I must tell you, being on vacation is the way to do General Conention! You can skip what you aren't interested in, and sleep in if you want every day!
I have listened to a few legislative sessions. A couple of interesting thing have happened, which were probably minor events and not mentioned much elsewhere, so I'll just say a few words about them here.
First of all, the part of the canons which mandates that the Presiding Bishop cannot continue as a Diocesan Bishop were deleted. Somewhat tangentially related, in my mind, was that the Registrar, who lately has been the Canon to the PB, will once again be the Secretary of Convention, as it had been some years ago. Both these changes seem to me to be the beginnings of redefining the role of the Presiding Bishop. That may be a good thing, but to make such changes piecemeal, before any real conversations related to restructuring the Church have been held, seems, to me, to be a bit short sighted. After all, Bishop Katharine will be in place until GC 2015, so there was no need to start redefining that office now.
The other somewhat unexpected event was a move to reconsider the inclusion of the English Standard Version as an acceptable translation within the Episcopal Church. The move to reconsider was based on the claim that the ESV was a scholarly translation, and not a paraphrase. After this resolution was passed, the call to reconsider was based on such ESV texts as I Corinthians 6:9, in which there is a reference to "practicing homosexuals," suggesting that this translation is in places a paraphrase. They will be reconsidering the ESV this afternoon.
This morning's celebration of the Holy Eucharist was a wonderful experience. The organist and choir were superb. The presentation of the UTO offering, with each Diocese named as their representative came forward, was quite moving, as usual. Bishop Katharine preached an excellent sermon, calling us to stand up and be prepared to be sent out to an "rebelious, impudent and stubborn people" (quoting the text from Ezekial). She also reminded us of the philosopher Pogo's admonition: "We have met the impudent and stubborn ones, and they are us!"
The Diocese of Indianapolis hosted a grand affair this afternoon entitled Step Up Indianapolis. On the schedule is a "Gi-Normous Musical Chairs Contest", a"record-breaking flash mob Samba event" and the "Verger Olympics."
I'd been looking forward to this event, as since it was outside, my pup Korrie could finally attend a GC gathering. He's not been too pleased about being cooped up in the motel room, as you can see:
Well, I was not going to disappoint Korrie. We were going to make this afternoon an EVENT one way or another. So, I found a way to get him down by the White River which runs through Indianapolis. Korrie seemed to appreciate soaking his feet after walking all those blocks on the hot pavement. He seemed to get over the rejection much faster than I did:
As we were leaving, I noticed a homeless camp set up in the riverbed not far from where we were:
This camp was less than a mile from the huge Convention Center:
Keep in mind it was 102 yesterday here, and 93 today, with thunderstorms rolling in.
I just find it ironic that right in the shadow of one of the largest Convention Centers I've ever seen, meticulously clean with easy access to first class hotels, are folks living in the riverbed. Did I approach the camp and offer assistance? I was alone, and I'm not a fool, so no, I did not. Just noting the reality check I experienced after coming from an environment that was so proper and posh.
Tonight I'll be attending the Episcopal Peace Foundation's presention of its 2012 John Nevin Sayre Awards to Dr. Louie Crew and Mary Miller. Should be fun. And then tomorrow morning, I got talked into offering testimony at some hearing at...wait for it...7:30 am! So much for vacation.