Today began with passion fruit tea as it was early and HOT. I don't know what I was expecting today, but I headed out to try and catch the shuttle from our hotel to the Salt Palace and....success!
The biggest news of the day for many was the Supreme Court Ruling that Same-Sex Marriage is now legal in all 50 states! I'm so glad for sooooooooo many people!! It has affected things here today as there are many people on either side of the ruling. We must be sensitive to that fact as we move forward in conversation here, especially because of legislative motions on marriage within the church and also rites within Liturgy & Music. Still, here is my favorite picture of the day, from Hilary Clinton's FB page:
The first item on my agenda was the daily Media briefing. Neva Rae Fox is amazing! I'm super grateful to have media credentials and to have a place to go to either catch up on various social media fronts (like the Instagram and Pinterest accounts been ignoring fo a few days!), type up my reports and blog, and it's also a room where I can chill between things if I need to or if I don't see anyone I know between sessions. Here is friendliness!
Having the morning briefings also helps greatly to plan the day. The overall GC schedule is clear, but as a first time alternate, I'm not exactly always connected to the main deputation and their schedule. This is also true because as Media, I have a separate bunch of things to be doing and that I can attend.
I had the great fortune to sit with my bishop this morning during the worship service. The music was a jazz combo and soprano and they were FABULOUS. I must say that I enjoyed ot very much. Not too far away from the written melodies and they even alternated the Widor toccata postlude with jazzy Widor interpretations! The sermon was by The Rev'd Gay Clark Jennings, the president of the House of Deputies and it was terrific! She has a great sense of humor too!
Here's my Bishop Morris K. Thompson singing the first hymn :-) I love my bishop! LOVE!
After the service, the Young Adult Service Corps missionaries and their Bishop Pierre Whalon. These folks have spent lengthy amounts of time aboard in extremely tough situations. They truly help make the world a better place and have been in front lines providing on-the-ground help and relief to refugees, the homeless, and the marginalized. I was only able to spend 25 minutes there, but it was packed with hope and refreshing willingness to make a difference.
There was a nice and thorough introduction to the historical structure and current structure of the Episcopal Church. I was impressed and actually, as an aspirant for the priesthood, and smack dab in the middle of discernment, it was awesome for me to hear it all. I tweeted this out and this was the result!
Indeed, EVERY coin has two sides :-)
Deputies to tweet lists of what they thought were essential programs, structures, etc, in GC to keep and what to change. Not seeing any tweets from EDOLA, of course I tweeted my opinions.
I left the session a wee bit eatly to return to the cathedral with the media for a special tour and to take photos with my "good camera". I again ran into one of mah best frrrrrrrriends, Chuck Robertson, who asked me if I wanted to do lunch. He was thinking of dropping by the CEEP (Consortium of Endowed Episcopal Parishes) lunch and I had the media session. We realized both events were at St. Mark's Cathedral and we decided to drive over there. This was a most excellent free ride as it was officially --- one million degrees ---
Once at the cathedral, the hospitality was again amazing. Yesterday, I blogged a bit about the exhibits and the church, but here are some more cathedral facts and pictures:
- It's the oldest continuously worshipping house of worship in Utah
- gathered 1860, cornerstone laid 1870
- St. Mark's was the first church in Utah with a bell.
- There are at several Tiffany windows in the sanctuary and they are each worth $1.2 million!
- History of the cathedral
- This is probably THE most hospitable church I've visited. Seriously, they've got it right! :-)
- There's a retreat center at the cathedral and if you're ever in Salt Lake City, go visit!
Afternoon held a legislative session and re-electing Gay Clark Jennings as president of the House of Deputies.There is such appreciation and love in that room and Gay Jennings' re-election without opposition is an example of the bond that has formed over the years with her and the HOD. It was great to see. There were several resolutions and amendments discussed including those from Stewardship & Development. One, A089 (Approve Donor Bill of Rights) is very interesting. Lots of good testimony for and against amending the resolution regarding the rules and situations when donors giving funds for specific gifts and the particular body (church, diocese etc.) cannot fulfill the desired use. "To be assured that their gifts will be used for the purposes for which they were given" was left without the amendment "to the extent possible". It's really quite eye-opening for me, rarely having witnessed debate and testimony on amendments to resolutions, to see the depths to which each side can interpret the *possible* future repercussions of each line of text!
Today, with the Supreme Court ruling, singing alongside my fantastic bishop in morning worship, seeing dearest friends, laughing at #GC78 tweets, sharing food at St. Mark's with new Media friends, and stopping by the calm & quiet prayer chapel in the Salt Palace has shown me greatness, reminded me of the strength of lifelong friendships, and the power of hospitality :-)
Thank you for reading!
1. #GC78 - An Alternate View: 'Twas the Night Before Synod
2. An Alternate View: Heading to #GC78
3. An Alternate View: Arrival Day - IT'S ALL GOOD
4. An Alternate View: Orientation and Presentations, June 24 at #GC78