This morning was a joint session of the House of Deputies and the House of Bishops, and it was the first time our entire deputation was together. We heard first from the Presding Bishop, the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, who along with the House of Deputies President the Rev. Gay Clark Jennnings, received a standing ovation before and after the speech.
Our Presiding Bishop spoke about the need to be "fearless, not foolish" as we discern in community the transformation we need to engage in as we seek to follow Christ. She said that "The Episcopal Church is beginning to understand that we are never whole when we exclude," and emphasized that our "Prime Directive" is to "Love God, Love Neighbor, Work to Heal the World." Amen to that!
HoD President Jennings used the feast day today of the Nativity of John The Baptist to emphaziae that, like Zechariah, we must listen to understand that God is changing things, just as God changed his expectations of a child being conceived, and that his name would not be what everyone expected it to be. She urged us to "Stop talkiing and start listening" adding "you know who you are" (greeted with laughter and applause).
Jennings spoke about standing between the old and the new - standing on "Holy Ground straining to hear God speaking above all the noise." She said that "The new is born in us just when we least expect it. Let us listen for the new in ourseleves, and turn down the 'Church Decline Industrial Complex."
Jennings ended with another biblical reference, that of the healing of the man who could not hear or speak in the gospel of Mark. She implored us to be opened, to "be the one that Jesus healed." Again, amen to that!
We were then given an orientation to all the new technolgy, but between the speeches and the orientation, I met a personal hero, the Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson, who graciously agreed to a photograph. A man who has worked for justice in the name of Christ - a true model of faith.
That's it for now!