video (Won't upload from my phone, but will work on it)
Several amendments were presented, discussed, and a few passed.
After this, I headed downstairs to the House of Deputies. Excuse me, but WHAT A GIGANTIC ROOM! easily 800-900 people in here, slightly reminiscent of C-span, yet LOTS more interesting (in my opinion).
SO MANY PEOPLE! I took my place in the section for alternates and plugged in.
It's certainly eye-opening to see the amount of work that the governing bodies must review, present, discuss, and vote upon.
So began an introduction to GC followed by a "how-to" session on using the virtual binder. I can handle it. The GC could not pay for wifi for non-committee members in the legislative sessions so THAT was why I couldn't get to the resolutions and access my virtual binder this morning. I did use my phone to look up resolutions and amendments. Wifi is available in all hotels and throughout most of the Convention Center. That is a pretty amazing feat in itself so I am not complaining!
They also showed us how to use the voting devices. I'm glad they plan on reviewing it before every voting session.
Instead, I ended up watching a discussion by the fellows in mission, led by Canon Mark Stevenson who is the Domestic Poverty Missioner. The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society, The Episcopal Church, featured four fellows discussing the inclusion of environmental responsibility and stewardship and care of creation in Christian formation. They also discussed issues such as homelessness and poverty, and what is being done to work towards solving these situations. As I am involved with mission work and lots of you are too, both locally and internationally, I was intensely interested in the conversation. I brought up a point about people who have been displaced and become homeless over a long decline after a natural disaster. A riveting discussion ensued. These fellows and heads of mission programming around the country are doing amazing work and from what I understand, doing it without a very big budget.
After this engaging presentation, I picked up an apple and a bagel and headed back into the HOD for a presentation by each of the four nominees for presiding bishops.
The Rt. Rev. Thomas E. Breidenthal, Bishop of the Diocese of Southern Ohio
The Rt. Rev. Michael B. Curry, Bishop of the Diocese of North Carolina
The Rt. Rev. Ian T. Douglas, Bishop of the Diocese of Connecticut
The Rt. Rev. Dabney T. Smith, Bishop of the Diocese of Southwest Florida
We then listened to what the spirit was telling the church...
After opening videos, each gave his own personal statement to the joint session. Then, we waited a few moments and a big bowl was brought out. Inside the bowl were colorful pieces of paper with the categories pictured below. Each nominee chose a paper and called out the color and number which led to a question being read from someone on the floor. This session lasted a loooooooong time, BUT was extremely worth it with the diversity of the questions and the unique and fantastic answers from each nominee. It felt a wee bit like a game show, but I think some levity is good. Keep it light y'all.
We took another standing/stretching break and all said the Lord's Prayer Together. That was an especially moving moment. It's also what it's all about. It's about us being in community together without division even though we may have distinctions and varying opinions.
I was impressed with each candidate and his eloquence in answering each question given. All were impressive and each had his own moments of truly sharing his own style and way of speaking. If you'd like to know who I think the new PB will be, email me for my prediction or comment below!
After a few breaks and lots more questions, each nominee had two minutes to either return to a question they had been asked or to answer a question they had not been asked. Then, they each had time to give formal, final statements. The two-minute statements were a combination of thanks, gratitude, and love to the nominating committee, their families, to each other, and their dioceses. Such love! All four did well today.