Today was the second day for the Deputation from the Diocese of El Camino Real (ECR) in Salt Lake City at the 78th General Convention (GC) of the Episcopal Church. There are 898 in the House of Deputies and about 300 in the House of Bishops at GC. Salt Lake City is at 4,327 feet above sea level. We are still adjusting to the altitude and heat here. ECR blogs from GC will be posted in the 78th General Convention category of the diocesan website.
Our morning was taken up with introductions to the GC leadership, an address by the outgoing Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, an introduction to the iPad “Virtual Binder”, voting tools and rules, and guidance on parliamentary procedure. Bishop Katharine’s moving talk included many Star Trek references (since one of the big discussion topics for GC is called TREC). Two of her more serious thoughts were: “No matter who you are afraid of, we need each other” and “We are never whole when we exclude members of the wider community.” My favorite orientation quote is from the Rev. Canon Michael Barlowe (Executive Officer of the General Convention): “This is an iPad, within it is software, the virtual binder is on but not exclusively in the iPad”.
We had an hour and a half for lunch during which we checked out the exhibit hall some more, including seeing the Homeless Jesus sculpture which is briefly visiting GC. During the afternoon, we heard the four candidates for Presiding Bishop (PB) answer eight rounds of questions in eight topic areas. The candidates to be 27th PB are:
- The Rt. Rev. Thomas Breidenthal, 64, Diocese of Southern Ohio
- The Rt. Rev. Michael Curry, 62, Diocese of North Carolina
- The Rt. Rev. Ian Douglas, 56, Diocese of Connecticut
- The Rt. Rev. Dabney Smith, 61, Diocese of Southwest Florida
Last month, my fellow ECR blogger, Rev. Tom Sramek, Jr. wrote an article profiling the four candidates: “Who Will Lead Episcopalians?”. The PB election will take place this coming Saturday. My favorite quote from Bishop Michael Curry: “I’m not the Pope, I don’t have all the answers. The truth is, the Pope isn’t the Pope either.” ECR Bishop Mary Gray-Reeves arrived late this afternoon.
Images Copyright 2015 by Katy Dickinson