Our Newark deputation traveled the highways and rails from New Jersey to arrive in Baltimore this week for the 80th General Convention of The Episcopal Church. This is a pandemic-shortened convention postponed from last summer, and much has changed. One thing that hasn’t is that the laity, deacons, priests, and bishops gathered here in this place are hoping to be guided by the Holy Spirit in their work, and have fun doing it too.
Already here was the Pigeon Deputation (made famous at the 79th Convention), though when I tried to get a photo and comment, they claimed they were in Executive Session, no observers or testimony allowed. However, I have heard through those closely connected that they expect to make their voices heard from the rooftops in the days ahead, so stay tuned.
Our deputation gathered for an opening eve dinner hosted by Bishop Hughes. There were a lot of laughs, stories of conventions past, and more than enough food shared. Our Co-Chairs, Laura Russell and the Rev. Cynthia Black, have led us well over this past two years, and we are prepared to do the hard work that still lays ahead for us.
Yet this Convention does not really start tomorrow – it began months ago via virtual hearings and meetings. Those serving on legislative committees have been hard at work reviewing resolutions, hearing testimony, and discerning direction for the church. Tomorrow, we begin the legislative sessions that will allow both the House of Deputies (clergy and laity) and the House of Bishops, to complete that work.
But before all that begins, we will gather together as a community at our Opening Eucharist to worship and give thanks to God for all that has been and all that may be. May we be led by the Spirit to do the work we are called to do in the days ahead.
You can to follow along on all that is happening, including participating in worship, by going to the GC Media Hub. The sessions of the House of Deputies and House of Bishops, as well as media briefings from the Office of Public Affairs and #GC80 Daily Show videos, will also be available on demand on the Media Hub for those not able to watch the live stream.