This was the seventh legislative session day of the 79th General Convention of the Episcopal Church “GC79” (in Austin, Texas). I am with the Deputation of the Diocese of El Camino Real (Central California).
Today, the GC79 legislative calendar was so full that we had to add an after-dinner session. Very long day! Bishop Griselda Delgado Del Carpio was welcomed with a sustained standing ovation and joyous singing to the House of Deputies after the enthusiastic passage of a historic resolution welcoming the church of Cuba as a diocese of the Episcopal Church. We considered the budget for the first time in a joint session of the House of Deputies and House of Bishops. The House of Bishops rejected the Isreal-Palestine resolution but passed a “Marriage Rites for the Whole Church” resolution with a small amendment.
Marriage Rites now return to the House of Deputies for a final vote. The House of Deputies today agreed on a plan for liturgical and Prayer Book revision plus a great many less-controversial resolutions (including one welcoming nursing mother Deputies). We are proud of El Camino Real Deputy Jeff Diehl who appeared briefly on the House of Deputies big platform as Co-Chair of the Environmental Stewardship and Care of Creation committee today.
Deputies in wheelchairs and Deputies who find it hard to hear spoke passionately in support of a resolution to “Establish an Advisory Council on Disability and Deaf Access” – which was passed. Deputy Sarah Watkins of Texas said “nothing about us without us.” She and Deputy Charis and others made the point that there had been nine such resolutions passed in General Convention since 1985 but little effective change has been made – perhaps because few who are themselves impaired have been represented in the groups making the decisions. There have been signers for the deaf at House of Deputy and House of Bishop sessions and worship services but not at most other meetings. There was an interesting moment during Tuesday evening’s worship service when flute player Dakota Wind from Standing Rock spoke silently in Lakota signs with the GC79 deaf interpreter on the stage.
These blog posts and other GC79 news are posted on the Diocese of El Camino Real website.
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