At this convention, I serve on the legislative committee on Social Justice and U.S. Policy. This morning (July 9) I started off at 7:30 with yet another hearing and committee meeting on the topics of immigration and sanctuary churches, which are getting a good deal of discussion at this convention. A number of people from several different countries testified as to the effects on families of the zero-tolerance position taken by the U.S. government and, as you would expect, our committee spent a good deal of time attempting to perfect the seven resolutions that came to us pertaining to the issue of immigration.
The resolutions will now be sent to the House of Bishops, so we'll have to wait to see what happens to the resolutions there.
This afternoon, the youth presence made a presentation to the House of Deputies that was certainly a highlight of the convention. The speaker, a 16-year-old, got a well-deserved round of applause when she told us that the youth were not only "the future of the Church," they are "the present of the Church."
In our legislative session this afternoon, we again spent a fair amount of time listening to debate on various topics (liturgies for same sex marriage, Israel/Palestine conflict), but it is safe to say that much of what we did has a better than even chance of amendment when the actions get to the House of Bishops.
Today was "Camp Day," so all deputies were encouraged to wear shirts bearing the name of a conference camp that they might have in their diocese. All of the deputies from our diocese, of course, proudly wore our St. Columba "Mud Camp" shirts.
It is a privilege to represent our part of The Episcopal Church from West Tennessee at General Convention. I confess that it is a lot of work, but I truly do consider it to be holy work. I ask that you continue to keep Bishop Johnson and all of our clergy and lay deputies in your prayers.
photo by The Reverend Gayle McCarty