Wednesday, July 8, 2009

General Convention - Day 0

"Guide us waking O Lord, and guard us sleeping, that awake we may watch with Christ, and asleep we may rest in peace." That might be something I find myself saying a lot these next ten days, and not just as an antiphon to the Nunc dimitis. But let me back up a little bit. :) I've had an AMAZING day, even if it started a little rocky. And for those of you who don't know me, I can be a longwinded blogger, but that's how my brain works. I might not post long entries the next ten days inasmuch as multiple short entries throughout a day.
I made it to the airport three hours early (ride had to get to work stuff) and realized that I'd left both my iPod and my Star Trek: The Next Generation DVDs at the house. So I wrote a letter and listened to some sermon podcasts and had some good text conversation...and off I flew into the wild blue yonder, landing in Denver and having a layover with ever-exciting free Wifi. Once air born again I worked on a playlist that I've put in the iTunes store as an iMix. If you're interested in checking it out, just click the following: Ubuntu Kingdom. That's what it's called. The theme of General Convention is Ubuntu, and the Magic Kingdom is right down the road. At this very minute Brad and I are listening to fireworks that we can't see.
After I got in to John Wayne, getting my shuttle to the hotel was no problem. I got unpacked and refreshed and we went to a GREAT organizational meeting figuring out what we're going to be doing for the next 10 days here. It was very good to learn from the others about their experiences, areas of interest, etc. After our meeting we went to dinner, where conversation continued and we broke bread and broke ourselves open with honesty and getting to know each other.
And that leaves us back here, with my praying an antiphon. Between getting to the hotel and getting unpacked and refreshed and organizational meeting and dinner I got behind following #ecgc tweets. (That's the hashtag for General Convention.) Now that I'm back in the room I'm getting caught up...and not entirely liking what I see. Actually feeling a little sick to my stomach about some of the way disagreement is being presented and some of the things people are already getting ruffled about or the way they're choosing to interpret comments. Some of it is already kind of rough. My spiritual director has no interest in General Convention because he can't stand the "bickering and fighting." He's such a peace maker. But the reality is that there are people with vastly different perspectives here.
And here is where things happen. And within the Church there are vastly different perspectives. And there are certainly different perspectives outside the Church as well, but what deputies do here doesn't affect them as directly as it does those under the Episcopal Shield. So I'm saying this antiphon and reminding myself that someone with whom I disagree is not my enemy. We still share one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism...even if they think we don't share the same faith. I haven't been an Episcopalian for an exceedingly long time, and I come from The United Methodist Church (which has roots in the same Church of England as us!) Holy Conferencing is a term that the UMC used for its General Conference last year. I'll post their guidelines in an entry following this one. I think that I'm going to have to be consciously thinking of this event as a time for Holy Conferencing, even if we're at a convention (as opposed to a conference). I'm also going to have to think about how I can keep "conferencing" on Twitter and other Web 2.0 outlets Holy.
In the same way that others are getting bent out of shape about some remarks today - I'm getting bent out of shape based solely on tweets. The person with whom I disagree is not my enemy. And even if s/he were, I'd revert back to my iMix, "My Enemies Are Men Like Me," created in the image of God, whom I ask, "Guide us waking O Lord, and guard us sleeping, that awake we may watch with Christ and asleep we may rest in peace."

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