Category Archives: General Convention 2018

General Convention 2018 Days 10 & 11 7/11 & 7/12/18

The last two days of General Convention have been filled with discussion, debate, and voting on multiple resolutions in the House of Deputies. On the 11th, we had three legislative sessions that continued until around 9:30 PM. Today we dealt with many more resolutions, and we were able to finish up our voting at around 6:00 PM.

Tonight we gathered as a General Convention community,and we celebrated our closing Eucharist. It has been an incredible two weeks of fellowship, worship, teaching, and sharing. We have been witnesses of the fervor, excitement, and movement of the spirit found in the Jesus movement in the Episcopal church. We stood in solidarity with immigrants detained in a local center, we gathered as a community in revival, while misguided protesters marched against love outside the arena and yet, we, the Episcopal Church spoke truth in love!  We are living out what it means to care for our sisters and brothers in Christ, all people on the margins, and all of God’s creation .

Tomorrow afternoon, I return home to Southwest Florida. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the Episcopal Church as a deputy to convention. It is through this particular service, I long even more for the opportunity, to go back and share with the congregation that I serve, how God is moving this church today.  Jesus said, “Go and make disciples!”  Episcopal Church, let’s go!

Peace,

Fr. Eric

GENERAL CONVENTION 7/8/18 DAY 7

Yesterday was my day “off the floor”  at convention.  The Rev. Roy Tuff of Good Shepherd, Punta Gorda took my place in the Deputation.  This day off gave me an opportunity to serve with my fellow Episcopal priest/Military Chaplains who were in the exhibit booth.

The day began with a wonderful Eucharist in the Convention center.   The music was incredible.  A young man, Andrés Gonzélez-Bonillas, whose grandparents immigrated from Mexico was our preacher. Last year, at the 2017 EYE annual event, Andrés was the final speaker and here is his sermon.  Yesterday, he once again inspired, encouraged, and challenged all of us to never again forget, never again repeat, and never again allow the atrocities of fear and racism to rob the dignity of every human being.

Bishop Suffragan for Armed Forces and Federal Ministries Booth

After the Eucharist, I spent four hours with my fellow Chaplains.  I met many new people, and had the opportunity to share the work and ministry of the CAP Chaplain Corps with visitors to the booth. I networked with two of our Military Chaplain recruiters, who informed me that they often make referrals to the CAP Chaplain Corps, for people desiring to serve as active duty military chaplains, yet they do not meet age requirements.  I also connected with my dear friend, Ch. Lt. Col. Jerry Sathers, USAF who was ordained in our diocese two years ago.  He is serving in England.  My dear friend Meghan Froehilch, Episcopal Church Transition Officer at 815 (Washington Office) stopped by to say hello.

The day ended with a  wonderful diocesan deputation meal hosted by Bishop Smith and Mary.  It was another wonderful day at General Convention.  Today, I am back on the legislative floor and there are many resolutions to consider.

More updates to come.

Peace,

Fr. Eric+

GENERAL CONVENTION 7/7/18 DAY 6 (House of Deputies Legislative Session and Episcopal Revival)

I began my day yesterday with joy and blessing!  My dear friend The Rev. Christopher Caddell and I had breakfast together.  Chris and I were friends in seminary at Sewanee and we have not seen each other since 2010.  Chris serves a parish in Dripping Springs, TX, which is about 20 minutes away from Austin.  It was a great way to start the day yesterday, and I am grateful to my friend and brother for sharing breakfast, conversation, and prayer together.

Yesterday was primarily a legislative session for me.  The committee on which I served has completed its work, and I can now concentrate on legislative work of the other resolutions.  The House of Deputies took up the resolution related to prayer book revision and it passed by a majority vote.

We have had the same prayer book now for almost forty years (1979) and although the diversity and  riches of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer have not been fully embraced in all churches, it seems that it is time that we begin the process of revision.

It will take several years before a new prayer book comes to the church, and many of my colleagues and I may be retired by that time, but it is work we need to begin now.

Later in the day, we participated in a joint session with both houses (HOD and HOB) that focused on Evangelism.  I can tell you know, that evangelism (Episcopal style) will be the topic and focus of the church in the years to come.  Go and make disciples is our mission, and the Spirit is calling  the Episcopal Branch of the Jesus Movement to go and share the Good News of Jesus Christ.   I foresee some training possibilities at St. Monica’s, to help all of us live our faith story each day.

EPISCOPAL REVIVAL

 

 

We ended our day yesterday with a “Revival!”  It was an incredible experience to actually be in a huge room with thousands of Episcopalians singing, praising, praying, and worshipping Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  It was incredible!   We knew though that we were doing something right though, the Westboro Baptist Church showed up to protest.

“Day of Rest” Sunday 7/8/18

So today, I have a bit of a down day.  I will not be on the legislative floor, but my dear friend The Rev. Janet Tunnell will take my place with the Deputation.  I will be serving with my Military Chaplain colleagues at their booth on the Exhibit floor.  Please keep all Military Chaplains in your prayers.  They serve in a unique ministry and they need our support, and so do our military service women and men.

More updates to come….

Peace,

Fr. Eric+

GENERAL CONVENTION 7/5/18 DAY 4 (COMMITTEE HEARINGS, House of Deputies Legislative Session)

What a day! I saw many old friends, made new friends, and I believe I am starting to get into the swing of Convention!  I feel like I am learning so much about how the legislative process works at the national level.  What a joy to be a part of this incredible process.

Early this morning we started the day with a legislative session with the House of Deputies in session.  Several administrative type Resolutions were addressed and voted upon.  Later, we worshipped together at the Opening Eucharist.  Presiding Bishop Michael Curry preached an incredible sermon!  The music was fantastic, and the Holy Spirit was nudging this church to a new day of evangelism!

 

 

 

Later in the day, the “Evangelism and Church Planting Committee” held joint hearings for several pieces of legislation we are putting forward.  We held a hearing at 2:15pm and another at 7:30 pm.

I learned so much about our efforts in Church planting throughout the Episcopal Church, and I am so excited about how these amazing pioneers are welcoming all of us into the conversation.  There is so much we in the existing parishes can learn from these pioneering community developers.  Here are a few links you might find interesting:

https://www.faithfoodfarm.org

http://plainsongfarm.com

After a long day, I am both exhausted and exhilarated.  We are a part of an amazing church.  We are the Episcopal branch of the “Jesus Movement!”

Peace,

Fr. Eric+

 

 

General Convention 7/4/18 Day 3 (Committee Hearings, Joint Session, Orientation)

The day began at 8:00 a.m. with Legislative Committee meetings.  The “Evangelism and Church Planting Committee” heard testimony today on three Resolutions that will be going to Consent Agenda.  It was a great opportunity to learn more about how the Church at the General Convention level operates.

 

Later in the day, we participated in a Joint HOB (House of Bishops) and (HOD) House of Deputies meeting where we heard incredible opening remarks from the Most Rev. Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop (check it out), and The Rev. Gay Jennings, President of the House of Deputies.  Afterward, the House of Deputies participated in our orientation, which included: how to use the “Virtual Binder” software, how to use the electronic voting devices, and a brief overview of parliamentary procedures.

 

 

 

 

 

After a quick dinner with the Bishop, Mary (his spouse) and several colleagues, it is time to call day three (3) “a day.”  Tomorrow, I will serve at the Bishop Suffragan for Federal and Armed Services booth until noon, then rejoin Convention for more legislative hearings, and a HOD legislative session.

More updates to come.

Peace,   Fr. Eric+

 

General Convention 7/3/18 Day 2 (Registration – Committee Meetings)

After breakfast, our day began with certification, registration, and the issuance of our IPad’s (for a paperless convention).  Throughout the day, I saw many old friends and reconnected with old colleagues.

 

The exhibition hall was amazing with vendors from all across the Episcopal Church.   As a CAP USAF Auxiliary Chaplain, I will help man the Episcopal Federal and Armed Services Ministry booth a few times while I am here.

 

 

I was selected to serve on the “Evangelism and Church Planting” legislative committee, and tonight was our first meeting.  We spent some time getting to know one another by sharing our own personal evangelism stories.  The question was asked, “how did you experience evangelism in your own life?”  There were common experiences by which, many of us came to know Christ through the love, mentorship, and discipleship offered us by another person.

Next, we reviewed the legislation which we are presenting to Convention.    To learn more about the details of the resolutions related to Evangelism and Church planting, please click here.   For a summary of the Legislation click here.

Tomorrow morning our Committee will conduct hearings related to the legislation and finalize any language, content, etc. changes.

It’s been a  nice  day of 100+ degree Texas temperatures. lots of walking,  and the challenges of learning the “ins and outs” of Convention.  We have definitely enjoyed some awesome food (Brisket, tacos, bread pudding.  We have had a  day filled with laughter, fun, and friends.

So, it is time to get a good night’s sleep, because tomorrow morning at 5:30 a.m., the work of Convention really begins.  Stay tuned for more updates.

Peace,

Fr. Eric+

 

 

Serving as a Deputy General Convention 2018 – Introduction

Dear Friends,

From July 2 to July 13, 2018, I will be serving as a Deputy to the 2018 General Convention of the Episcopal Church, along with some of my dear friends and colleagues from the Episcopal Diocese of Southwest Florida.   Southwest Florida Deputation

I have also been asked to serve on the Committee for Evangelism and Church Planting.  General Convention will be held in Austin, TX this year.  More information:  http://www.generalconvention.org

During my time at Convention, I will be sharing reflections and thoughts about the experience.  I welcome you to follow along on this journey, share your thoughts, and I especially ask for your prayers for each of the Deputies, Bishops, volunteers, and others who will be gathering to deliberate, discern, and legislate the future of the Episcopal Church.

Peace,

Fr. Eric