Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Episcopalians are Coming! Hide the Women and Children.

Well, there are now less than three weeks before thousands of Episcopalians will be descending on the Happiest Place on Earth, Anaheim, California. No, we're not actually staying at Disneyland Hotels, but the mouse house is just up the street. And, from what I can see, there is already lot's of Mickey Mouse behavior going on.

First, my pet peeves: The Hilton Hotel (along with the Marriott) attached to the Convention Center, is charging $12/day for wireless. Mind you, we could stay at a Motel 6, a Super 8, a Holiday Inn Express, or virtually any other hotel in the area and get it for free. But we're special, so paying for the more expensive Hilton, which basically means not walking 5-10 minutes each morning, grants us this outrageous fee.

I might have gotten over it until I was told about the refrigerator fee: it's another $30. So much for saving money by having breakfast in my room. It's embarrassing to the hotel chain. I hope every Episcopalian who learns about it tell their friends.

Anyway, that's the rant. Right now, I'm just trying to work my way through the emails, Facebook messages and snail mail that are showing up on a daily basis. I usually ignore my spam file except once a week, but now all sorts of people I have never heard of want to share information with me. And every one of them wants to invite me to lunch/dinner/cocktails/church.

Except they really want to take me to the cleaners. These 'invitations' are running anywhere from $25-$50 per meal, and I am sure I could go to one or two each day. At least my seminary apparently actually wants to treat me; no one else does.

Even the invitations to Eucharist have to be treated with suspicion. The printed programs will no doubt tell us the worthy cause that our offering will be funding, and a second pitch will be made right before the offering is taken up. We're not being nickeled and dimed to death - this is serious money.

And, let's face it, Anaheim isn't exactly cheap to begin with. $24 for breakfast at Denny's? IHOP is a bargain at $17? Now you know why the refrigerator (yes, I already have one reserved) is so important.

And the reports. It is ironic that we will pass so many resolutions about the church going green this time around. The Blue Book (actually a shade of maroon), filled with Convention Resolutions, is over 800 pages long. Most people will probably ship it out west rather than be forced to carry it on the plane and pay excess weight fees. And it doesn't even include the proposed budget, which was a separate document. The Church Pension Fund sent me their own report, another fifty pages I probably won't be reading. And the paper keeps arriving. Yes, a rain forest was hurt in the making of this convention.

It would be nice if the rest of the world cared one whit about what we do out there. What will happen instead is that there will be one report on the day we deal with the resolutions about same sex marriage, a relatively small part of the convention agenda. But it is the, ahem, sexy part, so you can be sure it will hit the major news media unlike everything else. Condemn a war: who cares? Raise millions for fighting malaria: so what? National health insurance for church workers? Hell, the Presiding Bishop could probably swear up a storm, declare herself to be a Sarah Palin Republican, and smoke a cigar naked without gathering attention unless she was talking about same sex marriage.

Now, this is not to take anything away from the importance of that issue. BUT IT'S NOT THE ONLY THING WE TALK ABOUT!!

Personally, I am looking forward to what Brian McLaren has to say to 10,000 Episcopalians. That should be funny. I wonder if they will even understand what he has to say?

Anyway, be sure to bookmark the Episcopal Church home page for an opportunity to see daily updates about what is actually going on ( You will have to go through the silly "I Am Episcopalian" cover site, in which various church members prove they know nothing about Christianity except the word 'welcome', but then you'll get some actual reporting.

Or you can go to this blog. Or my Facebook page. I am going to try to write some things from my experience.

Now, let's get out there and starting talking about sex, shall we? We do it so well. Or at least so loudly. Or, well, anyway, frequently. It took the Episcopal Church to make sex boring. Go figure.



Kevin, I'm opting for an electric kettle to be able to eat instant oatmeal and Cup of Noodles in my room at the Hilton. Thirty bucks for the fridge rental is too much - per day? ~ Lelanda

Kevin M said...

Fortunately the $30 is a total fee. I'll probably make the case with my diocese that not having it in my room would cost them even more. I figure some fruit, cheese bread and juice is what I eat for breakfast anyway (Hopefully, they will at least have a coffeepot.). Oh, and by the way, you'd better reserve one if you want it. They are first come, first serve.