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Diocese of Newark at General Convention, July 7 & 8: Revival; Witnesses for gun violence awareness and immigration justice

Bishops United Against Gun Violence before the public witness on July 8. NINA NICHOLSON PHOTO
Nina Nicholson, Director of Communications
Bishops United Against Gun Violence before the public witness on July 8. NINA NICHOLSON PHOTO

Saturday, July 7

The family of Carmen Schentrup – a 16-year-old Episcopal youth leader killed in the Parkland, FL shooting – are here at General Convention at the invitation of Bishops United Against Gun Violence. On July 7, they addressed both the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies. Photos from their visit to the House of Deputies are in the photo gallery at the bottom of this page. (The panoramic photos may give a sense of the size of the House of Deputies.) To read more, see Schentrup family urges convention to continue work against gun violence (Episcopal News Service).

In the evening there was a Revival with Presiding Bishop Curry, followed by Texas Night, a barbecue with live music, both at the Palmer Events Center. Attendees arriving at the event center passed by sign-bearing protesters from Westboro Baptist Church, which only served to emphasize the Presiding Bishop's message of love.

The breakout star of the Revival was the Presiding Bishop's Spanish-language interpreter Dinorah Padro, who not just translated every word of his sermon but interpreted it, moving with him across the stage in a sort of mesmerizing back-and-forth dance. You can read the Presiding Bishop's sermon at the Revival – and watch the video of the sermon with Dinorah's interpretation – here.

For additional photos of all of these events, see Cynthia Black's blog post, July 7: Parkland parents and Revival!

On Saturday night, Bishop Mark Beckwith recorded a poscast for the House of Deputies News with Miguel Escobar, director of Anglican studies at EDS @ Union, and the Rev. Devon Anderson of Minnesota, chair of both the legislative Committee on Social Justice and United States Policy Policy, and the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music. Listen to it at #GC79 Podcast: Possibility for Change.

Sunday, July 8

First thing in the morning, Bishop Mark Beckwith and many members of the Newark contingent took part in the Bishops United Against Gun Violence public witness. Bishop Beckwith spoke, as did Presiding Bishop Curry, Phil and April Schentrup, and Abigail Zimmerman, a member of an Episcopal congregation in Texas who helped organize her high school walk out in response to the Parkland shooting. To read more, see Schentrups deliver emotional plea to end gun violence (Episcopal News Service).

Immediately after the Bishops United Against Gun Violence witness, more than 1000 Episcopalians boarded 19 buses for the 45-minute drive to Taylor, TX for a second witness, this time at the Hutto Detention Center in which 500 female immigrants are being detained. Presiding Bishop Curry spoke again, as did House of Deputies President Gay Clark Jennings. Afterwards we heard that the detained women "were glued to the windows until the last bus left the detention center." To read more, see Episcopalians gather in public witness outside immigrant detention center (Episcopal News Service).

After all this, the House of Deputies and House of Bishops met from mid-afternoon into the evening for their longest legislative sessions of this General Convention. In the House of Bishops, Bishop Mark Beckwith was recognized along with other bishops retiring this year, and their spouses.

In the evening, Bishop-elect Carlye Hughes gave the sermon at the Integrity Eucharist. Her sermon was streamed live on the diocesan Facebook page, and can be watched here.

Follow the Newark contingent online at the diocesan media hub: