Wednesday, July 8, 2009

General Convention, day 3

This picture says we are actually threatening to somebody. I don't think it is Fred Phelps' wackos from Kansas, but I did not ask. They saw me taking a picture of them and one guy said something about how someone was supporting them. I just said, "Dream on, buddy. You really are delusional," and then I walked away. Thought you'd love to see it.

Well, let's see. The PB told us we were in crisis again, this time in the opening Eucharist. The Archbishop of Canterbury spoke for twenty minutes, followed by some video that malfunctioned and then the three young people that the video was about answered two questions that the president of the House of Deputies posed to them rather than asking the Archbishop anything. What a wasted opportunity. He gave us some wonderful things to think about in relation to lies and truths in the global economic crisis, and we just threw his aside to toot our own horn.

To be fair the third of the younger speakers was an African doctor working with Malaria. Unfortunately, it came across as part program plug, part pat ourselves on the back for the ERD (Episcopal Relief and Development) Nets for Life program. People started walked out steadily when they saw that the program had stepped away from Rowan Williams.

Okay, let's back up. Today I spent time in the Social Concerns Committee. In the morning, I spoke to the Economic Justice resolution which was asking for $100,000 in the budget over the next three years for program and administration. Boy, the sponsors did not have their act together. It took half an hour for them to explain where the money would be used. Choose your speakers better, folks. You had a sympathetic audience, and I would not be surprised if you don't get the money.

New Deputies luncheon on the budget: A waste. I already knew everything they had to say, and I could have answered the questions that other new deputies were asking. Didn't any of these folks do some homework before showing up?

Highlight of the day: The afternoon hearing, again in Social Concerns, that focused on marriage rites in the states that have authorized civil marriage. Those bishops are putting forth a resolution asking for a pastoral allowance to, in effect, allow their clergy to act. There were no speakers against the resolution! It still has to go through both houses, but that was a strong start.

Tomorrow is one of the big days. Same sex marriage goes before the Liturgy committee in the afternoon, and B033 (see my earlier columns if the numbers make no sense) comes before World Missions in the evening.

And we had our first two legislative sessions as a full house. The first was basically organizing (Don't click your notebook after the house has come to order people. And don't clap unless allowed to by the chair). The second mostly cleared away some non-controversial resolutions.

There is a mysterious group of 8 who are meeting with the Archbishop to talk about the American Church in relation to homosexuality, supposedly to represent all sides. No one knows who they are. I bet James Joiner knows. I will ask him. Maybe I'll even be able to tell you!

After all that, the Archbishop's talk came. Oh, and I may be fomenting a coup among Black (and other) clergy who don't buy into the identity politics of our elders. We'll see. Probably should not be printing that just yet, but nobody reads this anyway.

It is 9:30 now. How do I know? Because the nightly fireworks display from Disney has started; I can hear it from the window in my hotel room. Still have a deputies of color meeting at 10:00. That will end the day. Bourbon helps.


ocrhall said...

I knew there had to be at least 1 GC blog that would be worth reading. Glad to see you are posting. You are now my official source of news, views, and gossip!


Pullulating Remembrance said...

Kevin, your posts are rapidly making me reconsider any potential formal participation in church politics. Is it really as much of a waste of time as your blog makes it seem?

Kevin M said...

Church politics certainly demand patience. Things do get done, but you have to be prepared to wade through a lot of dung to get to the gems. And remember, I am writing in the midst of all this, so I am likely to zone in on the silly, the angering, and the most intense stuff.

For example, one of the most gracious things about the NC delegation is that, even though we do not agree on everything, we are still in conversation with one another, can joke and remember to bring water to one another when going back to the fountains. There is much grace here. Today, we heard the LA Childrens' Choir at Eucharist! Make you want to cry....

absolutleybill said...

I'm really curious about the fellow holding the "why do you hate god" sign. I believe I've commented on it before, but I just saw the verses at the bottom....

Why a verse that has very little to do with homosexuality and much more to do with worshiping false idols? Did he not bother to read anything after Romans 1:32...say 2:1, perhaps?

I really love this trend of pointing to a few gospel verses completely out of context and making a larger argument out of them. And by love, I mean I think it's dumb.