Highlights from today:
Biggest news is that the House of Bishops followed the leadership of the House of Deputies in unanimously passing the resolution creating the independent task force on structural reform. I made an appeal to Bishop Katharine to include young adults early on in the process and she nodded reassuringly. I also made my appeal to the bishops to engage the whole church in a process of visionary prayer. The response to my appeal seemed positive. So I am hopeful that this process of renewal can be more than skin deep.
The Bishops also passed the new canon for dissolution of a bishop-diocese relationship. Needless to say, there was some anxiety around this one since we were setting up the process for our own demises. But it needed doing. At present, we can remove a bishop for misconduct through a disciplinary proceeding; but we have no way to deal with a situation where there is not a disciplinary violation but a broken relationship. The process we passed focuses on reconciliation but where that cannot be achieved, it provides for dissolution.
We discharged the resolution providing for the option of the Presiding Bishop also serving a diocese – not to reject the idea but to include it in the process of structural reform that the task force will be considering.
At lunch, I attended a delightful session with a dynamic demographic group in the Church, the NGLs – New Generation Latinos. Young adult and youth Latinos are for the most part English speaking and American born but steeped in the values and faith traditions of their parents and grandparents. They are a vital, excited, and exciting group blessed by and blessing our common life.
Yesterday over the lunch hour, I presented a workshop on liturgy, music, and preaching in small congregations. It was a small group, but that’s appropriate. Besides, small congregations are under-represented at General Convention. I recommended several helpful hints on making smallness an advantage – which it can be if we don’t try to imitate big church liturgies.
We passed the budget, though there was genuine regret about the non-funding or under-funding of important ministries.
We also passed so many other pieces of legislation, most if which will never make any real difference in the world, than my fogged brain can remember.