Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Dear Friends,
A sad start to the day.  Byron Rushing's mother-in-law passed away, and he has had to leave convention to be with his wife and family in the Dominican Republic.  Prayers to them all.
Youth Representatives made special presentation to House of Deputies.  I had begun the day at a hearing of the Standing Commission on Ministry where we were hearing testimony on empowering more youth representation on our vestries, etc.  I want to pursue this with you all when I get home.  It is past time that the young people were enfranchised.
Speaking of enfranchised, I was present for the House of Bishops debate and PASSAGE with minor amendment D-025 which moves us beyond B-033 to claim to the Church and the world basically that our ordination processes are open to ALL people.  It is who we are...it is where we are.  Final vote 99 - 45 with three abstentions.  Your bishops were and are amazing.
House of Deputies passed a complete revision of Title IV, Disciplinary Canons, to more solidly protect the laity and preserve the right to due process to clergy accused of violating their ordination vows, etc.  Years of hard wok overwhelmingly affirmed. 
We even managed to get through Day 4 calendar...on...lets see...Day 6(!)
A reception then for Bishop Shaw who received an award from the Association of Episcopal camps...20 minutes for rest and on to the final section of our Public Narrative project for which I have been leading a small group.  About 500 of us finished the process and were commissioned as "Missioners"...hard to explain...basically thanking and blessing us for the work we have been doing and sending us out to do the work that we have been given to do...you know...that thing we say every week at the end of the Eucharist?
And speaking of the Eucharist, Bishop Singh of Rochester was our celebrant at daily Eucharist.  Linked the civil rights struggles of this country to those in his native India of the lower castes as the church labored to empower the untouchables and others.
So much emotion...hard work...joy...and the overwhelming sense that the Holy Spirit is moving in and among all of us.
And of course there are the ever present protesters and picketers outside the convention hall who just don't get it.  But they are also children of God and welcome at the Table.
Onward to another day!
Rob Hensley+