Today began with another wonderful walk (though hotter and muggier) along the canal. It amazes me as I realize how many different things I noticed this morning--different sculptures, buildings, etc.--when I wasn't so focused on getting lost. Similarly as a 6 time deputy, I notice different things and move through the rigmarole without the same anxious focus.
The initial legislative meeting was devoted to organizing the House--and letting the Bishop's know that we were set up for business. We actually got the the point of passing the first few resolutions which gave consent to 4 of the new bishops and a few courtesy resolutions. With only an hour we didn't accomplish much, but the new deputies got a feel for how the business in formally conducted.
Then we all moved from the Convention Center to one of the hotels for the first Eucharist. Brass and vocal soloists did an amazing job in a pretty traditional service. Unlike previous years, we are seated in rows rather than at tables. But singing familiar hymns with several other thousand people is a wonderful experience. The PB preached another great sermon weaving in the "saints" of the day: Walter Rauschenbusch, Jacob Riis, and Washington Gladden who were all social activists in the late 19th century. They were each committed to building God's reign in the here and now as they worked to end poverty, opposed segregation, denounced corruption, classism, graft and corruption. She called us to follow their example in our time to make common cause for the healing of creation and society.
In the committee I've been assigned to, we had a great discussion relative to transparency in the consent process. But with that we completed all the work assigned to us, so I have an unexpected amount of time to attend other hearings and meetings.
Following a quick lunch with our deputation, I spent a bit of time cruising the Exhibit Hall and seeing numerous old friends; then sat in on a hearing regarding the work on "Holy Women, Holy Men. Then back to the House for more legislation and some minor debate. The big issues won't come up for a while yet, so they allow debate to go on a bit longer now. After supper I attended another hearing on Structure/Restructure of the church. Most folks were calling for radical change now: things are broken and now is the time to do something, but just how that will weigh out is anyone's guess at this point. After a brief time of refreshment and laughter in our "hospitality room" with some of the deputation and some of our women who are attending the Triennial Meeting of the Episcopal Church Women,I packed it in to share a few thought with you, gentle and inquisitive readers.