Bishop Stacy Sauls’ letter to the Wall Street Journal, and links to more conversations

As a followup to our post on the misleading Wall Street Journal op-ed by Jay Akasie on July 13,  read what Bishop Stacy Sauls wrote to the WSJ. Bishop Sauls’ letter appeared July 20, 2012, on page A10 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal.

Episcopal Church Is Radically Faithful to Its Tradition

Space does not permit a correction of the numerous factual points I could dispute in Jay Akasie’s “What Ails the Episcopalians” (Houses of Worship, July 13). Instead, I offer a spiritual correction.

The church has been captive to the dominant culture, which has rewarded it with power, privilege and prestige for a long, long time. The Episcopal Church is now liberating itself from that, and as the author correctly notes, paying the price. I hardly see paying the price as what ails us. I see it as what it means to be a follower of Jesus.

Many years ago when I was a parish priest in Savannah, a local politician and disaffected Episcopalian began a conversation with me. In that case the subject was homosexuality. It could have been any of the things mentioned last week as our ailments. “I just think the church should not be governed by the culture,” he said. I replied that I agreed with him, but that “I just hadn’t noticed that the culture was all that hospitable toward gay people.” He stammered. “Well, maybe not here in Georgia.”

The Episcopal Church is on record as standing by those the culture marginalizes whether that be nonwhite people, female people or gay people. The author calls that political correctness hostile to tradition.

I call it profoundly countercultural but hardly untraditional. In fact, it is deeply true to the tradition of Jesus, Jesus who offended the “traditionalists” of his own day, Jesus who was known to associate with the less than desirable, Jesus who told his followers to seek him among the poor. It is deeply true to the tradition of the Apostle Paul who decried human barriers of race, sex, or status (Galatians 3:28).

What ails the Episcopalians is that this once most-established class of American Christianity is taking the risk to be radically true to its tradition. There is a price to be paid for that. There is also a promise of abundant life in it.

Bishop Stacy F. Sauls
Chief Operating Officer
The Episcopal Church

Many other previous responses to the original WSJ are:

Kirk Smith, Bishop of Arizona
Scott Gunn, deputy from Rhode Island
George Conger
, senior correspondent at the Church of England newspaper (which not an official publication of the Church of England)
Margaret Waters, rector of St Alban’s Episcopal Church, Austin, TX
Winnie Varghese, Priest, St. Mark’s Church in the Bowery, New York City
Diana Butler Bass, Author
Sam Lloyd, bishop and former dean of the National Cathedral
Gay Clark Jennings, the new president of the House of Deputies

Tom Erich, writer, church consultant and Episcopal priest, sums up the attacks of both the New York Times  and Wall Street Journal:

“Neither do Douthat and Murdoch’s mouthpieces understand the present moment. Mainline Protestant church leaders are finally getting ready to do what they should have been doing for 50 years, namely, looking outside their walls at a deeply troubled world, resolving to turn their congregations toward being responsive and effective, and allowing young adults into leadership.”

“Now leaders can look outward and onward. Conservatives will find themselves ignored, not because mainline traditions have lost their way, but because they are determined to find their way, and my-way-or-the-highway conservatives have cried wolf too often.

Their next round of emotional and financial blackmail won’t find much of an audience, except, of course, on the op-ed page of The Wall Street Journal.”

Convention wrap-up: Re-envisioning church for the 21st century

By Matthew Davies | July 12, 2012

[Episcopal News Service – Indianapolis] General Convention has called on the Episcopal Church to re-imagine its structure, taken historic steps towards full inclusion, endorsed positive investment in the Palestinian Territories, and reaffirmed its commitment to building Anglican Communion relationships while saying it is unable to adopt the Anglican Covenant.

Based on the Anglican Communion’s Five Marks of Mission, the budget for the Episcopal Church in the 2013-2015 triennium was adopted unanimously by the 77th General Convention July 11.

The budget, available here, is balanced at $111,516,032, compared to $111,808,350 for the current triennium, and comes with a small surplus of $30,000.

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and outgoing President of the House of Deputies Bonnie Anderson addressed the media at a closing news conference July 12.

At this convention, “you have seen the Episcopal Church not only of the future, but of today, in the presence of young adults, a more significant number than we’ve seen in a long time, people of many nations and tribes and language traditions,” said Jefferts Schori, noting that more than 40 international guests attended convention. “The Episcopal Church is healthy, it’s becoming healthier, and it’s poised for an even more significant impact on the world around us. There’s no stopping us. Watch out world. We’re coming.”

Anderson, who now steps down as House of Deputies president, said it has been a great convention and that the deputies, 44 percent of whom were new, were extremely well prepared.

General Convention, which met July 5-12 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, is composed of the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies, which includes clergy and laity.

Structural reform

Of the almost 400 resolutions submitted to General Convention more than 90 related to structural reform. Most of those resolutions were similar in nature and it was the work of the structure committee at convention to consider the legislation and make its recommendations to the house.

Applause and cheers erupted July 11 as Resolution C095, which calls for creation of a task force to re-imagine the workings of the Episcopal Church in the 21st century, sailed unanimously through the House of Bishops. A day earlier, deputies also had passed the resolution unanimously.

The legislation creates a special task force of up to 24 people who will gather ideas in the next two years from all levels of the church about possible reforms to its structures, governance and administration. Its work will culminate in a special gathering of people from every diocese to hear what recommendations the task force plans to make to the 78th General Convention. Its final report is due by November 2014.

Full story.

Bishop Stacy Sauls, chief operating officer for the Episcopal Church, praised the work of both the structure committee and convention.

“My hope has always been that we would begin to have a conversation and the church embraced that. The conversation became a movement of hope for the future of the church.”

He added that the people of Episcopal Church have realized – and the institutional is getting it – “that we are standing on the brink of an unprecedented moment; have seen it as opportunity rather than threat.”

Full story.

The spending portion of the budget for the next triennium is allocated according to the Anglican Communion’s Five Marks of Mission, and the categories of administration and governance. The five marks are:

  • To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
  • To teach, baptize and nurture new believers
  • To respond to human need by loving service
  • To seek to transform unjust structures of society
  • To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth

The budget assumes $73.5 million in commitments from the church’s dioceses, nearly $4 million less than that in the current triennium. That total is based on keeping at 19 percent the amount that the church asks dioceses to contribute annually to the church-wide budget.

Same-gender blessings

In a historic move, convention authorized provisional use of a rite for blessing same-gender unions. “The Witnessing and Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant” rite will be available for use starting Dec. 2 (the first Sunday of Advent), but clergy will need the permission of their bishop under the terms of the resolution.

The resolution calls on the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music “to conduct a review process over the next triennium, making clear that this is a work in progress,” the Rev. Ruth Meyers, deputy of the Diocese of Chicago, told the deputies. She chaired the conventionPrayer Book, Liturgy and Church Music Committee’s subcommittee on blessings and the SCLM.

The resolution directs the SCLM to include “diverse theological perspectives in the further development of the theological resource” and to invite responses from throughout the church as well as from the Anglican Communion and the church’s ecumenical partners.

The resolution states that, under existing canons, clergy can decline to preside at a blessing liturgy and says that no one “should be coerced or penalized in any manner, nor suffer any canonical disabilities” for objecting to or supporting the 77th General Convention’s action on blessings.

Full story.

Gender identity, expression

Two resolutions passed by convention offer support for the transgender community by adding gender expression and identity to two canons that prevent discrimination. One makes clear that the ordination discernment process is open to them, and another guarantees their equal place in the life, worship and governance of the church.

Full story.

Following action on same-gender blessings and transgender rights, the majority of the Diocese of South Carolina’s deputies left the General Convention July 11 because, in the words of its remaining clergy deputy, the gathering had passed resolutions that violate the doctrine, discipline and worship of the Episcopal Church.

However, that deputy, the Very Rev. John B. Burwell, told Episcopal News Service, “We are not leaving the Episcopal Church.”

Positive investment

Convention overwhelmingly supported a resolution on positive investment in the Palestinian Territories. But the bishops agreed to postpone indefinitely a conversation on corporate engagement.

Resolution B019 affirms positive investment “as a necessary means to create a sound economy and a sustainable infrastructure” in the Palestinian Territories. It also calls on the church to support “the Jewish, Muslim, and Christian study on peace with justice in the Middle East,” and produce an annotated bibliography of resources.

Resolution C060, which called on the church to engage “in corporate social responsibility by more vigorous and public corporate engagement with companies in the church’s investment portfolio that contribute to the infrastructure of the Occupation,” was tabled after Bishop Sean Rowe of Northwestern Pennsylvania called for the conversation to be postponed indefinitely. The deputies had passed that resolution on July 9, but it would have required the bishops’ consent.

Full story.

Anglican Covenant, Continuing Indaba

Convention also affirmed its commitment to building relationships across the Anglican Communion, especially through the Continuing Indaba program, and to decline to take a position on the Anglican Covenant.

After considering eight resolutions, the General Convention’s committee on world mission recommended adoption of two resolutions on Anglican Communion relationships and theAnglican Covenant, a document that initially had been intended as a way to bind Anglicans globally across cultural and theological differences.

Connecticut Bishop Ian Douglas, chair of the World Mission Committee, told ENS following the vote that the resolutions are “a genuine pastoral response because we are not of one mind, and to push a decision at this time would cause hurt and alienation in our church on both sides and instead we chose to stay in the conversation.”

Full story.

The Rev. Gay Jennings of Ohio was elected to serve as the next president of the House of Deputies and Byron Rushing of Massachusetts as the next vice president. Each will serve a three-year term beginning at the end of General Convention.

Other legislation that convention passed includes:

Resolution A019, re-affirming advocacy support for peace in Sudan. (Full story)

Release of Cuban prisoners
Resolution A021 (, calling for the release of all in Cuban prisons for religious activities or peaceful advocacy of political change in the Republic of Cuba; and to support advocacy efforts for the humane treatment and pastoral care of four Cuban nationals convicted of spying for the government of the Republic of Cuba, who are serving prison sentences in United States.

Resolution A036, which commends the 11-year relationship of full communion with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and asks the Lutheran-Episcopal Coordinating Committee to address areas where Episcopal and Lutheran practices differ, especially around the matter of who can preside at Holy Communion and the role of deacons.

Studying marriage
Resolution A050, authorizing a task force to study marriage. It calls for creation of a 12-member task force to study marriage, including needs for pastoral responses by clergy for same-sex couples in states where civil marriage is legal, as well as issues “raised by changing societal and cultural norms and legal structures.”

Prayer Book
Resolution A059, revising the Holy Week readings in the Prayer Book to correspond with those in the Revised Common Lectionary;

Poverty and justice
Resolution A135, a compilation of several other resolutions that responds to issues of poverty and injustice. It commits the church over the next three years to “teaching, preaching, organizing, advocating, and building mutually transformative relationships with those who are poor to focus our hearts and the mission of our congregations and dioceses on reducing poverty and increasing economic and racial justice.” It also calls for every meeting that takes place in the church to include time for prayer and reflection “on how our work engages issues of poverty and economic and racial justice networks” in order to “cultivate mindfulness about poverty in our communities and world.” Full story.

Monitoring women, other underrepresented groups
Resolution A144, requiring the tracking of the ratio of women to men in bishop election processes, along with racial and ethnic minorities, and encouraging dioceses to strive for greater diversity in candidates.

Support for Gaza hospital
Resolution B017, calling on the church to support the Diocese of Jerusalem’s Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza with fundraising and advocacy after the United Nations Relief and Works Agency cut its financial aid, slashing the hospital’s budget nearly in half.

Reconciliation or dissolution of an Episcopal relationship
Resolution B021, which amends the canons to provide a mechanism for addressing disagreement in the pastoral relationship between a diocese and its bishop.

Denominational Health Plan
Resolution B026, to give dioceses and parishes an additional three years to meet the requirement that they provide parity in health insurance cost-sharing between lay and clergy employees. That deadline now is extended until Dec. 31, 2015. Dioceses and parishes still must offer health insurance to employees through the Church Medical Trust by the end of 2012. It also calls the Medical Trust to continue to explore “more equitable sharing of health care premium costs.”

Access to Holy Baptism, Holy Communion
Resolution C029, affirming the Episcopal Church’s teaching that Baptism is the norm for those who wish to receive Holy Communion.

Relocating Episcopal Church Center
Resolution D016, to approve a move away from, but did not authorize the sale of, the Episcopal Church Center headquarters at 815 Second Avenue in New York. (Full story)

Establish development office
Resolution D025, establishing a Development Office for the Episcopal Church to solicit major gifts and other resources.

Pilot Student Loan Program
Resolution D049, which calls for creating a pilot student loan fund for seminarians who agree to exercise three years of ministry in under-served areas of the Episcopal Church.

Dialogue with Mormon Church
Resolution D081, directing the Standing Commission on Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations to initiate dialogue between the Episcopal Church and the Mormon Church “for the interreligious purposes of friendship, goodwill, mutual understanding” and in anticipation of the 78th General Convention to be held in Salt Lake City in 2015.

For a full list of resolutions acted on at the 77th General Convention, click here.

– Matthew Davies is editor/reporter for Episcopal News Service.

A wonderful General Convention and a misleading WSJ opinion piece

Your bishop and deputies from the Diocese of Fort Worth have just returned home from a wonderful General Convention, filled with a new sense of working together and enthusiastic about a restructuring effort aimed at creating a more efficient church intentionally focused on ministry. A time will be scheduled soon to present to the diocese a formal summary of our impressions and the actions taken at General Convention.

Several follow-up articles and videos about the Fort Worth experience of General Convention will be presented on this blog. We also will share the many reports forthcoming about General Convention from many points of view from around the church. Sadly, an opinion piece published yesterday (Friday) in the Wall Street Journal was wildly inaccurate and misleading.

Responses followed swiftly from Kirk Smith, Bishop of Arizona; Scott Gunn, deputy from Rhode Island; and George Conger, senior correspondent at the Church of England newspaper (which not an official publication of the Church of England).

We urge you to read the responses.

And here’s one from Taylor Burton-Edwards, a Methodist who is married to an Episcopal priest. Interesting perspective.



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.



Liturgy for Same-Sex Blessings Passes House of Deputies at General Conventions

I watched the live stream from the House of Deputies this afternoon, from home, and watched #GC77 fly past on Twitter, as debate ensued and resolutions were proposed to amend Resolution A049  “Authorize Liturgical Resources for Blessing Same-Gender Relationships.” Opponents proposed several amendments, all of which were defeated.It was a long, well-debated process, handled with grace and with at least one stop for centering, discerning prayer.

A vote by orders was called, which meant that deputies of the laity and clergy deputies would be tallied separately in the end. Katie Sherrod tweeted this picture immediately after the vote:

Resolution A049
Entire Fort Worth deputation votes YES on resolution A049 authorizing adoption of a liturgy for same-sex blessings

Yes, folks, that’s a clear voice of inclusion from the Fort Worth deputation.

It took FOREVER for the electronic votes to be tallied; why, only God knows! The House moved on to other business, namely, nominating people for the vice-president of the House of Deputies. Meanwhile, the clock ticked. As the last action before recess, the results of the A049 vote were announced:

Lay:      yes=86, no=19, divided=5;  78% voted yes
Clergy: yes=84, no=22,  divided=4; 76% voted yes

Pretty clear, isn’t it?

Shock, joy, tears, leaping, outrage were all sentiments expressed in the twitterverse on this historic vote. At this point, Episcopal legislation is complete; a liturgy has passed both houses of General Convention and will become available for use later this year. The name of the liturgy is, “I Will Bless You and You Will Be a Blessing.”

Members of the Universal Christian Church (UCC) reminded the #gc77 Twitterverse today that they were the first mainstream protestant church to openly bless same-sex unions.  Well, now there are two churches.

The Gift of the UTO Offering

On Sunday, the 8th of July, the morning worship service including the United Thank Offering Ingathering service.  It made a tremendous impact to see the Episcopal Church Woman UTO Representative from each diocese proceed across the stage and offer a financial gift from her diocese.  Due to the generosity of congregations of all sizes, structures, and financial means, the UTO provided 37 grants to dioceses, 2 regional grants, 6 companion dioceses grants, and 8 international grants.   Well over a millions dollars collected and put right back into the community we are called to serve.  As a child I was excited about saving my coins to contribute. I gave as a young woman, but not always as much as possible.  As an older woman with nature’s highlights in my hair, I am so proud and honored to be able to contribute.  It means something to see the longevity, potential, and the power of the ECW, UTO, and a little blue collection box. The Presiding Bishop’s message urged us to, “Keep it simple. Be a gift.  Speak and act for God’s dream.  Go and act for God’s dream.  Boldly go where Jesus has gone before…and invite others to help.” Are you willing?  Am I willing?

Can I get an amen for Crazy Christians?

Every day, I think the worship service cannot get any better.  Every day, I think how amazed I am that the worship service is indeed better than I could have ever imagined. The music continues to be glorious and the Steel Band Orchestra of St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church in Brooklyn touched me in a way that is rare.  (Do you all have a CD available? ) Today, I was blown away by Bishop Curry of North Carolina.  Dear Lord, as we continue our search for a new bishop could you please send someone our way who inspires us to get crazy, speak out, and “stand up against the nightmares of this world until God’s dream for us is realized. “ That quote may be a little off, but I think I have the jest.  We are called to be a little different, a little crazy– to love, give, endure, and follow as faithful believers.  I will never hear the Battle Hymn of the Republic without thinking of this message. I pray that when my faith translates into actions, I am like Mary Magdalene and remain with Jesus when I am frightened or in danger of persecution.

The Social Media Challenge, Resolution D069, as seen from afar

Something interesting happened at General Convention, and even though I am not present in Indy, I have followed resolution D069 and am compelled to write about it. D069 is, in spirit and intent, a sibling resolution to A025. These resolutions read:

A025 passed by the House of Deputies: “Resolved, the House of Bishops concurring, that the 77th General Convention of the Episcopal Church challenges every congregation in The Episcopal Church to have an effective, dynamic and current website by 2015.”

D069: “Resolved, the House of _______ concurring, That the 77th General Convention of The Episcopal Church challenge every diocese and congregation in The Episcopal Church to actively engage social media in its current and future manifestations.”

You may need these definitions:

GC77: the 77th General Convention of the Episcopal Church
Chsocm: church social media
OYP: official youth presence
Tweep: person on twitter

Before I went to sleep last night I read a Twitter conversation (yes, all conversations in Twitter are public, except for Direct Messages). It started with this proposal:

Caroline Carson ‏@Conductor222 @TheRevEJ @stevepankey I suggested testifying about soc media VIA soc media! I think that wld be great! #keepmeposted

The Rev. Erin Jean ‏@TheRevEJ Abt DO69-Someone cld take their 2 mins to share testimonies offered via twitter? #GC77 testimonies could use hashtag #do69? @stevepankey ?

Affirmations that “testimony by Twitter” was an idea worth pursuing rolled in. Tweeps, from far and wide, listening to #GC77 conversation on Twitter, started chiming in with their thoughts about the importance of the church’s participation in social media.  Now, if you think this conversation was just by young adults at convention, but you’re mistaken. Bishops, grandparents, older people proclaiming their advanced age, teenagers from the Official Youth Presence, folks from everywhere chatted about #D069 online late into the night and beginning again in the early morning.  They shared their ideas in 140 characters or less. They tweeted links to their blogs where they had already written about social media’s role in the church today.  Some wrote new blog posts to give information to those who would speak at the morning committee hearing.

I put my personal thoughts out there after 11pm Texas Time, using my Twitter handle @skwechter, in 140-character-or-less chunks, but I’ll kindly spare you the text-message shorthand I used:

  • Episcopalians have always used available technology for evangelism.
  • Social media isn’t a quirky playground, it can be used strategically.
  • Church social media is as much an idea space as a coffee shop is, full of conversation between real people separated by geography and time.
  • Social media puts a church/christian where people ALREADY are.
  • “Willful ignorance” of social media is no longer an option.
  • Demographically, the younger people TEC needs to reach often DON’T WANT to be reached by email.
  • Don’t use  as example of socially integrated website; the only way to get info is email subscription.
  • and its email-only media releases showcase how to be completely disengaged from 2012 Cchurch social media (yes, I really tweeted that).
  • There’s so much ground to cover with church social media that our churches need to be challenged to enter the social media arena.
  • Wake up the Official Youth Presence to speak about church social  media relevance.
  • A priest friend says “I’ve done more ministry through my blog and Facebook than any other way since retiring.”

Then I went to bed.

Before I made it to my keyboard late this morning, I knew something interesting had happened, because my phone buzzed. There was a Twitter direct message from DioFW seminarian Jordan Haynie (@GodWelcomesAll); she had quoted me in testimony before the Communications Committee.  Great, I thought, hopefully not the jabs at about their frustrating lack of social media integration on their brand-spanking-new website.  But I learned from following #GC77 on Twitter that something remarkable had happened in the 07:35am communications committee hearings this morning.  Here are some of the Twitter conversation and before, during, and after the hearings:

@TheRevEJ RT @stevepankey: #D069 tweetup #GC77   (ßThat’s a picture)

@#amyphaynie #gc77 #chosm twitter allows me to be present in one committee while “listening in” on others and praying for those also.

@billjoseph “While parishes may not be on FB and Twitter, there are people on FB and Twitter who are not in our parishes”. Well said #D069 #GC77

@Conductor222 #d069 Twitter is enabling me to feel like I have a voice even though I’m not at #GC77 I have a vested interest & it helps.

@stevepankey “Our baptismal covenant challenges us to take Jesus where people are, and people are online.” #OYP at #D069 tweetup #GC77

@EPFYoungAdults #d069 what we do is talk about Jesus. The Church has always mastered communication and we need to master this media. #weneedchange #gc77

@EMjennielle This  RT @Conductor222: @TheRevEJ #DO69-blog post on#GC77 & Social Media. Hope y’all find it useful/interesting:

@EPFYoungAdults #d069 Episcopal generations speaks to the need for youth and elders to inform each other. #weneedchange #gc77

@episcovol My 3rd GC as an observer from my nursing chair (w 4 different babes) #GC75 #GC76-mostly bloggers #GC77 tweeters have brought it closer #D069

@Conductor222 #chsocm #DO69 #GC77 Relationships are being formed that are affecting me positively in my faith & theological development, I am inspired!

@PamelaGRW “Jesus went out into the marketplace” The marketplace right now is online. #GC77 #D069

@GodWelcomesAll Chair Sherrod: Twitter turned out more people for this hearing than we’ve had for any other. #gc77 #d069 #chsocm #benotafraid

@EPFYoungAdults  @TheRevEJ social media is not an addition 2 evangelism. It is evangelism. It’s the language of the future we need to learn.#gc77 #d069

@scottagunn @KatieSherrod3, chair of cmte, suggests that we change sign-in sheet to include twitter handles. #GC77 #GettingModern

@JosephPMathews we want to be clear that social media should not replace face2face communication. #gc77 #benotafraid #D069

@stevepankey: “Our baptismal covenant challenges us to take Jesus where people are, and people are online.” #OYP at #D069 tweetup #GC77

@EPFYoungAdults: #d069 Episcopal generations speaks to the need for youth and elders to inform each other. #weneedchange #gc77

@GodWelcomesAll Chair Sherrod just referenced trolls as she names community policing as a safeguard. #gc77 #d069 #benotafraid

@TheRevEJ No one showed up to speak against #do69 … That’s the future!#GC77

@theologybird: #D069 goes forward with motion to adopt. #GC77

@colinmchapman   @scottagunn forgot to mention that @katiesherrod3 also spoke out against trolls #gc77 #thingsyouneverthoughtyoudhereinTEC

@KatieSherrod3 #gc77 The Twitterverse showed up at our Communications hearing. Wonderful testimony and witnessing!

@dianabutlerbass: #GC77 I’m (way) over 35, love words & nuanced ideas & I tweet! Loving that this GC is available via social media. More, please!

Being at home instead of Indy, I don’t know whether the committee needed much convincing, since they had already grappled with A025. But the committee’s decision to send D069 forward was heartening, cementing their belief in the relevance of newer communication channels to the ministry of our church. The creative way in which people of all ages from all places collaborated to fuel the speakers who awoke early to stand before a microphone in a hearing was inspring.  #GettingModern #BeNotAfraid #WeNeedChange #ThingsYouWillHearMoreAboutInTEC #AndGodGrinned


Lions, Tiger, and Bears – Shopping, Information, and Exhibits -Oh My!

This was Day Two–but it’s never too late for this post!
I made it to the exhibit hall, of course. And I have to share one of my favorite booths. This gentleman, Jeff Wunrow makes absolutely fabulous banners, vestments, and paraments from wonderful fabrics many of which he designs. He has two banners that for me sum everything up: “It is finished” and “He is risen.” What more is needed to be said? It describes all that God has given for our salvation; all that Jesus suffered on our behalf; and the wonderful hope and grace that lifts and sustains us each day.

Jeff can be sound in his studio in Saint Louis, MO or online at  Check out “He is risen” above–the picture does not do it justice.

Day One – more than a day or two late but prayerfully submitted!

I know that I arrived in Indianapolis for the Triennial meeting more than a day or so ago. Perhaps the central theme of these blogged messages will be a day late, a dollar short, but still hopefully delivered in the time that God has chosen. It has been interesting to hear the conversations of the many women around me-some of them have been coming to this meeting for 12 or 15 years and then there are others like me who are here for the first time. Our first keynote speaker, Rev. Lindsay Hardin Freeman, talked about the ” always welcoming spirit” of the ECW. Thoughts that will remain with me from her presentation are ” faith can’t be taught; it has to be caught” and ” every prayer said for us is still holding us up.” I cannot help but think that the prayers of my grandmothers, Joe Ella and Venora; and those of my godmothers, Gladys and Marion; are joined with all the prayers of the women who are my mothers-Evelyn, Paula, Harlean, Marjorie, and Dorian. Those women, many of whom were/are Episcopal Church Women have built and nourished the congregations that continue to serve others. And as Rev. Freeman said,” they were tough in a wonderfully feminine sense of the word, insistent but not pesky.” Making sure that we were inoculated with the love of God. Making sure that we caught the faith needed to make it through all the trials of life and that we know who to thank for our many blessings and mercies.