Updating General Convention on the run

It has been an exhaustingly busy General Convention for me. As chair of the Legislative Committee on Communications for the House of Deputies, I had to not only chair the meetings, but schedule hearings on every resolution that came to us,  sign every piece of paper related to the committee in person at the House of Deputies secretariat, and make sure I tracked each piece of legislation as it wound its way through signoffs by Program. Budget and Finance as well as by Canons and onto the floor of the House of Deputies, where I would report on each piece prior to the House voting on it.

The Communication Committee. My co-chair, Bishop Jim Waggoner, is next to me in the purple — but you probably guessed that.
Here I am, shown on the big screen in front of the House of Deputies.Makes me look a little like Big Sister, doesn’t it?

My co-chair, Jim Waggoner, the bishop of the Diocese of Spokane, was doing the same thing in the House of Bishops.

All this wouldn’t have been so tiring except that the distances between the various hotels where committee meetings and hearings were held and the Convention Center where the House of Deputies met and where other offices were were sometimes a half mile apart — and I have a broken toe.

Yes, a man dropped his computer case on my foot in Baggage Claim as we were both picking up our luggage upon arrival in Indianapolis. I taped the toe to the toes next to it, and have been limping my way through General Convention — as has Barbara Caum, the committee secretary. She dropped a knife on her foot and has five stitches in her foot. We made a fine pair, I tell you.

The deputation has worked well together, monitoring several committees and pooling the information at deputation meetings in the bishop’s suite.

Bob Hicks talks with David Madison, Fred Barber and ClayOla Gitane.

Kathleen Wells in the deputation chair. Next to her, Bob Hick looks over some of the reams of paper we deal with daily. Ley alternate Lisa Neilson is next to Bob. Clergy Alternates ClayOla Gitane and Jim Reynolds are at the table behind Kathleen.
Jim Reynolds was one of the many deputies and alternates using Ipads, tablets, and smart phones to keep track of legislation.
Deputation Chair Kathleen Wells

On Monday Former HOD Chaplain Frank Wade did a lovely tribute to Pamela Chinnis, the first female president of the House of Deputies. As photos of Dr. Chinnis flashed onto the big screen, Wade read excerpts of her memoir.

The Exhibit Hall was abuzz with booths offering books, jewelry, clothing, vestments — it is a veritable bazaar of wonderful things, including lunch time talks by people such at Bishops Gene Robinson and Steve Charleston.

Gene Robinson speaking in Exhibit Hall.
Steve Charleston visits with a visitor to the booth where he was signing books.
The books booths are the most tempting.
Some booths were for organizations, others offered art and/or clothing.
You could also watch artists at work. This calligrapher created pieces to order.
And there were clothes.
Service dog Kimo was by far the cutest thing in the entire Exhibit Hall.
Lots of liturgical items.
Booth for the Archives of The Episcopal Church.
Courtland Moore visiting General Convention Exhibit Hall.

And often you round a corner in the Exhibit Hall and run into an old friend from home!

We elected Gay Jennings as the new President of the House of Deputies on the first ballot. Gay will be a good and steady leader, just as has Bonnie Anderson.

Gay Jennings addresses the House of Deputies after her election as president.
The bishops came to the House of Deputies for a joint session on the budget.
The gallery of the House of Deputies was standing room only for the debate on approving trial liturgies for same sex blessings.

Interest was high and the gallery was packed as the House of Deputies debated a resolution on the trial use of same sex blessing. After a very respectful debate, the measure passed by a healthy margin. The entire Fort Worth deputation voted yes.



Deputation Chairperson at Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth