Thursday, June 25, 2015

An Alternate View: #GC78 The First Official Day of Convention!

Today marked the opening day of #GC78, the 78th Convention of The Episcopal Church!

I began with a short media briefing and I'm excited to say that Friday, the media group will visit the Cathedral Church of St. Mark where the election for the new presiding bishop will take place on Saturday morning. We will have a chance to take photos and hear about the history of building and the Episcopal presence in Salt Lake City.
Next, I attended the opening worship service where the Presiding Bishop celebrated. The program bulletin for the service is here and you can watch it online here. Each day, these 9:30 AM MDT services will be live-streamed via the Media Hub. Check out THIS link for daily worship bulletins and information!

video of verse of hymn coming soon!
My comments about the music are:
- I liked the selections and the cantor, nice soprano voice, good articulation
- I did not like the chants sung slowly with no word stress!
- I did love hearing so many people singing together in well-done harmonies!
(Lots of folks have been asking me if I am going to be doing anything with the music. I'll just say that I am unknown in the wider church and I'm quite sure there are a ton of connections and procedures through which to go before being selected for any liturgical or musical participation. I did look for volunteer opportunities in advance with this in mind, but I think it's safe to say that it is in great hands and that it takes looooooooong prep time and selection. Maybe next time!! I'd love to! :-)
The liturgy was in both English and Spanish. I liked the way they did communion with tons of stations. My station was made up of all young volunteers. 

After dropping by the media room for a little while, I decided to return to the Standing Committee on Prayer book, Liturgy & Music Legislative Committee session. IT WAS PACKED so I sat on the floor and listened to the testimonies for and against amendments to resolutions. I had my first iced coffee ever.....and enjoyed it!
The hearing ended early so I went downstairs where I met up with my one of my dearest friends, The Rev'd Dr. Canon Chuck Robertson, the Canon to the Ordinary. He introduced me to one of his close friends, The Rev'd Canon Michael Rusk, Team Rector for the Parish of St. Peter & St. Paul, Oadby in the diocese of Leicester. I also met the Episcopal Primate of Pakistan, The Most Revd Samuel Robert Azariah and his wife who is a prist in California. They are all amazing people! I would very much like to explore Pakistan one day and see historic ruins and documents and to meet the Anglicans there! We talked briefly about music and there is a remote possibility that we may chat again tomorrow or Friday.
I chatted with Rev'd Michael for about an hour and we shared our India experiences. It's was fabulous to meet someone else who shares a love for India and also music - here at GC! For the early afternoon, we decided to walk over to the Cathedral Church of St. Mark. It was a very, VERY hot walk. I think it may have only been 90 or 92 degrees, but the was insanity.
Once there, we were met by two volunteers who welcomed us and then we had a chance to look around. It is a GORGEOUS cathedral!


This high altar contains two Tiffany windows
In the chapel to the left of the chancel area, there is an exhibit featuring replicas of beautiful books of the Illuminated Saint John's Bible. The Saint John's Bible is holy scripture with illuminations, special lettering, special materials and it has unique works of art. It is actually the first illuminated Bible commissioned by a Benedictine Abbey in more than 500 years. It took fifteen years to create and used Chinese black ink with feather quills of goose, turkey, and swan. The books also contain writing in gold, silver, and platinum. One book, containing the psalms, has a digital voice print painted in squares. When played (and I'm not sure how), these markings form tunes to which some of the psalms can be sung. Mistakes are few, there are something like nine in the whole set of 15 books. Mistakes are shown by illustrated birds carrying parcels of text and arrows up to where the corrections should be placed. It's an absolutely lovely exhibit and I encourage all to view it if at St. Mark's.

Downstairs is another exhibit featuring selections from a major exhibit by artist Andrew Kosorok. His work is called 99 Most Beautiful Names of God. Here are the 99 names
Because of copyright, I didn't take photos of his pieces, but here is some info for you
There is also a wonderful set of prints from the last International Olympic Committee showing religions of the worlds. The IOC was required to include religions of the world in the commission.
Everyone we met at St. Mark's was so friendly and they have a veritable army of hospitality volunteers!

The afternoon legislative session began with introductions of foreign dignitaries and distinguished guests. Next, the legislative process began with the report and proposed changes to the Rules of Order. Things got pretty "nitpicky" at times, but truly, minor details to some are major events for others. The debates regarding amendments to the usage of applause were very interesting. I was glad to see people discussing whether or not to allow applause from within the House after certain testimonies. It could in some cases be detrimental to following arguments and showing partiality. The Rules of Order have now been updated!

Tonight, I skipped dinner and came back to my hotel. We have a Deputation mtg at 9:00 PM. I will be typing up my interview with Rev'd Rusk Michael Rusk and posting it soon.
Thank you for reading!
Stay tuned :-)

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