Wednesday, March 30, 2011

It has begun!

Consider this a "church wonk" test.

  • If this doesn't look familiar to you then you're not one -- a church wonk of the Episcopal Church/General Convention variety.

  • And if you are one -- a church wonk of the Episcopal Church/General Convention variety -- then you recognize it in a nanosecond as a General Convention Schedule ... in this case the "Draft" schedule of the 77th General Convention of the Episcopal Church July 2012 in Indianapolis.

That's right: July. 2012. And here it is ... March. 2011. And it has already begun. In some ways, it never stopped. At least not for us church wonks. (Note to +Kirk Smith: Yep ... one of those church wonks who care about the proposed Anglican Covenant.)

The work of the church certainly goes on between General Conventions. Not only in the mission and ministry of congregations all over the country and -- in Province 9 -- outside the U.S. borders as well. And the work of CCABs [Committees, Commissions, Agencies & Boards]. The SCLM (Standing Commission on Liturgy & Music) is one of the "C's" in "CCAB" ... that's the body that's been doing all the work I've been writing about around implementing Resolution C056 and "collecting and developing resources for the blessing of same-gender relationships." And they've been working hard through the task forces convened to report to them to make that work happen.

Deputations are being elected and beginning to meet. Ours (Diocese of Los Angeles) was elected last December and we've now met twice as a deputation and our "Anglican Covenant Response" subcommittee met again Monday night to finalize our report ... due to President Anderson by April 24. April 30 we go to CDSP for a gathering of all the California deputations. And with Blue Book report deadlines starting to loom I've got three conference calls and a trip to Baltimore on my calendar in the next two months.

Yes, it has definitely begun. I used to think of General Convention kind of like Brigadoon ... it emerged from the mists every three years for ten days of liturgy, legislation and shopping and then disappeared until its appointed time. Maybe it's just because I'm getting older and time goes faster on everything (how come it's 4:00 in the afternoon every time I turn around, for example?) but it seems to me that ... kind of like the prayer ... we go from strength to strength in a life of perfect service/perpetual meetings.

So there you have it. Confessions of a church wonk. And since this'll be my eighth General Convention I'm clearly an unrepentent one. So let the games begin ... or continue. And let's remember that test of whether our church wonkiness is worthwhile is whether the lives of those NOT in the pews are better because of the ones who are. (Looks like we have our work cut out for us. Guess it's a good thing "it has begun.")


Ann said...

Someone "wonkier" than thee!! Here

SCG said...

Should we be concerned that the schedule shows the discussion of the Anglican Covenant is slated to start the evening of the first FULL day? Are they hoping everyone will be so wiped they won't want to spend much time talking about it? Or perhaps there is already a mind to tell ++Rowan and friends, "No thanks!"

Will said...

Many thanks to the Sacred Order of Holy Chuch Wonks who get the necessary work done. I have searched myself and (thanks be!) know that I am not one for I have no patience for a meeting that can't reach a conclusion and set a direction in one hour.