Sunday, July 12, 2009

General Convention, day 6, edited

Today I played hookey from the public narrative discussions. So did most of our deputation. Before that,though, we heard some inklings about what will come out of the sexuality reports. I listened in on the ones on same sex unions at the morning meeting of the Liturgy Committee. They are looking at allowing diocese to prepare right along with significant conversation with other parts of the Anglican Communions. Note that the word conversation is not the same as consultation, which, in some places, implies agreement.

At this point, it appears that the resolution about B033 are going to center on the reality that we are not of one mind. It is not clear to what extent they free us from the shackles. And, of course, the two houses can make all sorts of changes to the resolution when it reaches the floor. Keep watch on Monday and Tuesday.

By the way, I testified for the resolution out of our diocese about making the baptismal covenant moreof an active statement. Instead of the priest asking quesion about how we will live it out as the person assenting, the candidate (and the congregation) would actually say what they will do. And there is a additinal response about our stewardship of creation.

You may hear some rumblings about the choice of bishop for Central Ecuador. Be aware that the process followed was absolutely canonical and proper. The folks who do not like it represent one of the candidates who lost.

Ray Suarez (a deacon and yes, the name is familiar because he is on the News Hour with Jim Lehrer on PBS) preached a great sermon; go to the official web site for the footage. The gist was that we have something to offer to people who cannot find a home in other places in the church, and we have an obligation to carry that to those people.

So now on to the evening. I skipped the seminary dinner at $50 and went instead to the Latino/a party. Good food, but even better conversation with the current and future bishops of Central Ecuador. Both are wonderful folk and need our support. The previous bishop apparently ran the diocese without benefit of a standing committee and used the money for his own lifestyle. We are getting it back together, but it will take time. Pray for Bishop elect Ruis.

While I am at it, pray for Matt & Rebbecca Hanson, married yesterday. Matt is my assistant; they were married yesterday. To make matters worse, Matt had teaching job offer on Friday!

Now keep reading; this is a great story. I decided to go to the House of Blues in Downtown Disney, an area that is technically not in the park (you do not have to pay to get into it). Keep reading if you want a good story. My friend Dan Brown (no, not that guy. Dan is chaplain at U. of Georgia in Athens. We brought along Juan Diego, one of the young adults Dan knows from working with Vocare. We get there about 10:30pm.

The first thing that happens is we are given a wristband (right hand please!). Next we were asked if we were guests. Of course, we are not, but we are allowed to move to the head of the line. They sell us entry tickets for $20. Then we were practically stripped searched by their security. So we climb a dozen stairs and have our passports scrutinized--no, actually they just take the tickets from us that they just sold us at the bottom of the stairs.

If you read all this, you may have noticed some strange words at the bottom. I have no idea where they came from except it was 3:00am and I babbled on paper. Here is the rest of the story.

When we walk into the House of Blues, we hear techno pop. But what we see is nothing but Asian kids; they could not have been older than 23. And, of course it is obvious that they are there for each other and know this is the place to be. So all you non-Asian people with fantasies should just know that you would have been out of luck. And, as was pointed out to me by one person I told this story (believe, we have told this story!), not a whole luck of luck would have been had for gay folk either.

Except, to be honest, no one in the place is making a move. It's like 8th grade in here. The boys are in their clumps and so are the girls. No one is dancing in thei increasingly crowded place. The video monitors around the place are showing images of the empty dance floor. I tried a couple of times to take a picture with my cell phone, but of course the light is too low.

Not that there weren't pictures being taken. And a lot of giggling. At one point, I turn to Dan (who is White and looks like a good old boy from Georgia) "This may be one of those rare times where you and I are equally uncomfortable." Nothing like feeling like the dirty old man standing in the corner. Except Diego is 23 and he feels the same way. He went off to talk to the bartender (the staff by the way is all White and Latino/a), who suggests he come back on Sunday for the Gospel brunch. He politely declines. But when he comes back, he asks if we have read the wristband. Printed on it are the words "Unity in Diversity." We decide to not be the diversity any more and leave, looking out over another 50 kids ready to get in.

Today is Sunday, and I am finishing this blog. It is a short day. We have the United Thank Offering ingathering service at 10:00 and a 3:00pm legislative session. A lost of people, bishops especially have been booked to be in congregations, and besides it is both Sunday and we have been at it for a week. almost. I am missing the Episcopal Women's Caucus $35 breakfast with Barbara Harris, but hey, I just heard her preach at the Integrity Eucharist and anyway, I am eating breakfast in my room.

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