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

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 http://episcopalchurch.org  as example of socially integrated website; the only way to get info is email subscription.
  • episcopalchurch.org 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 episcopalchurch.org 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 http://t.co/UB24r3Rd   (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:http://t.co/iDwPBOTC

@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! http://t.co/Rq8HhjiG

@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


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

Handy WordPress Tutorials for General Convention 2012

Good stuff to get you started being a General Convention blogger


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

Whoopee! Found the handiest bunch of video tutorials to equip our deputation with the details of posting in our General Convention blog: WordPress101Tutorials 

WordPress 101 – What is WordPress
WordPress 101 – The Dashboard
WordPress 101 – Admin Bar
WordPress 101 – Exploring Settings
WordPress 101 – Posts vs. Pages
WordPress 101 – Creating Posts
WordPress 101 – Adding Links
WordPress 101 – Adding Images
WordPress 101 – Formatting Posts
WordPress 101 – Scheduling Posts
WordPress 101 – Categories and Tags

 Are there other WordPress resources you have discovered to help anyone getting started ? Please share them!

Diocese of Fort Worth Goes to General Convention

It happens every three years. It’s a combination of family reunion, tent revival, legislation session, county fair, liturgical fashion show, and giant sing-along. It’s General Convention and the bishop and deputies from the Diocese of Fort Worth will be there. What’s more, the whole diocese is invited to come along — well, at least virtually.

The 77th General Convention of The Episcopal Church is July 5 through July 12 in Indianapolis, Indiana. General Convention is the governing body of our church.

Registration begins Wednesday, July 4, and legislative committees begin their work that morning. The first legislative session is at 8 a.m. Thursday, July 5.

Several people from the Diocese of Fort Worth will be attending General Convention. Below you will find who they are, what they will be doing, and how you can stay connected to them and to the news from Indianapolis.


The Fort Worth deputation is led by Bishop Wallis Ohl. Lay deputies are Deputation Chair Kathleen Wells (Trinity FW), Victoria Prescott (ECPC), Katie Sherrod (St. Lukes’s FW) and Bob Hicks (St. Christopher FW). Clerical deputies are David Madison (All Saints, FW), Susan Slaughter (St. Luke’s, FW), Fred Barber (retired) and Amy Heynie (St. Martin, Keller).  First lay alternate is Lisa Neilson (St. Martin, Keller) and fIrst clerical alternate is ClayOla Gitane (ECPC).

Delegates to the Triennial meeting of the Episcopal Church Women are Sandy Shockley, Jackie Meeks, Lynne Minor and Cynthia Hill.

Ministry Developer and Administrative Officer Demi Prentiss also is attending. Lay alternates Norm Snyder (Good Shepherd, Granbury) and Brent Walker (St. Stephen’s, Wichita Falls) are paying their own way to attend.


Bishop Ohl will be attending legislative sessions of the House of Bishop. The Deputies will attend legislative sessions in the House of Deputies.(The two houses will meet in joint session on the July 10 for the presentation of the budget). The ECW delegates will be attending daily sessions of the Triennial. During the Sunday, July 8, worship service, they will participate in the UTO Ingathering.

Much of the business of General Convention in done in legislative committees and our deputation will be playing a role in several of them. Bishop Ohl is vice chair of the Constitution Committee, and Chancellor Kathleen Wells is a member of that committee. Deputy Katie Sherrod is the chair of the Communication Committee, and Deputy David Madison is on the Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget & Finance.

Every resolution submitted to Convention is referred to one of the several committees or commissions. An open hearing is held on every resolution, and members of the Fort Worth deputation will be monitoring as many of the committees as they can and reporting back to the whole deputation each day.

Eucharist will be celebrated everyday day at 8:30 am Central, except the final day (July 12) when it will be celebrated at 10:30 am Central. Each day, Eucharist and the sermons will center on an important figure from Holy Women Holy Men, a listing of saints who are commemorated in the calendar of the Episcopal Church.

General Convention worship services will be featured live on the Media Hub athttp://episcopaldigitalnetwork.com/gc2012/

There are many other events held in conjunction  with General Convention — seminaries have banquets, various church-related organizations have events (films, tributes, dinners, breakfasts, etc) and various ministries have gatherings. The Exhibits Hall is enormous and is always filled with interesting and enticing goods and information.


Diocesan website: Episcopaldiocesefortworth. org – This will be the place where you can get connected to everything else we will be doing, or you can go directly to any of the other places we will be posting content. See below.

General Convention blog: FortWorth.GoesTo.EpiscopalGeneralConvention.org This will be our primary publishing vehicle while in Indy. You can visit it, or subscribe to it to receive updates. Feel free to ask questions and add comments.

Social media: Follow breaking news and engage in the conversation on

Facebook (www.facebook.com/DioFW),

Twitter (twitter.com/DioFW or follow hashtag #GC77)

Tumblr (http://www.tumblr.com/blog/diofw general for diocese or http://diofw-gc2012.tumblr.com/  for diocese at General Convention)

YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/user/DioFortWorth)

Pinterest (pinterest.com/diofw/episcopal-general-convention-2012/)

We also will be posting content on a site set up by the Diocese of Maine that will feature 3-minute video updates — http://indy300.net/

The Media Hub presented by the Office of Communication of The Episcopal Church. Will include Episcopal News Service reports, videos, blogging, Twitter feeds, photo galleries, live webcasting, legislation tracking and commentary. The Media Hub will be available July 1 at   http://episcopaldigitalnetwork.com/gc2012/  

Policy wonks can see every resolution filed at Scott Gunn’s blog Seven Whole Days

http://www.sevenwholedays.org/2012/06/22/resolutions2012/ Scott will be blogging daily during convention.

The General Convention website http://www.generalconvention.org/ run by the General Convention Office, provides no subscription content, but you can get information on legislative committees, download the Blue Book and schedules, and track the progress of resolutions as they move through committees and onto the floor of the House of Bishops or House of Deputies. Tracking will become available July 5, the first legislative day.

Tweeting about the Episcopal General Convention

A short primer on Twitter, suitable for any deputation, but written for @diofw tweeps

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

Convention deputies and anyone tweeting about convention will use a personal accounts, not our diocesan twitter account @diofw. We want a lot of voices tweeting!

@DioFW on Twitter!

Getting Started: At twitter.com, create an account, select a username, and in your profile, upload a photo that looks like you.  In your account settings, do NOT protect your tweets (you may change that in a month).

Tutorial: Good Twitter Tutorial from gcflearnfree.org

Connect with the diocese: search for and follow @diofw. @diofw will add all tweeters in our deputation to a public, subscribable twitter list: @diofw/GC77. The list aggregate our voices. Other people can subscribe to it. Here’s how! to subscribe to/follow other people’s lists:

At the start (starting now): Start listening to the conversation! Search  #gc77 in the twitter search box. Follow people you want to hear more from, find other hashtags that interest you #episcopal #tweeps.  Learn how to retweet (RT), reply & mention (@reply & @mention), send a direct message (DM), subscribe to a list.  Go to twitter help  https://support.twitter.com/ and search for an unfamilar term.


Contribute to convention dialogue:  When we are tweeting about General Convention, we will use the hashtag #CG77 in every tweet. Every. Single. Time.  In fact, lead with it, so you don’t forget (voice of experience).

What are hashtags? Hashtags, indicated by the hash or pound mark “#” provide a way to track messages associated with a topic; think of them as a keyword to search for. Consider your target audience when using hashtags; they are there for tracking, not for fluff, although that does not inhibit creativity! Use #gc77 for information related to the 2012 Episcopal General Convention. See what hashtags others are using, either from twitter or using a web service like (twittterfall.com) – you will see #churchgrowth #drama #budget #conventionprobs #PHOD

“Dang!” you exclaim when you grapple with the fact that Twitter limits your messages to 140 characters. You’ll get the hang of it without looking like a teenager; most of it is phonetic, so moving your lips helps.

Best Practices: One of the best uses of Twitter is to tweet about blog entries, with a “topical tease to read” introduction and a shortened URL link to your blog entry. Typical URL shorteners are bit.ly http://bitly.com/ and goo.gl http://goo.gl/ Copy the shortened URL into your tweet, so it looks like this: “Light bulb ON at #gc77 lunch http://goo.gl/9agxG & now I undrstand the lingo”

Use #diofw if you want us to track your comments there or track comments about us.

Subscribe to our public deputy list @diofw/gc77. Subscribe a list of tweeters employed by TEC using  @diofw/TEC-Tweeters. This tells article describes how to subscribe to lists: https://support.twitter.com/articles/76460-how-to-use-twitter-lists

Go Mobile: When you’re comfortable with using Twitter in your browser, get it on your smartphone by downloading the app for Android, iPhone, Blackberry, or Windows Phone 7. No smartphone? You can still tweet – read https://support.twitter.com/articles/14589-getting-started-with-twitter-via-sms and http://support.twitter.com/articles/14020-twitter-sms-commands. However, there is no mechanism to search for hashtags using SMS (probably because the message volume would be overwhelming).

Handy Tips: Consider a handy service called Twitterfall at twitterfall.com. In Twitterfall’s searches box, type #gc77 and “add” it. You can change the color scheme if you like, making searches and lists different colors. Add list @diofw/gc77 and @diofw/TEC-Tweeters. Updates come every 30 seconds or so.  Many find that tracking #episcopal is overwhelming!

What other handy tips do you have to share about Twitter for General Convention?

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.