Trying to describe General Convention and its atmosphere is hard enough in any year, but trying to make sense of the subtleties of this most recent Convention has been a stretch for everyone, whether deputy, visitor or reporter. Rebecca Wilson, who served in the press room of General Convention writes of how the atmosphere in that place was different this year.
She starts by recounting an impromptu birthday party by the gathered press for conservative blogger and reporter David Virtue and then observes:
"Perhaps it was sheer exhaustion from years of acrimony, or maybe we were collectively overcome by fumes from the orange vinyl couches that lined the hallways. But the spirit of, well, communion that infused the House of Deputies and House of Bishops also permeated the press corps.
The lack of dramatic tension was largely attributable to the fact that the march of Anaheim towards full inclusion was draped in theology and fuelled by institutional process and artful compromise. The successful legislation about gay and lesbian people’s access to the discern ment process, and the development of liturgical rites for same-gender unions, hinged on nuance and nicety. It’s hard to have a pitched battle about ‘mystery’.
SOMETIMES, however, it is better to show than tell. After General Convention 2006, the Episcopal Church figured out that its way of discerning God’s will was a mystery to the rest of the Communion. To rectify this, 15 Anglican Primates and more than 50 international visitors came to Anaheim as guests. They sat in legislative sessions and hearings, gave inter views, spoke at receptions and luncheons, and asked questions. Only occasionally (just when we needed them for media interviews) did they go to Disneyland near by."
Read the full article here.