There is always a danger when comparing events which span 27 years, but….. Having the privilege of being a deputy for 10 conventions, this is one of the best for me. I sense the presence of the Holy Spirit in a very strong way through the debate, in times on and off the floor, in the hallways in the hotel. A spirit of gentleness and peace, even in the heat of debate on controversial and important issues. My experience has been one of increasing hope as each day passes.
On Sunday I participated in the Claim It: Finding Common Ground prayer/walk event. Walking about a mile with about 1500 bishops, deputies, folks from Salt Lake City and the surrounding area, Quakers Against Violence, and hearing several powerful presentations by persons with intimate knowledge of such violence was a profound and moving experience of hope that we as a nation can come together to find that common ground against gun violence.
Passage of Resolutions B-009, D-005 and D-009 in the House of Deputies gives me hope that we, as a church, can respond to Presiding Bishop Katharine’s call to the Church, echoing the invitation of Jesus: Talitha cumi – Get up, little girl. These resolutions will provide funding for essential ministry for evangelism, church planting, and church redevelopment and provide us with tools to GET UP! Pray for the House of Bishops as they consider these resolutions
Today (Wednesday) we have an extremely full agenda as we look at major resolutions on the restructuring of the church for more effective mission, marriage, and the budget for the next triennium. Pray for us as we debate these important, controversial resolutions.
I have seen other small witnesses to hope that are like beautiful flowers growing through cracks in a sidewalk…. the largest number of deputies who are here for the first time, the most deputies 30 and under, an almost 50-50 ratio between male and female. The legislative committee (Evangelism and Communication) that I had the privilege to co-chair was an example of how kingdom-work can be done. Seeing deputies pushing strollers, walking with toddlers and remembering the sound of a small child’s voice ringing out above all others at the end of the Lord’s prayer during Eucharist gives me great hope for the future.
As our diocesan mission statement reminds us …WE ARE ONE CHURCH. As Bishop Sean often reminds us…IT’S A GREAT DAY IN THE KINGDOM. Please continue to pray for your deputies, Bishop, ECW delegates and all at Convention. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you as a deputy for the 10th time. Shalom!
The Rev. Canon Dennis Blauser, Deputy, Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania