Thursday, July 9, 2009

General Convention - Day 1

First, some follow up from last night's post. Today, as that I was a little more rested and I was seeing people speak in love, I was far less angry reading some things. I got emotional later in the day (FUR-I-OUS), but for the most part it was fine. It's good to see people listening to one another via social media and not actually biting each other' s heads off like I thought at first. And now on to today!

I tried to get up at 6:00, but it was really more like 6:15. Brad and I were downstairs at 7:30 to pass out copies of Issues to deputies and bishops as they came in to the convention center. I was unable to get a name tag until 9:00 because I'd missed the window. After everyone was in the other YAP members and I kinda hung out in the area outside the exhibit hall and big rooms. We got our legislation tracking stuff started and waited to get credentialed. A few of us volunteered to be servers at the Eucharist.

I was a chalice bearer. I didn't really like the music, but serving was great. Serving - in the jail, at St. Mark's, at General Convention - confirms to me for me my vocation. It was great to see sooooo many people. I thought the sermon was a major shank. The service was nice, though. After that I went to the exhibit hall and hung out for a bit. I met our YAP from the Diocese of Haiti and then she and I really got to work.

We went to a hearing to find my resolution that I was following, and we did as they adjourned for their business, which was great. The finding out, not the business. We didn't really get there in time to follow the testimony, but we found out that both of our resolutions were being heard TONIGHT! After that we got foodage and then basically hung around the exhibit hall for the afternoon. Bishop Robinson spoke at the 1:00 Consultation Lunch Speaker Series and was great. At 4:00 we had a group conversation about the Church and technology and we got some good things going in terms of talking. After that we did an afternoon debrief and then split up.

I went to dinner and started getting ready for the hearings tonight. I spoke to a resolution, and the text of my speech is already on the blog. My bishop wanted me to be dressed up for testifying, and I don't disagree with him at all. Other times I'll be in the EPF t-shirt, perhaps even over a button down and bow tie, but I'll be dressed up. So I had to iron my shirt before I went over there. When I got over there, there were four other YAP people also testifying, in addition to the one who'd walked over with me. The bishop leading discussion had us all introduce ourselves before testimony actually started.

Testimony was the best part of this for me. It hit me near the end, but we're in Anaheim, at General Convention testifying about legislation related to issues about which we care. I don't know if I can really convey the feelings that hit me when Brad was talking but it was a big "whoa." This is important stuff. In theory what we say will be taken into account and could impact, influence, or change a committee's decision about a piece of legislation. After committee I went to the first #ecgc tweet-up and met some cool tweeps and then had a great, long conversation about an emerging ecumenical partnership.

Some other highlights of the day include pictures with Episcopal Church celebrities: The Rt. Revs. Barbara Harris and Gene Robinson, the president of Integrity Susan Russell, and oh um The Most Reverend Rowan Williams:

Pictures of the Day are at that link in this sentence. :)

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