General Convention Reflection from Sunday, July 8, 2018
Jennifer (Jenny) Ogelby | Lay Deputy
This is our seventh day of at the 79th General Convention but only our fourth day of business. Many of us began the morning attending a rally with Bishops United Against Gun Violence at a small park near our hotel and across from the Austin Convention Center. The main speakers were Philip and April Schentrup, Episcopalians whose daughter Carmen was murdered in the Parkland High School shooting. They were followed by Abigail Zimmerman, a young lady (also Episcopalian) who helped to organize a walkout at her school in Waco, Texas shortly after the Parkland shooting. The Bishop who introduced her called her “a prophet for her time.” I would have to agree with him. She was a very powerful, moving speaker, and I could see easily how she will motivate others to work for peace.
For many of us, the next activity for Sunday entailed boarding 10-plus buses and many cars and heading to Taylor, Texas, home of the T. Don Hutto Residential Detention Center for women immigrants. We were told that at least 40 of the women had been separated from their children. We were quite far from the building but were also told that the women could hear us praying and singing, which we did for about an hour.
The day brought up a lot of emotions, and we were also in the heat for quite a bit of the day. But even though we were hot and tired, we returned to our respective Houses — House of Deputies or House of Bishops — to take up business. The president of the House of Deputies assured us that even though we were a bit behind not to worry! #GC79