Sunday, October 16, 2016

167th Diocesan Convention

L to R: Rev. Joseph Peters-Matthews, David Franquist, Christoper Hayes, Rt. Rev. Marc Andrus
The 167th Diocesan Convention (October 14-15, 2016) was devoid of true argument. To be sure, speeches displayed passion, but since everyone was in agreement it was largely preaching to the choir.

The Episcopal Church is a religious organization, but it is like other non-profits in that it must have an annual meeting to listen to reports, approve budgets, elect officers, and vote on resolutions. Of course, at Convention there's also worshipping, singing, praying, and sermonizing, but those are adornments. Without the legal requirements, IMHO, we probably wouldn't have this large a gathering of laity and clergy. How do I know this? In past years no official business was conducted on the Friday portion of Convention and was much less well attended; it's a hassle for the majority who don't live in San Francisco to head into town on a Friday.

Hard to read, so I just listened.
  • The 167th Convention - I wonder what event in 1849 resulted in the Episcopal Church having sufficient numbers to form a Diocese.
  • The "Diocese of California" encompasses only 6 counties--Marin, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo, San Francisco, and Santa Clara--out of California's 58. You get naming privileges when you were there first.
  • This was the first paperless Convention. Binders full of documents have been replaced by PDF files.
  • Putting the hymns on Facebook or Twitter ("search for hashtag diocal167") was taking electronic downloading too far, though. The majority either gave up looking or found music too hard to read on tiny smartphone screens.
  • In this rancorous political season the Church leadership asked everyone to pray for reconciliation. Meanwhile, one lady asked the Convention to vote for the anti-gun violence resolution now in case a "vile Supreme Court" results from the elections.
  • One of the highlights of the weekend was Friday night's sermon by the Bishop of Cuba, Griselda Delgado del Carpio. Her mystical style was well-suited to the theme of caring for the earth.
  • It rained. Hallelujah.
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