Hello, General Convention!

This is the official blog of the Fort Worth deputation to the Episcopal Church’s 78th General Convention. Stay tuned for news, events, stories, observations, food, pictures, and all the fun you would expect from a bunch of Texas Episcopalians.

Capturing Video to Tell Your Episcopal General Convention Story

Tips for Flips and Smartphones

by Susan Kleinwecher, Social Media Coordinator for the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth

Publishing video to explain and show your event is a great way to cKeep it steady! Pan slowly!onnect to your audience. Using your smartphone, tablet, or Flip video camera is an easy way to capture your video. Planning for success includes understanding the capabilities and limitations of these recording devices and how to overcome them.

Smartphones and Tablets: Most mobile device users take decent HD video. Most mobile devices capture poor sound, because the internal microphone is not powerful. Having said that, we always use what we have, because the worst camera ever is the one you don’t have with you. The major challenges while shooting are stability and lighting. This article offers easy-to-read, common-sense tips for lighting and stability, as well as overcoming the limitations of your camera’s sensors:

Continue reading Capturing Video to Tell Your Episcopal General Convention Story

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.”

ECW delegate from All Saints Fort Worth shares her blog

Cynthia Hill, from All Saints Episcopal Church in Fort Worth, is serving as an ECW delegate at the ECW Triennial Meeting. She will be blogging about her convention experiences in Indianapolis, and she invites all to join her.  Her blog is called Cynthia’s Blog  at http://cadhill.wordpress.com.  Head on over to her blog and subscribe to get her updates! We have a link to her blog on our homepage sidebar in the Fort Worth sidebar.

General Convention July 3 Sermon: Bonnie Anderson / Convención General Sermón predicado por Bonnie Anderson

Re-Published Media Release – The Episcopal Church – Office of Public Affairs

NOTE: The following is presented in English and Spanish.

General Convention July 3 Sermon: Bonnie Anderson

[July 3, 2012] The following sermon was presented today, prior to the beginning of the 77th General Convention of the Episcopal Church, meeting in Indianapolis IN July 5 through July 12.

Bonnie Anderson, President
The House of Deputies

July 3
Commissioning of Officers, Dispatch Liaisons and Legislative Aides

In the Name of the Creator, Sanctifier and Redeemer. Amen.

If ever there was a time when to say, “Ladies and Gentlemen, Start your engines” this is it. Here we are in the land of the Indy 500. Even though our General Convention really is not located on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway those of us in this room, plus many others who will be along shortly, could metaphorically be referred to as the drivers, the pit crew, the sponsors, the bearers of the checkered flags, and the infield population of some really fast, sometimes deafening, exciting, unpredictable and possibly dangerous event.

Thank God that to Indianapolis and to this holy endeavor we call General Convention, we bring the gifts that God has so generously given us, and we are equipped with the hopes and dreams, the resources and the prayers and faithfulness of those who have entrusted this General Convention to us. We can wear these gifts as a crash helmet or we can strew them about like rose petals in the closing parade.

Either way, we all have a few things in common, not the least of which is that we all said “yes” to this enterprise. So first and most importantly, thank you for saying “yes” with enthusiasm, perhaps even with a bit of trepidation. Thank you for the labor of love that you have agreed to, not only the labor of love we will exhibit here, but for your faithful commitment to God’s church, and to the Christian community gathered here. So, here we are gearing up to serve God’s Church. The holy people of God, gearing up, supported by a theological conviction that was first articulated by William White in 1782:

You know that mantra, don’t you? The conviction is this:

God speaks through all levels of the Church and we cannot be confident of God’s direction until all levels are heard from.

As the chaplain to the 76th General Convention, House of Deputies Frank Wade said, “The Episcopal Church gives its ultimate authority not to a ruling prince or an ecclesiastical nobility, not to its scholars or to political victors but to a gathering of laity, deacons, priests and bishops who-to the consternation and confusion of most of the rest of the Anglican Communion – must agree before our decisions are final.”

That’s us. The cognate legislative committees represented here are a microcosm of what Frank was talking about. By the time legislation comes to your committees it will have gone through a process of review first by a proposer, who with two other persons if it is a B or D resolution, or by an entire diocesan convention or a whole province if it is a C resolution, by a committee, commission, agency or board composed of clergy and laity and bishops, if it is an A resolution. Then it comes to a cognate committee composed of bishops, clergy and laity. Then there is an open hearing on the resolution so more people can have their say, and then it goes to the floor of the House of Deputies or the House of Bishops, where it is vetted even further. By the time a resolution is voted upon, it has been through a process that even the most diligent critics of large group decision making process would call deliberative consensus. In Anaheim we considered nearly 419 resolutions in that manner, giving clarity and complexity and calling upon all of us to move toward the future together.

By the way, there is some invisible writing inside the first page of your Blue Book. If you haven’t brought lemon juice to splash on it for readability, I can tell you what it says:  YOU ARE GIFTED AND GOD IS HIRING.

Here’s the deal:

Forget that this labor of love called General Convention is all scrunched together in 8 days and that these tasks of reorganizing the Church, considering the covenant, hearing the results of what the 76th General Convention charged the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music to bring us, confirming consecrations, and way more – forget that all this is not possible in the time required. As Paul Hawken says, “Don’t be put off by people who know what is not possible. Do what needs to be done, and check to see if it was impossible only after you are finished.”

We are in the realm of the Holy Spirit. Do we know exactly what will happen here? I don’t think so. We will probably disagree on some things and agree on others. Our minds and hearts might even be changed. We will pray and we will worship, we will laugh, some of us may even cry. We will be plunked down into that wacky Christian community full of people that Henri Nouwen says we would never in all our life, choose for ourselves.

Do we have a window into the bigger future? Of course we do. We know that whether we live or die, we will be okay. We know that we have made promises to God in the company of each other that we will keep forever, because we are the baptized. We know that God gives us everything we need in order to do God’s work. We know that the power of God is alive within ordinary people just like us and that the obstacles before us are no match for God’s power that lives in us.

The Church beckons us to be on God’s side. God beckons us to be on the Church’s side. That means letting go of one-sided thinking, letting go of contest or conflict thinking. No more rumors about House of Bishops and the House of Deputies, they don’t like each other, that we don’t really need each other. Because the truth is, we really do need each other, desperately. Perhaps we just need to remember who we already are. The children of God, together.

I close with a story told by John Morehouse.

Upon the arrival of her baby brother, a little girl insisted that she spend some time alone with her brother. Her parents agreed but listened in on the baby monitor as the girl closed the door and walked over to her new brother’s crib. After a minute of silence she asked quite firmly: “Tell me about God, I have almost forgotten.”

“It’s simple,” they say, says Mary Oliver in her When I Am Among the Trees:

It’s simple, “and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.”

We are blessed to be on this journey together.

The Episcopal Church: www.episcopalchurch.org
The General Convention: http://www.generalconvention.org/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/episcopalian
YouTube: www.youtube.com/TECtube 

# # # #
For more info contact:
Neva Rae Fox
Public Affairs Officer
The Episcopal Church
212-716-6080  Mobile: 917-478-5659


Convención General Sermón predicado por Bonnie Anderson


[3 de Julio 2012] El siguiente sermón fue presentado hoy en la 77a Convención General de la Iglesia Episcopal, que se reúne en Indianápolis, Indiana, hasta el 12 de julio.

Bonnie Anderson, Presidente
Cámara de Diputados

3 de julio de 2012 a las 2:00 P.M.
En el acto de comisionar a funcionarios, coordinadores de comunicaciones y asistentes legislativos
Salón Capitol II-III, Hotel The Westin

En el nombre del Creador, del Santificador y del Redentor. Amén.

Si alguna vez hubo una ocasión de usar adecuadamente la frase: “Señoras y señores, enciendan los motores” es ésta. Aquí estamos en la tierra del Indy 500. Aunque nuestra Convención General no está localizada en los terrenos de la Autopista de Indianápolis, a los que nos encontramos en este salón, y a muchos otros, nos podrían llamar metafóricamente los conductores, el equipo de mantenimiento, los patrocinadores, los portadores de las banderas a cuadros y la gente que llena el campo de un evento que es realmente apresurado, a veces ensordecedor, emocionante, impredecible y posiblemente peligroso.

Gracias a Dios que a Indianápolis y a este sacro empeño que llamamos Convención General, traemos los dones que Dios nos ha dado, y que estamos dotados de las esperanzas y los sueños, los recursos, las oraciones y la fidelidad de los que nos han confiado esta Convención General. Podemos llevar esos dones como cascos protectores o podemos esparcirlos a nuestro alrededor como pétalos de rosa en el desfile de clausura.

De cualquier manera, todos tenemos unas cuantas cosas en común, de las cuales no es la última el que todos dijéramos que “sí” a esta empresa. Por tanto, lo primero y más importante, gracias por decir “sí” con entusiasmo, aunque acaso pueda estar salpicado con un poquito de sana inquietud. Gracias por haber accedido [a participar] en esta obra de amor, no sólo por la obra de amor que mostraremos aquí, sino por vuestro fiel compromiso con la Iglesia de Dios, con la comunidad cristiana reunida aquí en Indianápolis. De modo que aquí estamos preparándonos para servir a la Iglesia de Dios y al pueblo santo de Dios, respaldados por una convicción teológica que William White la hizo explícita por primera vez en 1782:

Ustedes conocen ese mantra, ¿verdad? La convicción es ésta:

Dios habla a través de todos los niveles de la Iglesia y no podemos estar confiados de la dirección de Dios hasta que se hayan escuchado todos los niveles.

Como capellán de la 76ª. Cámara de Diputados, Frank Wade dijo: “La Iglesia Episcopal  le concede su máxima autoridad no a un príncipe reinante ni a una nobleza eclesiástica, ni a sus eruditos ni a sus triunfadores políticos, sino a una reunión de laicos, diáconos, presbíteros y obispos que —para consternación y confusión de la mayoría del resto de la Comunión Anglicana— deben convenir antes de tomar decisiones definitivas”.

Eso somos, y los comités legislativos análogos representados aquí son un microcosmos de eso a lo que Frank se refería. En el momento en que una legislación llega a vuestro comité habrá pasado por un proceso de revisión, primero de un proponente, con otras dos personas si se trata de una resolución B o D; o de toda una convención diocesana o de toda una provincia si se trata de una resolución C; o de un comité, una comisión, una agencia o una junta que integran clérigos y laicos, si se trata de una resolución A. A esto le sigue un comité análogo compuesto de obispos, clérigos y laicos. Luego se celebra una audiencia pública sobre la resolución donde más personas pueden expresar su opinión, y entonces va al pleno de la Cámara de Diputados o de la Cámara de Obispos, donde se examina aún más. En el momento en que la resolución se somete a votación, ha pasado a través de un proceso que incluso la crítica más exhaustiva de la toma de decisiones de una agrupación grande llamaría consenso deliberativo. En Anaheim tomamos en consideración casi 419 resoluciones de esa manera, dándole claridad a la complejidad y convocándonos a todos a avanzar juntos hacia el futuro.

A propósito, hay un texto en escritura invisible en la parte interna de la cubierta del Libro Azul. En caso de que no tengan jugo de limón que untarle para hacerlo legible, puedo revelarles lo que dice: USTED TIENE TALENTO Y DIOS CONTRATA.

Éste es el acuerdo:

Olvídense de que esta obra de amor llamada Convención General se reduce en su totalidad a ocho días y que estas tareas de reorganizar la Iglesia, considerar el pacto, oír los resultados de lo que la 76ª. CG encargó al Comité Permanente sobre Liturgia y Música que nos presentara, confirmar consagraciones, y más —olvidemos que todo esto no es posible de hacer en el tiempo que se requiere. Como dice Paul Hawken: “No te dejes desalentar por personas que saben lo que no es posible. Haz lo que hay que hacer, y comprueba si era imposible sólo después que lo hayas hecho”.

Estamos en los dominios del Espíritu Santo. ¿Sabemos exactamente lo que sucederá aquí?  Yo no lo creo. Probablemente discreparemos en algunas cosas y convendremos en otras. Nuestras mentes y corazones podrían resultar transformados. Oraremos y adoraremos, nos reiremos y algunos de nosotros hasta podríamos llegar a llorar. Nos veremos inmersos dentro de esa absurda Comunidad Cristiana llena de personas que Henry Nouwen dice que nunca en toda nuestra vida escogeríamos voluntariamente.

¿Tenemos una ventana para asomarnos a un futuro más amplio? Por supuesto que sí. Sabemos que si vivimos o morimos, estaremos muy bien. Sabemos que le hemos hecho promesas a Dios en esta mutua compañía que habremos de cumplir siempre, porque somos los bautizados. Sabemos que Dios nos da todo lo que necesitamos para hacer Su obra. Sabemos que el poder de Dios mora en personas ordinarias como nosotros y que los obstáculos a que nos enfrentamos no compiten con el poder de Dios que mora en nosotros.

La Iglesia nos llama a estar del lado de Dios. Dios nos llama a estar del lado de la Iglesia. Eso significa desprenderse de una manera de pensar tendenciosa, desprenderse de una manera de pensar pugnaz o conflictiva. Que cesen los rumores de que la Cámara de Obispos y la Cámara de Diputados se detestan mutuamente, de que realmente no nos necesitamos el uno al otro. La verdad es que sí nos necesitamos, con urgencia. Acaso simplemente debamos recordar lo que ya somos. Somos los hijos de Dios.

Concluyo con esta historia que contaba John Morehouse.
A la llegada de un hermanito, una niña insistió en pasar algún rato a solas con él. Sus padres estuvieron de acuerdo pero se mantuvieron escuchando en el monitor del bebé cuando la niña cerró la puerta y se acercó a la cuna de su hermano. Luego de un minuto de silencio le preguntó con voz firme: “Cuéntame de Dios, yo casi lo he olvidado”.
“Es sencillo, dicen”, afirma Mary Oliver en su [poema] Cuando me encuentro entre los árboles:

Es sencillo “y tú [también] has venido al mundo a hacer esto, a tomar las cosas con calma, a llenarte de luz y a brillar”.

Somos bienaventurados por emprender este trayecto juntos.


La Iglesia Episcopal: www.episcopalchurch.org
Convención General: http://generalconvention.org/gc
Facebook: www.facebook.com/episcopalian
Twitter: #GC77

# # # #

Para más información comuníquese con:
Neva Rae Fox
Oficial de Asuntos Públicos
La Iglesia Episcopal
212-716-6080  móvil  917-478-5659


General Convention July 2 Sermon: The Rev. Gregory Straub / Convención General Sermón predicado por el Rdo. Gregory S. Straub

Re-Published Media Release – The Episcopal Church – Office of Public Affairs

NOTE: The following is presented in English and Spanish.

[July 2, 2012] The following sermon was presented today prior to the beginning of the 77th General Convention of the Episcopal Church, meeting in Indianapolis IN, July 5 through July 12.

The Rev. Gregory S. Straub to the Secretariat, Coordinators and Supervisors of the 77th General Convention in Indianapolis, IN, 2 July. 

There are few words in the English language that connote as much as the word home.  Home and the expressions that derive from it exert powerful pulls on our emotions.  Going home expresses welcome, completion and rest.  Far from home expresses distance, loneliness and disconnection.  Homecoming expresses reunion, comfort and celebration.

One of the privileges of being a layperson is shopping for a church home.  When lay persons move to a new place, they try out various churches, often within a denomination in which they have been comfortable in the past, but sometimes among several denominations, until they find one that feels like home.  When I was a rector, I once walked into the church on a weekday to find a woman sitting in one of the pews.  She told me she was in town, looking at houses, but wanted to see first if this would be a church in which she could worship.  She wanted to know whether or not it felt prayed in over sufficient time.  (At the time the church had been prayed in for over 200 years.)  The woman did buy a house, joined the church and became an active, engaged communicant.

A convention center is the antithesis of home.  It is one-size-fits-all.  It has no personality, no charm, no warmth.  It has seen countless number of conventions and shows.  And not one of them changed it for better or worse.  The convention center is just raw space, ever ready to be adapted to the next group’s needs.  And, yet, for the next ten days it will be the location of the 77th General Convention of The Episcopal Church.  Its halls will resound with prayer, with the reading of scripture and with singing.  Within its walls will take place elections and debates.  The church’s direction for the next three years will be set here.  It will be, for a time, the home of the church’s governance.

The fourteenth chapter of the Gospel according to St. John contains Jesus’ promise that he and the Father would make their home amongst his followers.  Jesus reiterates the ancient Jewish belief that God’s home is in the midst of God’s people.  To symbolize God’s presence among them ancient Jews carried with them in their wanderings a leather case, which contained the tablets of the Law Moses had delivered on Sinai.  Later Jewish thought located God in the temple in Jerusalem, but Jesus hearkens back to the older tradition.  God has no particular home.  God dwells wherever God’s people dwell.  In myth this is illustrated in the story of Jesus’ birth.  Jesus is born in a stable; he has no home.  During his adult ministry he is an itinerant, a wanderer without a home.  He makes his home among those who follow him like Mary and Martha and Lazarus of Bethany.  Their home becomes his home.

Like the people of Israel, we believe that God is with us in convention.  We believe our deliberations to be God-centered and our votes to be inspired by the Holy Spirit.  Because we are here, we believe God is here, and where God is, there is home, wherever that may be.  To make the Indiana Convention Center a home for God and God’s people requires homemakers, and that’s where volunteers come in.  You are the convention’s homemakers.  You provide the services that transform empty space into the church’s convention home.  Yours are the human faces that personify conventioneers’ temporary home.  It is you who make the beds and set the tables, you who lay the hearthstone fires and set up the buffets, you who greet at the door and provide a word of welcome.  If the 77th General Convention of The Episcopal Church comes to regard this place as its home-away-from-home, you will have done your homemaking tasks well.

Houses, whether human habitations, places of worship or convention centers, are just empty space until we make them our own.  We invest our homes, whether residence, church or convention center, with our precious emotions that include memories of our past, love for the people we associate with them and hopes for the future.  Let Indianapolis be our Jerusalem, at least for ten days, and let it be our happy home.

The Episcopal Church: www.episcopalchurch.org
The General Convention: http://www.generalconvention.org/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/episcopalian
YouTube: www.youtube.com/TECtube 

# # # #

For more info contact:
Neva Rae Fox
Public Affairs Officer
The Episcopal Church
212-716-6080  Mobile: 917-478-5659

Convención General Sermón predicado 
por el Rdo. Gregory S. Straub

[2 de Julio 2012] El siguiente sermón fue presentado hoy en la 77a Convención General de la Iglesia Episcopal, que se reúne en Indianápolis, Indiana, hasta el 12 de julio.
Sermón predicado por el Rdo. Gregory S. Straub al Secretariado, los coordinadores y supervisores de la 77a. Convención General en Indianápolis, IN, el 2 de Julio de 2012.

Hay pocas palabras que connoten tanto como la palabra casa. Casa y las expresiones que de ella se extrapolan ejercen poderosas influencias en nuestras emociones. Irse a casa traduce bienvenida, satisfacción y descanso. Lejos de casa expresa distancia, soledad y desconexión. Estar de regreso en casa significa reunión, confort y celebración.

Uno de los privilegios de ser laico es el  de poder optar por una iglesia en particular. Cuando los laicos se mudan a un sitio nuevo, suelen probar varias iglesias, con frecuencia dentro de una denominación en la cual se han sentido cómodos en el pasado, pero a veces entre varias denominaciones, hasta que encuentran una en que se sienten como en casa. Cuando yo era rector, una vez entré en la iglesia un día de semana y me encontré a una mujer sentada en uno de los bancos. Me dijo que estaba en la ciudad, buscando casas, pero quería ver primero si ésa era una iglesia en la cual ella podría adorar. Quería saber si en la iglesia se había orado durante bastante tiempo.  (En ese momento en la iglesia se había orado por más de doscientos años.)  La mujer finalmente compró la casa, se unió a la iglesia y se convirtió en una comulgante activa y dedicada.

Un centro de convenciones es la antítesis de una casa. Es de talla universal. Carece de personalidad, de encanto y de calidez. Ha visto incontable número de convenciones y de actos, ninguno de los cuales lo cambio para mejor o peor. El centro de convenciones es sencillamente un espacio virgen, siempre presto a adaptarse a las necesidades del próximo grupo. Y, sin embargo, durante los próximos 10 días será el sitio donde sesionará la 77ª. Convención General de la Iglesia Episcopal. Sus salones resonaran con oraciones, lecturas bíblicas y cánticos. Dentro de sus paredes tendrán lugar elecciones y debates. El rumbo de la Iglesia para los próximos tres años se fijará aquí.  Será, durante un tiempo, la sede del gobierno de la Iglesia.

El capítulo catorce del evangelio según San Juan contiene la promesa de Jesús de que él y el Padre harían su morada entre sus seguidores. Jesús reitera la antigua creencia judía de que la casa de Dios está en medio del pueblo de Dios. Para simbolizar la presencia de Dios entre ellos, los judíos de la antigüedad llevaban consigo en sus andanzas una caja de cuero que contenía las tablas de la Ley que Moisés había traído del [monte] Sinaí. Los judíos de épocas posteriores creían que Dios estaba localizado en el templo de Jerusalén, pero Jesús le presta oídos a la tradición más antigua. Dios no tiene una casa en particular. Dios habita dondequiera que habita Su pueblo. En el mito esto se ilustra con el relato del nacimiento de Jesús. Jesús nace en un establo, no tiene casa. Hace su casa entre los que le siguen, como María, Marta y Lázaro de Betania. La casa de ellos se convierte en la suya.

Al igual que el pueblo de Israel, creemos que Dios está con nosotros en convención. Creemos que nuestras deliberaciones han de estar centradas en Dios y que nuestros votos han de estar inspirados por el Espíritu Santo. Porque estamos aquí, creemos que Dios está aquí, y donde Dios se encuentre, ésa es [Su] casa, dondequiera que esté.  Hacer del Centro de Convenciones de Indiana una casa para Dios y para el pueblo de Dios exige de personas que la cuiden, y es ahí donde intervienen los voluntarios. Ustedes son los cuidadores de la Convención. Ustedes proporcionan los servicios que transforman un espacio vacío en la casa de la Convención de la Iglesia. Son ustedes los que hacen las camas y ponen las mesas, ustedes los que prenden el fuego del hogar y preparan los bufets, ustedes los que esperan a la puerta y brindan una palabra de bienvenida. Si la 77ª. Convención de la Iglesia Episcopal  llega a considerar este lugar como su segunda casa, ustedes habrán realizado muy bien sus tareas.

Las casas, ya sean habitaciones humanas, lugares de culto o centros de convención, son sólo espacios vacíos hasta que los hacemos nuestros. Investimos a nuestras casas, ya se trate de una residencia, de una iglesia o de un centro de convenciones, con nuestras preciadas emociones que incluyen los recuerdos del pasado, el amor por las personas que asociamos con ellos y las esperanzas para el futuro. Que Indianápolis sea nuestra Jerusalén, al menos por diez días, que sea nuestro feliz hogar.


La Iglesia Episcopal: www.episcopalchurch.org
Convención General: http://generalconvention.org/gc
Facebook: www.facebook.com/episcopalian
Twitter: #GC77

# # # #

Para más información comuníquese con:
Neva Rae Fox
Oficial de Asuntos Públicos
La Iglesia Episcopal
212-716-6080  móvil  917-478-5659

Diocese of Fort Worth Deputation

FW deputies and alternates and staff
The Diocese of Fort Worth’s deputation and alternates along with Demi Prentiss, ministry developer and administrator. L-R – Victoria Prescott, David Madison, Fred Barber, Demi Prentiss, Bob Hicks, Brent Walker (rear), Katie Sherrod, (front), Susan Slaughter, Norm Snyder and Kathleen Wells. Not pictured are Amy Haynie, ClayOla Gitane, Jim Reynolds, Lisa Neilson, and Bishop Wallis Ohl.   Also not pictured are the Episcopal Church Women delegates to the Triennial — Sandy Shockley, Lynne Minor, Jackie Meeks and Cynthia Hill.



Who, me? You say I should “be social” at General Convention?

The Strategy of Using Social Media at the Episcopal General Convention

by Susan Kleinwecher, social media coordinator for the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth

The 77th General Convention of the Episcopal Church brings the opportunity for participants to share so much of their experiences in the governance of TEC and the shaping of the future of the church. And it is vital to do so, in ways perhaps unfamiliar to many. It’s insufficient in 2012 to simply go home and write a 2-page article and publish it along with the rest of your July news and email or snail-mail it to your normal recipients. Yes, by all means, do that, but do more, and do it during General Convention.

The “more” is important. It is vital to the life of our church in a time that we so clearly need to grow and reach further, especially to younger audiences, ones that will become the leadership of our church. It is vital to help “folks at home” understand the topics and discussions and decisions that shape our church.  It is important that we do this in a social context, because that’s where our reach is both strategic and effective.

It is heartening that so many dioceses have launched their convention publishing initiatives and sites, realizing why social media coverage is so important now:

  • Social networking has twice the click-throughs as email, reaching more of your audience.
  • Conversation about a subject engages more people than reporting about a subject.
  • Pictures and videos elicit more engagement than other forms of digital publication.
  • Social networking is a powerhouse for encouraging online engagement, improving and driving how people connect to your information.
  • When people feel more connected, they participate more and give more.

When we embrace and follow a new model of engagement and conversation, while not abandoning less timely, traditionally authoritative ones, we won’t leave any listeners behind, and we’ll grow new ones. It’s win-win.

Serious nonprofits use the social web in intentional ways, not as a gimicky playground, but as part of a larger communications strategy, driven by solid content.  Add to the content.  Be social at General Convention, on social media, perhaps in ways that are new to you.  Check in using Facebook or Foursquare so your peeps know you made it. Blog; perhaps enjoy the brevity of Tumblr. Post to Facebook, and Tweet about it all with hashtag #gc77. By all means, point us to your blogging on Twitter using #gc77 and a link shortened with bitly.com or goo.gl. Pin your good visual stuff, and tag it so we can find it. Add your ideas to the commentary every way you can.

The Church will be richer for the experiences and information you share in a timely manner and in newer ways.


Writing About Episcopal General Convention

Who, me? Write? I’m not a Reporter!

by Susan Kleinwecher, social media coordinator for the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth

It might have gone down like this: the bishop said, “You guys are all going to write during General Convention, and we are going to publish it. We’re not waiting until we get home.” Blank stares around the room, curt, affirmative nods, except from the excited communications director, who worked late into the night to get a small team very busy on the how. (There will be more on that). Did something like that happen with your convention possee?

For the next few weeks, deputies and alternates from all over the country are asked to become content creators and to publish things digitally. So here are some basic instructions for folks who are writing and publishing:

You must contribute.
Write about what is going on.
Write about the context surrounding what is going on.
Write what you think about what is going on.
Write about how you feel about what is going on.
Write about your spiritual experiences, connections and revelations.
Take pictures and video of what is going on.
Use the pictures and video to help people understand and connect to what you are writing about.
Write about what other people say is going on, and comment on their writings.
Quote other people.
Link to content that will help people understand what’s going on.

These are 10 basic instructions for writing about any event, to be re-used over and over. (Yeah, right; did the communications director make you say that? Is that director hinting that some of us are expected to do this for our ministry meetings and diocesan convention, too? )

words and voices by Design Decoration Craft, John Hopper

Few among us are news copywriters, but that’s OK. The largest shift that has occurred in communications lies in how much everyday people in the world, versus official reporters and designated authorities, are now publishing useful information to eager audiences.  News is not just broadcast at 6 pm and talked about at the dinner table, or read about in a morning paper or monthly newsletter.  It’s not just done by “the official source” who can always be expected to be fair and balanced.  It’s done by people watching and participating in what’s going on.

Another subtle difference and new communications concept is the opportunity to talk about a subject, not report on it. There is more to convention than governance discussions and outcomes; smaller stories matter, too.  Adam Wood, the up-and-coming Director of Online Development for the The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth offers:

“We need to lay aside the outdated assumption that the only things worth talking about at General Convention are issues of finance, governance, and church polity. Sharing reflections on homilies and keynote addresses, revealing new ideas about mission and evangelism, conversing about the evolving theology in our church – it’s all worthy content.”

Recalling her previous participation at General Convention, Diocese of Fort Worth Communications Director Katie Sherrod shares, “There is so much, much more than governance, although reporting on what is done is important. What’s more important are the relationships the deputation develops and shares. The daily Bible study, the daily worship services have always been, for me, the best part of General Convention. To worship with 10,000 Episcopalians is a powerful experience. To get to do Bible study with an Episcopalian from Haiti, or Taiwan, or from the European Convocation of Churches, or Puerto Rico, or Honduras enlarges one’s perspective in all sorts of ways. Many Episcopalians may not realize The Episcopal Church has congregations in 16 countries.”

So, yes, YOU, write! All of you! Everywhere! Photograph! Record! Publish! Comment! Dive in! You’ll find your voice.


Using Facebook for Episcopal General Convention

Admittedly, this is a timid approach to using Facebook

by Susan Kleinwecher, social media coordinator for the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth

What Facebook is:

Facebook it’s the largest social  network in existence, used more than any other on the planet.

Getting Started: Go to facebook.com and create an account. Set up an account, upload your image/avatar.   Find some friends! You’ll find people you know on Facebook, along with organizations you care about.

Tutorials: https://www.facebook.com/help/?page=260315770650470&ref=hcnav http://www.gcflearnfree.org/socialmedia   http://www.gcflearnfree.org/facebook101

Connect with the Diocese:  Go to facebook.com/DioFW and “Like” the diocese page. This will allow you to receive updates to the page and post to the page.

Post to our Diocesan Facebook Page: Our page allows posts by fans. Go for it! Post your resources, information, and links to blogs on our page; post to your personal profile as well.  Page admins may re-post your information to extend its reach.

Where are the tags? Facebook does not tag content. It’s quite different from WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, Twitter, and Pinterest. It focuses on people connections, not content connections. Tag your content everywhere else, but not facebook.

Go Mobile: When you’re comfortable with using Facebook in your computer browser, know that every major mobile platform has a good, free Facebook app.

Why this is timid: I could make all our deputation a level of admin that facebook calls “content creator”  (see Facebook’s admin roles). I’m leery of that.  Somehow it changes the voice of the page from an official one to a more chatty, less-predictable one.

What comments do you have on my fearful approach- of NOT opening up Facebook and allowing our deputies to have admin roles, yet having the existing page managers and content creators re-post what our deputies share on the page?  What are other dioceses and organizations doing on Facebook, considering a flood of content from new sources? What approach do you recommend?