All posts by Curt Norman

Watching My Children at General Convention

My family and I are benefiting from a gracious gift from some friends. The prospect of spending 12 days away from Margaret, Karina (11), and Cade (9) for General Convention seemed quite  daunting when I was elected as a deputy. But our friends made it possible for my family to spend a few days with me here in Salt Lake City.

Yes, we’ve done some vacation-type activities. For example, we took the kids up to Olympic Park in Park City, site of the 2002 Winter Olympics. We’ve shopped at the malls near the hotel and convention center. That’s all well and good. Those activities alone make for a wonderful gift. But there’s a deeper gift I’ve been granted.

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I’ve been able to spend two days worshiping with my family. For a change, I’ve stood next to them during Holy Eucharist instead of being separated by an altar. I’ve been close enough to hear them sing (or not). I’ve fielded questions that arose after Episcopalians around us recited the Lord’s Prayer in languages my children had not heard until arriving here. I’ve received the Body and Blood of Jesus with them instead of giving it to them.

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I ponder the impact this convention will have on my children’s journey with Jesus in the Episcopal Church, as they’ve received daily hugs from Bishops High, Ohl, and Mayer, and engaged in deep conversations over dinner with deputies from the Episcopal Diocese of Northwest Texas (not to mention small talk with bishops processing past them during Sunday’s worship service).

Karina and Cade aren’t the only children here at General Convention. There are even younger folks among us.

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A young attendee at General Convention joins in worship.
A young attendee at General Convention joins in worship.

One can hear the occasional cry, or laugh, or emphatic “Amen” during the liturgies after all the adults have finished saying “Amen.” After hearing their voices and the stories from other deputies and bishops about the times they brought their children or grandchildren to different conventions, it’s clear to me that children are welcome here. They add to the joy of this large,  Episcopal family. Their presence here is indeed a great gift that will keep on giving.

General Convention Badges

Alfonso Bedoya is probably best known for his show-stealing line while playing the role of Gold Hat in the 1948 film The Treasure of Sierra Madre:

“Badges? We ain’t got no badges. We don’t need no badges. I don’t have to show you any stinkin’ badges!”

 

Well, deputies to the Episcopal Church’s 78th General Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah,  need badges. As a member of the Credentials Committee, it’s my job to help deputies obtain their badges. The line for badges begins with the station where I’m working. After the deputies from my assigned-by-alphabetical-order dioceses of Maine to Northwestern Pennsylvania fill out the forms (in Trinitarian-like triplicate), they move to my right, pass one of the copies of the form to my work neighbor, and they are presented with their wonderful-smelling nametag holder with lanyard complete with name, map, and other goodies I’ve yet to explore. In short, they successfully obtain their badges.

badges  Continue reading General Convention Badges