Home > Uncategorized > 1st Legislative Day GC77

1st Legislative Day GC77

I know all my loyal fans are wondering “where are David’s blog updates?”. Sorry to be late starting but didn’t have much to say yet.
Arrived in Indy the evening of July 3. On the 4th we could register and start attending committee meetings. I am not assigned to a committee so I am “monitoring” several, including Structure, Social and Urban, and Prayer Book and Liturgy. More on all those below.
Most of our deputation arrived on the 3rd and we began our daily lunch meetings where we discuss legislation and make plans for the next 24 hours. Ed Sisson serves on World Mission, Anita George is Vice-Chair of Education, David Johnson is on Structure, and Kathryn McCormick is on Church Pension Fund. They all have some pretty crucial stuff to look at.
On the afternoon of the 3rd we had opening remarks from the Presiding Bishop and the President of the House of Deputies. The speeches could not have been more different. The PB did her usual mission stuff but in an engaging way and a way that pointed to our efforts to restructure. The President of the House of Deputies (PHOD), Bonnie Anderson, has a nice delivery and presence, but her message was so confusing (at least to me). She talks about change and restructure and how that’s good, then reminds us that by God our polity was established around the time of the Constitution and how dare we change anything. She even (seemed to me) compared the “change agents” (my words not hers) as the Israelites who wanted to go back to Egypt to die, HUH? Later today at the Structure hearings on changing structure of GC and 815 et al, one speaker put it right – we’ve been stuck in Egypt mode too long, it took 40 years for the Israelites to shake it off, now is the time for us to do so.
Early today I was privileged to speak to the Social and Urban Committee concerning resolutions A125 and A127 about Anti Racism. As a recent appointee to the Anti Racism Committee of the Executive Council I thought it important to be there. Then Anita George, member of the Mississippi deputation and long time chair of that same committee, asked me to speak on behalf of the resolutions. Both Anita and I did, and basically we became the “expert witnesses” for questions the committee had about the resolutions (Anita far more than I – she is so beloved by so many for her lifetime of work in racial reconciliation). It was really fun and I think I did a good job with the questions they had.
The first legislative sessions were pretty routine. We did approve reinstituting 300K in the budget for the Episcopal Youth Event. Not only is EYE a great event, restoring this funding makes a statement of our priorities and I hope sends a message to our youth.
Most of the rest was pretty routine.
Tonight was the first really big hearing of GC – the Committee on Structure was holding hearings about all the structural reform resolutions (over 50 of them). I was part of a small working group that met informally on Tuesday night to work on a strategy. Several of us agreed to speak and also to encourage others from all the dioceses who submitted these resolutions. Primarily we are calling for a special task force to be appointed right after GC to put EVERYTHING on the table that has to do with governance, polity, CCABs, General Convention, budget, etc. The idea also includes a call for a special Constitutional Convention to deal with what comes out of that task force, so it doesn’t take the usual 6 years for Constitutional changes to take place. The room was packed and all but one of the 40 speakers spoke in favor of reform. I had my two minutes and I think it went well. The committee was initially reluctant, we think, to act on these proposals. They should have no reservation now of the will of the people for major changes. It’s very exciting!
Well it’s really late here and the day starts quite early. More later.

Remember you can track legislation in real time at http://generalconvention.org .

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