Tuesday, July 10, 2018, was a busy day for the Diocese of Maryland at General Convention, yet its description offers a taste of a typical day at the General Convention of The Episcopal Church. The morning kicked off at 7:30 AM with legislative committees and hearings. Both bishops, and most of the Maryland deputation, are serving on or chairing committees. At 10:30 AM, the third TEConversation of GC79, one on the care of creation, took place in the form of a joint session of both branches of Episcopal government, the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies.
At the lunch break, Bishop Sutton and the Maryland deputation gathered with the Bishop of Puerto Rico, the Rt. Rev. Rafael Morales, and the Puerto Rico deputation, for conversation, prayer, fellowship and breaking bread. Greetings were offered in English and Spanish and the discussion centered on relationship, how we can strengthen bonds with our companion diocese and how we can be of help as Puerto Rico continues to heal from the damage done by Hurricane Maria last Fall. Our friends from Puerto Rico told stories of homelessness, suicide, lack of electricity and even oil to run generators – things that are as much a reality today as they were the day the storm hit. The lunch was filled with warmth and kindness and Bishop Sutton looks forward to being with our brothers and sisters from Puerto Rico at their diocesan convention in October. Youth Missioner for the Diocese of Maryland, Kate Riley, is excited about a youth mission trip to Puerto Rico next July.
In the afternoon legislative session, the Rev. Ramelle McCall of Holy Trinity, Baltimore, testified on the floor of the House of Deputies on Resolution A029, Commend the Evangelism Charter for the Church to All Episcopalians:
Resolved, the House of Bishops concurring, That the 79th General Convention adopt the Evangelism Charter for the Episcopal Church as a framework for joining with our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry in expanding the loving, liberating, and life-giving Good News of Jesus through evangelism of the church, by the church, and for the church; and be it further
Resolved, that the 79th General Convention urges dioceses and congregations to read and study its principles and integrate them into their life of faith as part of living into The Way of Love.
This resolution is on the calendar for the House of Deputies July 12.
Also in the afternoon, the House of Bishops voted unanimously to welcome Cuba back into the Episcopal Church after they were separated from us in 1966. Hear what Bishop Chilton had to say in the moment:
The House of Deputies voted the next morning to welcome Cuba and seat its bishop, the Right Rev. Griselda Delgado del Carpio. Our head of deputation, the Rev. Dina van Klaveren, served on the legislative committee that recommended Cuba be welcomed home. Read more about Cuba from the Episcopal News Service.
Tuesday afternoon there was a Charles Cloughen sighting in the General Convention exhibit hall. Guess what he was doing? Why, signing his book, of course! Bishop Chilton paid him a visit and may have signed a book or two herself!
At the evening worship on Tuesday, our own Archdeacon Ruth Elder served at the table and read the prayers of the people. The worship at General Convention is filled with love, light and music!
Thank you for your continued prayers for our deputation, volunteers and staff. Pray also for all bishops and deputies, General Convention volunteers and staff, and the city of Austin. Legislation continues on Israel/Palestine, budget, prayer book revision and more. Look for news to come!