The Second Legislative Day
The Rev. Stephen E. Moore
Clergy Deputy to General Convention
While the General Synod of the Church of England meets in York to hear acrimonious debate over the issue of consecrating women to be bishops, The Episcopal Church meets in Indianapolis enjoying the gifts of women in all four orders of ministry: laity, deacons, priests and bishops. No one who has experienced what women in all orders bring to the church is opposed to their inclusion. But what is a non-issue for us is a burning issue for our Mother Church. May they do the right thing!
The electronic sign outside the Indiana Convention Center showed that it was 107 degrees F at three in the afternoon. The cornflowers in the planter boxes have succumbed; we have not.
My day began pleasantly enough with a protracted discussion of the use of the subjunctive voice in properly-drafted resolutions. Such things matter to the Committee on the Dispatch of Business and they matter to me, so we are a good match. Perhaps one has to be a lawyer or an author or both to enjoy such conversations.
I asked the Secretary of Dispatch of Business to please send more documents to me at my deputation's table via the pages who run around the (gigantic) floor of the House of Deputies. It is not that I actually need more documents but rather that my fellow deputies from the Diocese of Olympia are so impressed by my being important enough to have things sent to me by courier during the legislative sessions of GC77.
This morning we added New Orleans to the list of cities (Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte, Kansas City and Knoxville) at which General Convention 2018 might be held. Then this afternoon the president decided that we could not do that under the canons so we subtracted New Orleans (but urged it for consideration in 2021). We will meet in Salt Lake City for sure in 2015; I hope to be there, God-willing and should I be re-elected to this ministry.
We moved toward making general conventions paperless by making them wireless in future. It is no wonder that the spotted owl has nowhere to build her a nest for all of the trees cut down to make the paper it takes to conduct one general convention!
An unnamed bishop of the Diocese of Olympia was supposed to bring a rubber replica of a geoduck to this convention to place atop our standard. He apparently forgot to pack it and claims to be having it sent by FedEx from Seattle. In the meantime, Katrina Hamilton, the chair of our deputation, hung a tee shirt from Evergreen State College (the mascot of which is the geoduck) on that standard. Now people are walking by saying "Jee-oh-duck? What's a jee-oh-duck?" Little do they know!
The national church is burdened by a large building at 815 Second Avenue in New York City. The debt service and maintenance costs are staggering. We heard a resolution to sell the building and relocate church headquarters. This was amended several times until we finally adopted a mandate to sell the building but without a date by which this has to be accomplished, so as not to get killed in the real estate market.
President Anderson introduced the members of the National Altar Guild who are responsible for setting up for the daily celebrations of the Holy Eucharist. This is a lot of people to feed with bread and wine. We appreciated their ministry but I find they suffer from an unfortunate acronym.
I met the Rev. Nora Young, the rector of Saint Barnabas' Church in Irvington, New York. She told me that she knows my daughter, Heather Anne, who is a member of a new-edge church in New York called Saint Lydia's. Nora told me that Heather's church comes to stay in her rectory for their annual retreat. She also told me what a wonderful daughter I have ... but I already knew that.