Royal Wedding bishop (by which Mr. Peterson means, How does the Church leverage the international attention given to Presiding Bishop Michael Curry who preached the homily at the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry on May 19) . Under the category of Important issues , I would add to the list: the Church doing what we need to do in response to the "Me Too" movement; racial reconciliation; environmental care; the need for immigration reform, most prominently and devastatingly manifest in children being separated from their parents at our borders; and the opportunity the Church has to model for our society and culture basic moral values and live into what it really means to be a Christian.

            If you are someone who simply wants to get the relevant news as we go along: There are plenty of online links to follow and an overabundance of technological means of participating. You can start here: About the General Convention. Our own Diocese of New York will provide opportunities for the deputies and bishops who are officially attending to report their own reflections with pictures and possibly videos! (As of this writing the online access is being set up. You will be able to find it by starting at The Episcopal Diocese of New York.) And those of you who are well connected online will have your own blogs, Face book pages and links to access.

            If you are someone who is a "General Convention Junkie": You are most likely going to Austin yourself and are only worrying right now about what to pack and who will take care of the cats while you are gone.

            There is a prayer in the BCP For a Church Convention or Meeting, and I pray it now.

            Almighty and everliving God, source of all wisdom and understanding, be present with those who take counsel in General Convention for the renewal of your Church. Teach us in all things to seek first your honor and glory. Guide us to perceive what is right, and grant us both the courage to pursue it and the grace to accomplish it; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

            Like most prayers, this one reminds us of what is truly and ultimately important.

With love and prayers for you all - +Mary