We had a full day of work. It was fun however. You talk about in faith you can move mountains? That is what is happening at General Convention of the Episcopal Church. There is an incredible spiritual component to the whole event, not because it is a gathering of the church, but the sheer willingness of every participant, visitor and others to be present to the other in a way that is respectful and generous.
We passed several resolutions, one after another. One of the exciting resolutions passed, of course not without a significant number of people opposing it, moving forward to a paperless convention. Of course that is scary for a lot of people. But for a lot of others it was exciting, green and being a good steward. Well… debatable. Isn’t it? Hold your breath and let us allow the church in her wisdom chew this over and wait upon. We are Episcopalians. Don’t believe that whatever we have said is set in stone. That will defy ourselves. So, take heart and let us allow time to work its miracle and not magic in this resolution. Because our church has worked miracles in the world in a way that others were not able to in the past and will in the future.
We also voted to support an Archive Center. It think it is a great thing..
One of the very important pieces of legislation that was passed today, of course not too many Episcopalians are aware of this, was that we reaffirm the Millennium Development Goals. That is means, simply acknowledging, accepting and committing to share 0.7% of our income with the world to eradicate poverty. it takes just 0.7% of individual, corporate, as a nation and as a world to eradicate poverty. I think that is promising and worth pursuing.
Some might laugh at this one, but the truth is, we also passed another resolution saying that we should all read Bible in 2013. I think it is worth the time spent on, simply because there is nothing to be ashamed of reading the Bible and saying it out loud. After all we believe it is the inspired word of God written by weaklings like myself and you. If there are no errors in them, I would believe it is a lie. Now I know for sure God is at work among us. And I also know God will continue to write the words of life through many more for centuries to come and allow all kinds of people to interpret. There is no way of knowing the ways of God without actually knowing how in the world did God act in the past. So, I wholeheartedly support reading of the Bible and let God speak through the errors of man.
Now we are in the Higgs Boson time. We are affirming the Compatibility of Science and The Christian Faith was just wonderful. But then again I have to tell all those skeptics out there, God is still beyond the comprehension of human mind or research. I will publish a different Essay later on to share my thoughts. But I am delighted for the churches courage to affirm the Compatibility of Science and Christian Faith.
We had quite a discussion on the 815 church center. I liked what someone said, (Paraphrased here) Constantine has moved out of 815 Second Avenue in New York. But more Constantine left it to us. There is a call I believe for us to realize what it is that we are stuck on? What are we afraid of losing? Now it is in the hands of the Executive Counsel to sell it when they can, and find a place that is more central, missional and accessible.
We also welcomed the Official Youth Presence from around the country. We heard the young people speak forcefully of what church means to them. We welcomed our newly elected Bishops amongst us. The National Altar Guild members were greeted warmly. We also celebrated the visitors and friends from around the world among us. We worshipped together, sang songs together, laughed a lot and enjoyed one another.
What I found at the Convention.
We are church that is alive. We are a church that is ahead. We are a church that is relevant. Now of course I did not say that it is easy and we have decided to face the challenges ahead of us courageously as President Anderson reminded us today.
So my invitation to the larger church. Get involved in an Episcopal Community today, not tomorrow. For all who read these notes from me, I want to invite you to be part of our church, because what we do in the Episcopal Church is become relevant followers of Christ in the modern world, not a world of the last century.
and I pray O Lord, let it begin with me.