Written after the final legislative day of the 79th General Convention of the Episcopal Church “GC79” (in Austin, Texas). I was with the Deputation of the Diocese of El Camino Real (Central California). In my first GC79 blog, I gave a list of the big topics for discussion at this General Convention. Here is that same list, linked to an Episcopal News Service article about what happened:
- Marriage Equality: approved a historic resolution giving all Episcopalians the ability to be married by their priests in their home churches
- Revising the Book of Common Prayer: adopted a resolution that allows all congregations in the Episcopal Church to use optional, expansive-language versions of three Rite II Eucharistic prayers in the 1979 Book of Common Prayer
- The Episcopal Church and the #MeToo movement: voices and stories of women played a significant role, from a liturgy where bishops offered laments and confession for the church’s role in sexual harassment, exploitation and abuse, to passing a resolution so that deputies can to bring babies on the floor of the House of Deputies to feed them
- A salary for the president of the House of Deputies: agreed to a plan to pay the president of the House of Deputies for the work of the office
- Following up on the church’s three priorities: evangelism, racial reconciliation and justice and care of creation
- Formulating the 2019-2021 triennial budget: accepted $134 million three-year spending plan
- Middle East peace: of 15 resolutions on Israel-Palestine, only six passed both houses, on topics including Palestinian children, the status of Jerusalem, the disproportionate use of lethal force on both sides, and ways the Episcopal Church can press for peace through its investment decisions
Other GC79 big topics and actions of interest:
- Resolutions on ethical investing in gun manufacturers and retailers: develop and implement a shareholder engagement plan based on the Mosbacher-Bennett Principles for Investors in the Gun Industry
- Episcopal Church of Cuba admitted as a diocese: Our Bishop Mary Gray-Reeves who was born and raised in Florida was there to welcome Bishop Griselda Delgado Del Carpio to the House of Bishops
- Lesser Feasts and Fasts and the calendar of saints are a step closer to revision
- Thurgood Marshall, Pauli Murray, and Florence Li Tim-Oi are now permanent saints of the church
- Bishop Mary was re-elected as Vice President of the House of Bishops.
- Passed a resolution to “Establish an Advisory Council on Disability and Deaf Access” – to reduce exclusion in the life of the church
- In addition to resolutions supporting immigrants and their families, a thousand Episcopalians protested at the ICE Hutto Detention Center in Taylor, Texas, on 8 July 2018. Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s sermon at the event was inspiring: We come because we are people of love. America Means Welcome. America is great because America is good.
Part of General Convention is spending casual time with the remarkable people who attend – and visiting Exhibit Hall booths of programs and institutions and vendors. I bought so many books I had to ship them home in a separate box – which has not yet arrived. Pictures below are of some of the other giveaways and publications I collected. On my flight home from Texas to California, I spotted Dr. Catherine Meeks of the Absalom Jones Center for Racial Healing who gave a remarkable talk at GC79. The Rev. Rob Fisher of our Deputation reported that he spent his flight home reading The Agile Church, which he bought at the GC79 Exhibit Hall.
These blog posts and other GC79 news are on the Diocese of El Camino Real website. Here is my complete set from GC79 as the official diocesan blogger:
- Episcopal General Convention, Austin Texas, Day 1, 4 July 2018
- Day 2, Episcopal General Convention, 5 July 2018
- Day 3, Episcopal General Convention, 6 July 2018
- Day 4, General Convention, 7 July 2018
- Day 5, General Convention, 8 July 2018
- Day 6, General Convention, 9 July 2018
- Day 7, General Convention, 10 July 2018
- Day 8, General Convention, 11 July 2018
- Day 9, General Convention, 12 July 2018
On 16 July 2018, Episcopal News Service published a summary of GC79.
Note that the GC79 Virtual Binder will only be available online through Labor Day (3 September 2018).
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Images Copyright 2018 by Katy Dickinson.