A Reflection on General Convention by Deputy Anne Bardol

Deputation from the Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania.  Anne is second from the left in the front row.

Deputation from the Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania. Anne is second from the left in the front row.

Day 7 of the General Convention seemed longer than most I have spent here in Salt Lake City, longer that is until this evening.  The Utah deputation hosted us at the Mormon Tabernacle, as many of us as could attend, to an amazing evening of song, dance and entertainment showing the diversity of cultures found right here – including Japanese, Native American, Spanish music, drums and dance to the finale of the evening featuring the American Festival Choir and Orchestra (the Tabernacle Choir was on assignment in NYC) and everyone was on their feet showing their appreciation with a standing ovation for this great evening. This was the Utah Showcase and what a showcase it was.  It was a wonderful way to catch one’s breath for the final stretch of this convention.

The work of convention is coming to end as is the work of the committee I’m assigned, Formation and Education for Ministry, serving as its secretary.  It’s been typing like I haven’t experienced for a long, long time.  The committee began with a substantial number of resolutions to consider even before we arrived and more have been added (63 in total).  Each meeting begins with prayer to set us to the tasks ahead.  And then we begin – subcommittees, plenary session, discussions, amendments, more discussion, more amendments and finally the vote.  And so it goes…

I am always amazed at what there is to learn, see and experience at the General Convention, this being my 7th consecutive one.  I received an email recently talking about seeing the Face of God.  I see the faces of God everywhere here from a young Native America man who bravely read one of the lessons at the daily Eucharist even with a some-time intruding studder and was applauded for his courage in doing so to the “sea of humanity” that has invaded Salt Lake City, namely we Episcopalians.  The work of General Convention is a process that requires much thought, a lot of work and compassion for one another to get the job done and the face of God is in each step.  This is why prayer is what begins everything we do here whether it’s in committee, daily Eucharist or legislative sessions.  Prayer is also often requested during legislative sessions when a particularly difficult resolution is coming up for a vote.  The Chaplain, Fr. Lester McKenzie, will be called upon to lead us in prayer.  From time to time, a little exercise and song may be called for and Fr. McKenzie is in charge. But more times than I can count, the Chaplain will end the prayer with “because God loves it when we pray.”

One thought on “A Reflection on General Convention by Deputy Anne Bardol

  1. Thanks for all your devotion and hard work on behalf of our diocese and all of us individuals. God has truly blessed you and we are so thankful.

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