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General Convention Pigeon: A first interview

General Convention Pigeon: A first interview

He’s been compared to the Holy Spirit and chased by the paparazzi, received advice on birdseed and reflected on Episcopal prayer. He’s ready for a General Convention marathon. He doesn’t have a nametag, but he does have a Twitter account.

Episcopal Cafe had the chance to interview the General Convention pigeon this evening. Here’s the conversation, via Twitter DM:

Cara Ellen Modisett: Nice to talk with you, @GC79pigeon – I’m sorry we can’t meet in person! I’m currently in Virginia. May I ask your pigeon/preferred name?

General Convention Pigeon: Well, names are a very human thing. But another pigeon on twitter early in the tweet thread identified me as their Uncle Steve, so I guess I have been named Steve. The internet has spoken.

CEM: Steve is a fine name, though was it startling to find out you were an uncle?

GCP: I suspect being a Pigeon at General Convention that tweets will be an ongoing journey of self discovery. I’m presuming they were speaking affectionately rather than to a direct relationship, especially since I didn’t really, you know, exist until a couple hours ago.

CEM: That’s a good point. What do you think of Episcopalians so far?

GCP: I think Episcopalians are great — I mean, I consider myself one now that someone told me you have a prayer all about crumbs under the table in the Prayer Book. I mean, that’s pigeon heaven! Crumbs!

CEM: There’s a prayer for everything! 🙂  Speaking of crumbs, do you have a preference when it comes to wafers or bread in the Eucharist?

GCP: Pigeons aren’t known for our selective palates, so anything that leaves crumbs behind is fine. Bread seems to leave a bit more, but I truly have no hard and fast opinions.

CEM: Our editor sent me this question for you: “Are you planning to stop by the House of Bishops as well or are you concerned by the pointy hats?”

GCP: I like wide open spaces, and the HoB meeting room seems a bit smaller. That said, pigeonkind has been very creative at navigating through spiky and pointy objects before, so I may make an appearance. I don’t doubt the convention center staff will want to keep me in the Deputies chamber though.

I understand that there is often chatter at this event about the relative merits of houses of Convention. I take no stand on this – crumbs are given by bishops and non-bishops alike.

CEM: I think the deputies have become rather attached to you. And air space is certainly a factor to consider.

How do you feel about being identified with the the Holy Spirit?

GCP: It is very, very flattering. That said, I am a pigeon, and not a dove. But I like doves, and I like the Holy Spirit. And I would really like it if both might show up around here these next couple weeks.

CEM: I expect the H.S. will be around if she isn’t already. A dove would be lovely too. Did you ever meet @cathedral_hawk, up in D.C.?

GCP: Oooooh. I haven’t, we should meet up, provided that @cathedral_hawk wouldn’t eat me. I do know we have different tastes.

CEM: I hope not! Perhaps you could bring her some communion bread.

What GC79 issues are top on your agenda (besides the discarded food topics)? I would guess that Care of Creation might be on your list?

GCP: As a pigeon, I really believe that the decision making on the matters before GC79 need to be left to the consciences of the Deputies and Bishops. And so I’d rather not name any issues as critical to me.

CEM: Certainly, and that is very diplomatic of you. I’ll scratch my next question, on Prayer Book revision and inclusive language!

GCP: Thanks. I know things will get tense for everyone, and I’d like to give a few laughs to folks as we go along. Convention can get stressful for everyone. I’d like to be part of what can keep people relaxed when the going gets tough.

CEM: I think you have definitely already achieved that!

I just have two more questions if your time allows – I don’t want to take you away from too much of convention.

May I also check in with you later in the convention to see how things are going?

GCP: Yes, of course. I’ll be around.

CEM: Thank you! Ok, second to last question for today: How long have you lived in Austin, and do you have any favorite hangouts there you would recommend?

GCP: Oh man, I just flew into Austin yesterday! But I bet the good folks at the Diocese of Texas booth in the convention hall might have some amazing recommendations. I’ve always heard that Austin is a cool place.

CEM: I have too – great music! I’m sure [the diocese has] great suggestions.

And final question for today: Would you like to meet Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, and if so, what would you talk with him about?

GCP: I would love to meet Bishop Curry. And I’d like to talk to him about something he likes to talk about all the time: the love of God revealed to us by Jesus of Nazareth. He has some great thoughts on the subject!

CEM: He does indeed! And that would be a wonderful conversation – I hope it can happen.

Thank you for taking some time to talk with me this evening. I hope you find some delicious crumbs.


Here is some of the tweeting going on around @GC79Pigeon…



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