Wednesday, June 14, 2006

General Convention Day 2

Dear Friends,

Had computer problems yesterday and this morning. Guess it just needed some time by itself, because it seems to be working now.

It's been an exciting two days. Briefly (because it is almost 10:30 PM) the Ecumenical Relationships Committee has completed its work. Today we had the hearing on beginning to examine common communion with the United Methodists. So everything from us will go next to one of the Houses. By the way, the last two days, I've been sitting next to our Dean's brother, Daniel Appleyard. A nice surprise.

Something new this year, visiting bishops from other provinces or Companionship Dioceses are permitted in the House of Deputies to sit with their Companion Dioceses. So I invited Bishop Orlando, Primate of Brazil to be with us. He actually found me this morning before I saw him! I had hoped that he would be present for the Resolution on formalizing the Bilateral Committee. However, the House of Deputies spent over an hour trying to vote electronically for the new Church Pension Directors. So we had lots of laughs, but now we have to use a paper ballot tomorrow morning. The first resolution will be on the Brazil-Episcopal Bilateral Committee, and Ian Douglas has asked that I speak to it. This will be the second time I will have addressed the House of Deputies.

Bonnie Anderson was elected President of the House of Deputies today. Then she was in charge during the afternoon fun and games. She was very good leading that enormous group - remember we are over 800 people trying to get resolutions completed.

My Bible Study/Eucharist table is missing four people. I don't know if the missing people are part of the Network, or what the problem is, but the people there are very nice. Today's sermon was in Spanish with an English translation available at our tables. The entire service is published for each day, so there is no need for Prayer books or Hymnals. We sing a variety of music and I love it! On Monday, I was an Eucharistic Minister administering the Host. What a blessing to be doing that to people (bishops, clergy, Episcopal Church Women, lay Deputies, Visitors) from all over the world! If I had to choose the best part of yesterday, that would be it.

I've come back to my room so late because we just had the hearings for four of the Special commission's Resolutions. We were in a ballroom - over 1200 seats - and still people were standing outside. Ian Douglas is on the committee. Jane Gould (one of our Deputies), Sam Gould (her son and part of the Youth Presence), Bishop Barbara Harris, and many, many others spoke. I left at 9:45, and they were still being called up to the mike. The chair gave everyone two minutes to speak, and then he shortened their time to one and a half minutes.

Well, I'm very tired, so I guess this is my report for today. I do get to sleep in a little tomorrow if I want to because my committee is done. But I should really go to World Mission or Urban Affairs to listen in to what they are doing. I'll see how I feel at six o'clock.

Keep the prayers going, please. I can feel the support.