Hello to Vermont! I am a second-time deputy from The Episcopal Church in Vermont to General Convention.
Pictured: President of the House of Deputies Gay Jennings with Vermont deputies Scott Neal, Rick Swanson, and Jenny Ogelby
This time I feel like I have a much better understanding of what is happening thanks to The Virtual Binder.
I arrived at General Convention a week ago today. So much has happened, and if you have been following the other deputation diaries you’ve heard or seen about a lot of it. We’ve had legislative hearings and sessions, nominations and elections, celebrations and so much more. The House of Bishops elected a Presiding Bishop- elect and the House of Deputies consented. We marched against gun violence and celebrated the Supreme Court decision on marriage equality and so much more. Of course there are amazing prayers and beautiful worship services. The Integrity Eucharist last night was so overwhelming tears flowed more than once or twice.
Today we honored our current Presiding Bishop, Katharine Jefferts Schori, and we had a “Jubilation” of Primates past, present and future on the platform.
Convention is packed full with meetings, worship and legislative sessions. Below is a picture of the schedule as found on our iPads. My days have relaxed a bit as my legislative committee has completed its work for the time being, but earlier in the week meetings began at 7:30am, then Dispatch of Business met at 9:30, followed by a legislative session, lunch meeting with our deputation, and onto another legislative meeting.
I was assigned to The Committee on Dispatch of Business on Friday afternoon after the liaison for committee 22, Alcohol and Drug Abuse, was unable to attend convention. I was called to the platform by the President of the House of Deputies, Gay Clark Jennings (who will be our guest at Diocesan Convention this year) and asked to serve on this committee. I was honored, but this meant I was unable to attend daily worship, which is so important for my energy and my ability to stay focused.
This convention has been an interesting time for me. As some of you may know, I have been called as rector of St. Paul’s in White River Junction. Today is my last official day as rector of St. James, Arlington. Tomorrow I officially begin as St. Paul’s rector. This transition while at convention has been a little more emotionally overwhelming than I had expected. This is a bittersweet time for me, leaving my St. James family and not quite having a St. Paul’s family. Even in the craziness of Convention I find myself consumed with deep sadness, extreme joy and excitement and everything in between. While these emotions are not affecting my work for the most part, I am noticing some extra exhaustion, more emotional tears than usual, and an occasional distraction. My fellow deputies have been a great support through all of this. I’d like to make a special shout out to my wife, Beth, who is at home in Arlington organizing, packing and cleaning so we can move to White River when I return this upcoming weekend.
It is an honor and privilege to serve as a deputy to General Convention from The Episcopal Church in Vermont. I am humbled to serve alongside my fellow deputies. I am proud to be from Vermont, a true leader in the Episcopal Church today!
General Convention is an amazing time of legislation, worship and fellowship. It is truly about building a better Church to serve the world and spreading the Love of Jesus. It is truly our church at it best!!