I wanted to do this before it got too far into the past. People always ask “So what’s it like?”. I can only shake my head. It’s not like anything else I’ve ever experienced. Take your diocesan convention or some large governing body meeting, combine it with a full blown trade show, add in a healthy dose of family reunion (both good and bad bits) then blend in the passion of a large group of people of faith. Shaken not stirred and you might get the idea.
General Convention is long periods of boredom interrupted regularly by outright silliness (the good kind) and periodically by outright silliness (the bad kind). Great and important matters will be wrestled with, debated, fought over and prayerfully attended. Trivial matters will be given more time than they deserve and important ones given short shrift. And vice versa.
We have a budget for the next three years. It’s not perfect but it’s better than the one we started with before Convention began. We took bold steps (IMO) in provisionally approving blessings for same sex unions. We chose to not do likewise in regards the Anglican Covenant. We chose to care for one another even when we will be mocked for it by creating prayers to comfort people on the loss of beloved pets or service animals in their lives. We chose not to humiliate one another by defeating a resolution that would require Deputies to state the percentage of budget support their diocese gives to the denomination before each time they addressed Convention (a Scarlet Letter resolution if ever I saw one). We elected new leadership, took the first step towards re-imagining ourselves, agreed that it is time to look at changing where our headquarters are, we turned our back on discrimination against transgender persons, we affirmed the importance of denomination wide youth events and that baptism is the norm before receiving Communion.
That barely scratches the surface of 9 days of work and prayer.
We stepped boldly. We made compromises. We gathered and laughed and cried and did our best to reason together. We solved problems as we created new ones. We worshiped daily. We laughed daily. We talked endlessly.
That’s what General Convention is like. I walk away with an overall good feeling for my church.