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Legislative Day 4

I forgot to mention in my post on day 3 one of the most delightful things I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing while here. I went to the ECW’s recognition ceremony of Distinguished Women. One person from each Diocese is recognized and escorted in by her Bishop. I was proud to be there as St. James’ own Barbara Brunson was the Mississippi honoree! Way to go Barbara! We are all so proud of you!
Only one legislative session on Sunday. On Sundays we always have the UTO ingathering Eucharist, a very festive service and the UTO contributions from each Diocese are presented as well. Following Eucharist the Diocese of Indianapolis hosted a great event at the baseball field very near our hotels. They had food and lots of fun events, folks dressed in costumes from Indiana’s past, dance competitions, music and lots of fun. They accepted donations only and all the money went to their international outreach efforts. The diocese had many, many churches and their people turn out to put this event on. Great job!
The legislative slate for Sunday was a bit lean as committees are still scrambling to finish up resolutions. We voted down a resolution making September “Lay Ministry Month” – for two reasons: no one really pays attention to things like that and it seemed pretty condescending, every month the baptized are hard at work and honored in that work, lay or clergy.
The only controversial resolution was a second reading (it takes two GCs to change the Constitution) of a resolution to change consents for all Bishop elections to be handled by Bishops and Standing Committees (a majority of which must approve such elections). This is how consents take place now UNLESS the election is within 120 days of General Convention. If the latter case, the bishops-elect come before a committee of the House of Deputies for approval. Removing that clause allows us to use the same consent method for any and all bishop elections, which just plain makes good sense. It also eliminates a committee from General Convention, which is a good thing.
Today (Monday) we will have the first ballot for Executive Council. Praying for and actively supporting our own Dr. Anita George in that election. Come on Deputies, we NEED Anita in that body!
Last night was our traditional Mississippi Night dinner where any folks with any ties to Mississippi are invited to join us for dinner. We had a wonderful turn out, our ECW folks were there, as well as many old friends from our Diocese. Great time!
Today the Structure Committee should be ready to present their exciting resolution. After the testimony the other night the committee could see there was a huge groundswell of support for forming a special task force to take on the task of reforming our structure. The resolution will insist on diversity of voice and suggests the Presiding Bishop and President of the House of Deputies appoint people who are not the usual cast of characters in our governing bodies. They are to report to the next GC, but I may amend the resolution to include a provision for their reporting to a specially called convention, should that take place. Can’t wait to debate this one!

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