It has been intense at General Convention (GC), with lots of activity and inputs. My sense of disappointment at the proceedings in the House of Deputies (HoD) has felt overwhelming, and I’m trying to process what I’m hearing and experiencing. I apologize in advance to my fellow deputies, because it is not my usual style to complain or chide. It may be that I'm just tired, and it's fatigue peeking out of my psyche – my projections, and not objective reality I'm seeing. Or it may be sensory overload from which I can't quite recover, because the pace of data flow is fast and relentless.
I'm disappointed by what I perceive to be the lack of preparation and attention of some deputies. The flow of legislation in the HoD can move quickly. The parliamentary procedures can be complex. Reading the Blue Book which holds all the pre-GC reports from committees, commissions, agencies, and boards (CCABs) in advance, studying the agenda for each legislative day, and paying attention to the order of motions, amendments, substitutions, and votes, are imperative. Relying on others in one's deputation to help track legislation and hearings can be very helpful, especially if there are senior deputies in the deputation. GC is not a solitary endeavor, and teamwork among deputations can be the difference to being effective or not.
|Jack Finlaw & Ruth Woodliff-Stanley|
An example of this wrong-headedness is the resolution passed by the HoD, which directs Executive Council to sell the church's headquarters building at 815 Second Avenue. I'm neither opposed nor in favor of selling 815 Second Avenue. I have read and heard the clamor to relocate headquarters to a more geographically central and affordable site. I think that's a good idea. I think a lot of the church's leadership get that sentiment. I spoke against the resolution to sell 815 Second Avenue, because I don't think a decision to sell real estate can be made without appropriate deliberateness within a current context. I am opposed to requiring our board of directors to take action by fiat. As an Executive Council member, who is also a member of the board of directors of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society, I cannot succumb to coercion by moral suasion or GC resolution to do something that would violate my fiduciary responsibilities.
|Larry Hitt & Christy Shain-Hendricks|
| Jenny Te Paa, theologian from New|
Zealand, who is co-chaplain for the
House of Deputies this GC.
|Mary Kate Rejouis, who, |
along with Mike Houlik,
organizes the Convention
The transition to less paper and more electronic transmission of information to both deputies and committees have also caused frustration and stress. There are still large numbers of GC participants who do not travel with laptops or electronic notebooks (like iPads), including some who wouldn’t know how to use either if they were given loaners. I think it’s time for all deputies and bishops to make the effort to learn how to use the new technology. It’s our duty as deputies and bishops to become equipped and prepared to do the work of the current century in the modes of the current century, because GC is not returning to the stone ages.
|St. Augustine's, NYC, steel band orchestra playing before and|
after the Eucharist on Saturday, July 7th.