Change Font Size:   A A A

Jul 09, 2018 | Chuck Treadwell

General Convention Reflections - Chuck Treadwell

My experience as a deputy is unique in that I am also the rector of St. David’s, six blocks away from the Austin Convention Center, where the 79th General Convention is meeting this week. My cadence has included the work on the floor of the House of Deputies, the work of Committee 15—working on resolutions regarding ministry—and the rhythm of parish life where many General Convention groups are meeting. It is also great fun to see so many people I know working as volunteers throughout the event. 

The weekend held interesting and important conversations in all three places. In Committee 15, we worked on resolutions that address similar issues. We held hearings and worked on perfecting many resolutions that address how jobs in the church—lay and ordained—are posted, filled and compensated, in order to strive for equity among employees regardless of race, gender, age or disability. Making sure best practices are followed for letters of agreement, review and safe working environments are also included in these resolutions. 

On the floor of the House of Deputies, a resolution calling for the beginning of a 12-year process to revise of the Book of Common Prayer has occupied center stage. After vigorous debate, it passed our House. The House of Bishop’s will address the same resolution this week. As the day ended yesterday we were in the midst of a debate about the Church’s wishes about ongoing use of liturgies for same-sex marriages, and how dioceses that do not provide for these are to handle requests inside their dioceses. Discussions about these and other serious issues are regularly punctuated by various observations, mostly humorous, about the pair of pigeons who have taken up residence in the House.

Sunday was also exciting at St. David’s, with hundreds of visitors through the seven services we offer. To add to the excitement, Westboro Baptist Church, who protested at the Texas Event on Saturday night at the Palmer Events Center, decided to protest both at All Saints and St. David’s on Sunday morning. They were met at St. David’s by a large group of people carrying signs that read: “Love is the Way—The Episcopal Church Welcomes You.” We offered prayers for them, as well as for all those who have been wounded by these expressions of hate against the LGBTQ community.