Go now in peace… General Convention is adjourned

General Convention has now concluded. Watch for articles to continue to be released detailing some of the events of this very full nine-day session.

Adjournment in the House of Bishops

The Rt. Rev. Scott Benhase presented a courtesy resolution honoring The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori:

Resolved, the House of Deputies concurring, that the 78th General Convention voice its profound thanksgiving for the leadership and ministry of the Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori as she soon completes her nine-year term of office as the 26th Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church, and;

Be it further resolved, she has served this Church as Presiding Bishop and as Bishop of Nevada with great distinction and faithfulnessness, and;

Be it further resolved, she has represented The Episcopal Church in the councils of the Anglican Communion with humility and generosity of spirit, and,

Be it further resolved, her witness has inspired us to see the world through the eyes of one who loves all of God’s creation, and,

Be it further resolved, this 78th Convention offers her our fervent prayers and best wishes as she embarks on her continued ministry after she resigns her office on All Saints’ Day, 2015.

The House stood to applaud for quite some time.

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20150703-applause for KJS

The chaplain concluded with a litany, referencing the words of the Gospel: “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

My sisters and brothers, now that your work here is done, we send you back to the fields where God calls you to work – to your people, the people you were chosen to serve.

God, your world is broken, so we respond: Here I am, send me.

God, your people are living in fear, and many are hopeless and lonely, so we respond: Here I am, send me.

God, your people need help, so we respond: Here I am, send me.

God, your children are suffering from the effects of violence, racism, human trafficking, poverty, discrimination, and injustices of every kind, so we respond: Here I am, send me.

God, we know you need someone to be a light in a dark world, so we respond: Here I am, send me.

God, we know you need someone to bring hope and good news to your people, to announce salvation, to proclaim that you reign, so we respond: Here I am, send me.

God, we know that you need to send someone, so we respond: Here I am; send me.

Bishop Shannon then led the House in singing “Abide with me.”

The Presiding Bishop then blessed those present, praying, “The peace of God which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God and of his son Jesus Christ our Lord, and the blessing of God Almighty, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, be upon you and remain with you this day and forever more. Amen”

After the dismissal, Jefferts Schori said,

We are now adjourned.

 Adjournment in the House of Deputies

Not long afterward, the President of the House of Deputies, Gay Clark Jennings, rapped the gavel in another room and proclaimed

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Sine Die!

20150703-sine dieAnd the House of Deputies’ chaplain, Lester McKenzie, prayed to close the day:

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Lord Jesus, stay with us, for evening is at hand and the day is past. Be our companion in the way; kindle our hearts and awaken our hope, that we may know you as you are revealed in scripture and in the breaking of bread. Grant this for the sake of your love. Amen.

Then, he added, “I want you to look around as I sing a song to you,” and the House joined him in singing

Go now in peace. Go now in peace. May the love of God surround you everywhere, everywhere you may go.

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Bishop Curry says, “Go!”

Holy Great Commission, Batman! You do not invite Presiding Bishop-elect Michael B. Curry to preach without expecting him to bring down the house, but I think he may have brought down the whole block.

Bishop Cury was helped by the fact that our theme today was the Mission of the Church. It was fascinating to me, as a liturgical enthusiast, that the Collect for the Day, however, spoke not of mission but of reconciliation and forgiveness.

“God of compassion, you have reconciled us in Jesus Christ who is our peace: Enable us to live as Jesus lived, breaking down walls of hostility and healing enmity. Give us grace to make peace with those from whom we are divided, that, forgiven and forgiving, we may ever be one in Christ; who with you and the Holy Spirit reigns for ever, one holy and undivided Trinity. Amen.”

Our mission flows forth from our reconciliation to God and to one another.

Bishop Curry built on that theme throughout his sermon. He spoke of the Babylonian Exile, of valleys being lifted up and mountains and hills made low. He told the story of Congressman John Lewis forgiving one of the men who brutally beat him during the Freedom Rides decades before. He mentioned St. Paul and +Barbara Harris (the first woman bishop in the Anglican Communion) in the same breath, and quoted “that great philosopher, Frank Sinatra.” Ultimately, he told us,

“God came among us in the person of Jesus to reconcile us to God, to reconcile us to each other, and in so doing, to change the world.”

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The Great Commission then, is us – ALL of us, every single person baptized into the Triune God – going forth, reconciled in Christ Jesus, to do that world-changing work.

“If you remember nothing else from my sermon this morning, remember that first part of the Great Commission: ‘GO!'”

Before worship had ended, Bishop Andy Doyle of Texas had started a hashtag proclaiming #BpCurrySaysGo to exhort his diocese to go forth, listening to Jesus and sharing the Good News of the Jesus Movement.

Whether you were physically present with us in Salt Lake City, you watched the livestream, followed #GC78 on Twitter, or are just tuning in now: #BpCurrySaysGo.

How will you go forth and make disciples of all nations? However you do it, let’s go together!

Watch the video:

Presider – The Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop and Primate
Preacher – The Rt. Rev. Michael B. Curry, Presiding Bishop-Elect
Deacon – The Rev. Deacon Jane Holmes
Lector OT – Amanda Zorilla, Official Youth Presence (Spanish)
Lector NT – Diane Pollard
Master of Ceremonies – Margaret McLarty

What’s happening on the last day of General Convention?

On the last day of General Convention, deputies and bishops will have a 10:30 am legislative session and a shorter, final session from 2:30 – 5:30 pm.

The worship service will be a little earlier this morning, at 8:30 am in Salt Lake City, which is 9:30 am our time.

You can also watch legislative sessions in the House of Bishops or the House of Deputies live on the General Convention Media Hub. Here’s what they’ll be talking about:

House of Deputies – view the calendars.

House of Bishops – view the calendars.

Since it’s the last day, the only additional event, besides children and young adult programs, is:

5:30 PM – Joint Adjournment Sine Die