Sunday, June 28, 2015

An Alternate View: Peaceful Procession, Procedure, and Partaking at #GC78

This morning, at 7:15 AM, our diocesan bishop, Morris K. Thompson, my bishop-in-residence at St. Paul's Episcopal - Duncan Gray, myself, several members of the Louisiana Deputation, and hundreds of others participated (I heard a rumor of 1500) in "Claiming Common Ground", a peaceful procession of the group Bishops Against Gun Violence
It was early, it was hot, and it was amazing to see so many people joining the procession with a worshipful spirit and an energy to stand up and say "NOW is the time for the work of speaking out against gun violence!" A very moving speech by Carolyn Tuft brought the listeners to tears and she described how she was shot and her daughter shot and killed. She pointed out that if she had had a gun, there would still not have been enough to time react and that events would have unfolded in the same manner. HERE is coverage of her speech by the Episcopal News Service. If you have the time, it is well worth a listen. All of the testimonies from those who spoke were intensely powerful. Bishop Hayashi of Utah also spoke about his experience of being shot and the long healing process for him and for his family.
Many thanks to the organizers who obtained all the permits and to the police force that rode ahead of and alongside the bishops as we all walked!                   
Bishop Thompson has been a member since the group's inception and he and many other bishops joined the group to take a stand by advocating for changes in gun legislation, exploring new technologies, and keeping guns out of the hand of dangerous criminals, the mentally ill, and the underaged.

I interviewed him regarding his participation in the group and the article will come out in the next EDOLA issue of ChurchWork. (Of course the notes I typed up are nowhere to be found on my iPad and the physical notes from which I typed are at home, BOOO.)
  More photos here in my #GC78 Facebook album (will be on Flickr soon!) Following the walk, a shower and rehydration were in order! It actually isn't THAT hot here, but there is very little shade and dehydration can happen rapidly. The weather forecast for tomorrow predicts 103 degrees, but as they say......"it's a dry heat" and it really is.

Morning worship was inspiring and the music was good. I enjoyed sitting in the rear of the room today and seeing the whole room before me. I also loved Katharine Jefferts Schori's sermon this morning. HERE is the link.
This afternoon held a legislative session from 2:15 to 6:15. During this session, there were supposed to be elections to the Executive Council, Church Pension Fund, Treasurer of the General Convention, Disciplinary Board for Bishops, Trustees of the Church Pension Fund, and Trustees of the General Theological Seminary. There was an opening point of privilege by one of the clergy deputies which included a SONG about the new card swiping and voting procedure! He sang it to us all!
I'm sure it's on the media hub or some may have it from the streaming video, but here it is from my phone anyway :-)
They did not finish all intended business that I know of, but I may have missed a few things since I decided to take a first glance inside the House of Bishops. Because of timing and catching them at their break and then not staying very long afterwards, I will plan to revisit if there is an open session.

Today, I actually ATE LUNCH. It's the fourth day of convention and the sixth day here and today I ate lunch. I'll have you know that it was a very tasty turkey, basil pesto, provolone panini!

I'm not really sure what I've been doing all week with regards to lunches. I want to say I've eaten during lunchtime, but mostly it's been more toward dinner. I know it's vital that you see a photo of my lunch so....
Tonight, our Louisiana Deputation had dinner together! Everyone has been working very hard and I think it's the perfect night for a fun and social time together! We are partaking of free time, great food, and great new friendships!
Thank you for reading! Stay Tuned,
Caroline :-)

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