Officially, General Convention begins tomorrow, July 5, with the Opening Eucharist. In actuality, it began the yesterday afternoon, July 3, with the first legislative committee meetings and hearings and the opening of the exhibit hall. Members of the Diocese of Newark deputation were already at the Austin Convention Center and getting ready to work.
Bishop-elect Carlye Hughes is also at General Convention representing the Diocese of Fort Worth as a clergy deputy. Yesterday she visited vestment artist Colleen Hintz at her booth in the exhibit hall to be measured for new vestments, including a miter.
CYNTHIA BLACK PHOTO
Today, July 4, may have been a national holiday, but bishops and deputies were at work, meeting for a joint session to hear welcoming addresses by Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and President of the House of Deputies Gay Clark Jennings, an event covered by Episcopal News Service in their article, Church leaders set tone for General Convention in rousing welcome to bishops, deputies.
NINA NICHOLSON PHOTO
President Jennings' remarks are printed in full on the House of Deputies website – including her recollection of the hilarious exchange that took place via text message when Presiding Bishop Curry first told her he'd been asked to give the sermon at the royal wedding. (She didn't initially believe him.)
After the joint session, the Newark deputation posed for a group photo, then decorated their "Newark" sign with flowers to denote the Garden State.
NINA NICHOLSON PHOTO
Here's an interesting fact to close today's General Convention roundup: Women deputies weren't permitted at General Convention until 1970. This General Convention, 48 years later, is the first one at which women deputies outnumber the men. Where did the 1970 General Convention meet? Right here in Austin.
Remember that you can follow the Newark contingent online at the diocesan media hub: dioceseofnewark.org/gc2018. You can also follow them on social media, especially Facebook and Instagram, using their official hashtag: #gcnewark.