Sunday was a different pace at the 77th General Convention of the Episcopal Church. While my day began with a Structure Committee meeting at 7:30 a.m., the general schedule for deputies and bishops did not commence until the 9:30 a.m. ECW UTO Ingathering and Eucharist. Our committee made significant headway on the omnibus church restucturing resolution, but it will be tomorrow before we are ready to send a resolution to the floor.
I am very pleased with the proposed resolution. I think that it represents a gracious and comprehensive approach to the idea and apsirations of restructuring the Episcopal Church. I will be happy to share more of that resolution as it it is finalized by the committee and sent to the House of Deputies. That should come first thing in the morning.
The UTO Ingathering and Eucharist was a wonderful service. Probably 3,000 people were in attendance, including delegates to the Episcopal Church Women Trienium, which is held in conjunction with General Convention. Representatives of all 110 jurisdictions within the Episcopal Church presented their offerings at the altar -- the basis for many hundreds of thousands of dollars in ECW UTO grants (from which the Diocese of Mississippi has benefited richly in the past).
The service also included a sermon by Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori. It was an excellent treatment of both the Old Testament and Gospel lessons today.
The House of Deputies met throughout the afternoon. Few issues of import were addressed today. I suspect more of the important issues will arise in the coming days -- structure, blessing of same gender unions, the Anglican Covenant, and the Episcopal Church budget. I can also see some resolutions dealing with the Israeli-Patlestinian conflict coming on the agenda tomorrow afternoon.
Our omnibus restructuring resolution will likely come out of committee in the morning. That could potentially mean that it would be taken up in a special order tomorrow or, more likely, Tuesday morning. I am really pleased with the work of our committee on this matter.
I have not had reports from last night's hearing on the blessing of same gender relationships. I have been almost tunnel-focused on the work of my committee so that I have been somewhat unaware of other developments at General Convention -- whether in the House of Deputies or the House of Bishops.
Tonight we had the Mississippi Night dinner. Bishop Gray was the host and Canon Kathryn McCormick had planned a wonderful evening for Mississippians present for General Convention and the ECW Trienium. Visitors included friends who are "ex-pat" Mississippians, a retired Mississippi Bishop, A. C. "Chip" Marble; former Mississippians who are also Bishops (Shannon Johnston of Virginia and Joe Burnett of Maryland); and other Bishops with whom we have close relationships (Lloyd Allen of Honduras and Julio Murray of Panama). It was a great evening of fellowship; probably 65 people were in attendance.
Work begins early in the morning, including a 7:30 a.m. committee meeting. Please keep us in your prayers.