There is always a certain "opening night" energy at this point of General Convention: the volunteers' aprons are crisp and bright, the greetings of friends and colleagues not seen since last convention sincere and energetic and the vendors and booth tenders are busy unwrapping their wares and arranging their buttons and pamphlets. So here are some quick musings on this first day of Getting-Convention-Going:
I've been here since Friday and today the Exhibit Hall opened, credentially began and it was my first foray into the cavernous convention center which will become very much our home-away-from home for the next ten days. As for us, we've spent most of our time so far getting volunteers organized, our work center and booths set up, and tracking the errant Fed Ex delivery -- (scheduled for by 10 a.m. Saturday now promised by "sometime" Monday. We'll see!) I'll leave momentarily for a briefing for bishops and deputies on the pending legislation and our hopes for this convention.
What's our "agenda?" I couldn't say it any better than Michael did in his sermon last night ... and the words that keep echoing from me from it are "We speak of what we know ..." There's some calming reassurance in those words from John's gospel ... "we speak of what we know."
Nobody's asking us to do anything other than speak of what we know. Speak of our lives made fuller and more holy by the Spirit of God present in them in and through the Episcopal Church. Speak of a church enriched and enlivened by the work and witness of LGBT Christians who want nothing more than to serve their Lord and live out their lives in relationship with their beloved and in communion with the saints. Speak of the mission and ministry of the church we love -- and how sick unto death we are of having it hijacked by those determined to scapegoat LGBT vocations and relationships as expendable bargaining chips in the game of Anglican global politics.
What we know is that we are here in Columbus ready to move forward in mission and ministry while others are intent on drawing lines in the sand issuing ultimatums and piloting an Anglican version of the ridiculously popular game show, "Deal or No Deal."
Here's what we know: the Episcopal Church is smarter than that, more faithful than that and more determined to live out its historic commitment to the Gospel imperative than that. That's what we know.