|Friday night mass at Grace Cathedral|
Prayers are said, reports are presented, resolutions are made, and officers are elected. Given all the business that had to be conducted---the Diocese has 162 years of legal and procedural barnacles encrusting its activities---it was remarkable that we completed the agenda within the allotted nine hours.
Bay Area attendance has dwindled to a weekly average of 8,500 Bay Area worshipers. Bishop Marc called for renewal--we dare not call it evangelism!--by telling our story to the community. There is an ingrained reluctance and much Scriptural support against tooting one's horn, but in these cacophonous times one can't be completely silent. The church and church members perform many unpublicized acts of charity; some people in the wider community might be interested in joining the Church if they heard about them.
To soften its seeming one-sidedness, the Resolution was amended to acknowledge the rights of both Israelis and Palestinians to self-determination, statehood, safety, and security. Nevertheless, the Resolution was defeated, 171-144, in a show of hands. We live in one of the most liberal Dioceses in one of the most liberal Protestant denominations, but this one was too much to swallow. Other resolutions, which pertained to church matters, passed overwhelmingly.
After the convention adjourned, we passed by Occupy SF demonstrators marching along Sixth Street. There are many different ways, over and above mere working and consuming, that people choose to participate in civic society, and some of them were on display on this beautiful weekend in the Bay Area.