My plan for today was to write about General Convention Legislative Committees and how they are so critical to the work we do here at Convention. Public hearings must be held by one of our 22 committees on every resolution before it can be presented–in original or amended form–before the two houses, bishops and deputies. Six of our deputies and our bishop serve on committees, and the other two deputies and our two alternates monitor the work of of other committees. We are busy from early morning well into the evening.
But today was not an ordinary day at General Convention. We learned this morning of the Supreme Court decision in favor of marriage equality, and our deputation, along with many others, rejoiced. And rejoicing, we continued the work of Convention. Here are some images from my day here in Salt Lake City.
Bishop and Ann Ely, Anne Brown, and Lee Crawford indulge in a selfie after the morning Eucharist.
Bishop Ely and Lee Alison Crawford celebrate the Supreme Court Decision before the start of the morning Eucharist.
Those serving at the communion stations come forward to pick up the consecrated bread and wine. Imagine a congregation of about 1500 people.
Many women wore purple today to celebrate our women bishops and to show a desire fore more women in the episcopacy.
The Rt. Rev. Mary Glasspool, Bishop Suffragan of the Diocese of Los Angeles, and presided at the Eucharist, offers the closing blessing
House of Deputies President Gay Jennings and Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori preside over a joint session of the houses called to receive nominations for the next presiding bishop and to hold a conversation about the structure of the church at all levels–what is working and what changes might be needed.
Some Vermont deputies shared ideas about structure and governance with members of the Diocese of Rio Grande. Others engaged in conversation with deputies of Ohio.
The afternoon session of my legislative committee (Social Justice and International Policy) works on a resolution about the conflict in the Middle East.
The committee hears testimony on the proposed liturgies.
I have been testifying at General Convention committee hearings on questions of LGBT equality since the Phoenix Convention in 1991. The hearings have been held in large rooms to accommodate the many who wanted to give and hear testimony, and the rooms have always been packed. Tonight was different. What has been so very contentious and painful for many seems now to be for most people no longer an issue. I rejoice in the news of today, I am grateful for the many who have given so much to bring us to this day, and I rejoice in this nearly empty room. It says so much about our progress as a society and a church that respects the dignity of every human person.