Day 3 at General Convention

My Day 3 began with worship, a welcome change from 7:30 am Committee Hearings. It turns out that, for me at least, worship is a better way to start day. Go figure. Once again we were blessed with excellent music and preaching, preparing us for the day’s exciting task of electing and confirming our next Presiding Bishop. I want to say a bit about that process, but will first break the suspense:

ENS_MichaelCurry_1

The Rt. Rev Michael B. Curry, Bishop of North Carolina has been elected as our 27th Presiding Bishop! Bishop Curry will begin his 9 year term on November 1, just a few weeks before joining us as preacher for the Rochester Diocesan Convention at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva (his alma mater).

The process was a bit cumbersome, but I will try to sum up. The Bishops were sequestered in St. Mark’s Cathedral to vote, while the House of Deputies remained in session. A representation from the House of Bishops arrived shortly before 1:00 to alter us that they had indeed elected a Presiding Bishop-Elect. Our role, as House of Deputies, is to consent to this election. This report was passed on to a committee who were charged with reviewing the results of the election and then bringing a recommendation to the House of Deputies. I should mention that, at this point, the results of the election had not been shared with the wider House. President Jennings attempted to recess the House of Deputies for lunch, but was met with jeers from deputies clearly wanting to remain in session until we could officially welcome the new Presiding Bishop. The committee returned with a recommendation to consent, and Bishop Curry, along with his family and North Carolina deputation, were welcomed by the House.

I am thrilled with the results of this process and pray for Bishop Curry as he prepares to lead our Church over the next 9 years. On a logistical level, I think this process highlighted the need to adapt technologies and methods to streamline. The fact that several thousand deputies, alternates and visitors had to wait while a group physically delivered a report from across town seemed a bit dated. I understand the need for due process, but suspect the election of the 28th Presiding Bishop will be altered slightly.

Naturally, the late afternoon session paled in comparison. Several resolutions were presented, including a resolution aimed at addressing alcoholism and addiction with those entering the discernment process leading to Holy Orders.

Paul and I spent the evening attending the Program, Budget and Finance meeting. This was the most well organized of the committee hearings I have attended, and I thank the committee for keeping conversation focused. Over $12 million of unfunded requests were made, some for $30,000, some for $3 million. I do not envy the committee’s task of wading through all these requests. My prayers are with them over the next few days – I look forward to reading their final report and recommendations. I anticipate this report will be the cause of much discussion and debate on the floor of the House of Deputies.

OK, off to get ready for an early morning peace march – thanks to Bishop Singh for altering us and inviting us to participate. I’m grateful to my wonderful wife, Jenny, for preaching at Incarnation this morning so that I can be here. I still not sure why she said “yes” (to my marriage proposal, that is) but I’m sure glad she did.

Blessings and peace,

Chris Streeter, Clergy Deputy

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