Today was a more relaxed day for me as my committee work was essentially completed and we began to get going with some real legislation. The day began a bit later with a another great walk along the canal. The surprise for me was seeing the Presiding Bishop as she passed me on her morning run. I believe she is as fleet on her feet as she is fast in her thinking.
Following breakfast at Starbucks I sat in on another meeting of the Committee on Liturgy and Music. They have a heavy agenda and interesting topics which will probably lead to some great debate on the floor. Then off to the celebration of the Holy Eucharist where I sat beside a postulant from the Sisters the the Transfiguration. We had a good talk about the challenges of community life for the women who have often led successful careers in the secular world before accepting their call as religious.
Today's service included readings, prayers and music from the Hmong people who are part of our church in various American cities. They literally sing the entire service, except for the sermon. Some of the music was Taize style, so we were singing in Latin, too. Bonnie Anderson, President of the House of Deputies was today's preacher. As it was the feast of Jon Hus, who courageously called into question papal infallibility and the heresy of the pope in office, she exhorted us to be courageous in our faith, too. Quoting C.S. Lewis, "Courage is not just a virtue; but is every virtue at its testing point. All virtues are dormant without courage."
As students of courage with a long line of ancestors in the faith who exhibited courage, we learn to be courageous from the people in our lives who prompt us to act despite fear. We learn that courage is contagious--sort of a pay it forward paradigm. In our church we are courageous as we learn to be both spiritual and religious.
Following a legislative session, several of our deputation went to Ali Baba's for a wonderful and inexpensive Mediterranean style lunch. More time for hearings and cruising the exhibit area before another legislative session. Some of us attended the ECW-UTO Gala Banquet which turned out to be both delicious, fun and inspiring. We sat with women from the Miami area, Panama and a guy from Brazil. I did not catch the name of the speaker, but he was lively and encouraging to move forward.
Our deputation met for an hour or so in caucus. It is great how each one has gravitated to an area or two of real interest (structure, budget, evangelism, small churches, world mission, liturgy) and lead us in understanding what is coming up. The discussions and questions are provocative, thoughtful and sincere. We disagree, talk things through, reach new insights and understandings. Today Marcia Himes, the national ECW president (and from Wyoming) joined us, along with her husband, daughter and other Wyoming women to let us know about the Triennial Meeting. We are happy and pleased that it is going well for them, too.