Saturday, October 20, 2012

163rd Diocesan Convention

As Bay Area residents frolicked in the sunshine, 300 Episcopalians chose to spend their Saturday indoors at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. It was the 163rd Convention of the Diocese of California.

(Historical footnote: the Diocese encompasses only seven Bay Area counties but has appropriated the "California" designation due to primogeniture. There are now other, larger Episcopal Dioceses in California, e.g., Los Angeles and San Diego.)

Bishop Marc Andrus led by example on his 56th birthday and presided over an uncontroversial agenda. Three resolutions passed by large margins:

1) Every meeting of every committee, no matter what its purpose, shall begin by asking the question, "How will what we are doing here affect or involve people living in poverty?"

2) Martin Luther King, Jr. Day will be a Day of Service for all members of the congregation and particularly for children and youth.

3) The Diocese declares its support of California Proposition 34, also known as the Anti-Death Penalty Initiative.

Fortunately this year, there were no discussions or proposals that upset Episcopalians who do not call themselves progressives. (Bishop Andrus has declared that he is in "the progressive wing of The Episcopal Church"; his advocacy of same-sex marriage--the official position of the church is that it will perform blessings over same-sex relationships--has resulted in a spat with the local Catholic archbishop.)

Two months ago this humble observer half-jokingly commented about church leadership:
Why don't they just say what they really believe? From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.
Well, the Bishop did use Karl Marx's famous dictum in response to a question about wealth redistribution among the parishes and missions, and he said it as if he meant it. No wonder we're a dying denomination.
© 2012 Stephen Yuen

No comments: