Since I'm not on a committee, the morning was leisurely for me. I got myself properly registered and then spent some time "casing the joint." Of course, it's impossible not to run into and exchange pleasantries with old friends and acquaintances from the 35 years that I've been an Episcopalian, and especially the last 20 that I have been ordained.
Convention began in earnest for me, though, with a hastily arranged strategizing lunch with the co-sponsors of my resolution on provisional acceptance of the Anglican Covenant (D-020) and some sympathetic members of the committee that will be considering it. I'm still not what you would call optomistic, but I am perhaps less pessimistic than I have been about it's chances of emerging from the committee in something resembling intact form. Political tactics are not my strong suit, so I appreciated everyone's input.
Everyone then reported to the hall where the daily liturgies will be celebrated for welcoming speeches from the Presiding Bishop and the President of the House of Deputies. I was mildly suprised that the PB launched directly into the language of "crisis" to describe what we're facing. I would have expected some more of the usual "all is well"-speak, so on this I have to give her some credit for truth-telling. I give her less credit on her ability to articulate something I recognize as a gospel vision, but no surprises there.
We were then introduced to an activity that we will be invited to participate in a few more times during our stay in Anaheim--learning the techniques of something called "public narrative." As near as I can tell, it's basically a community-organizing practice adapted for the church. There's a lot that appears valuable at first glance, but I don't think it's an appropriate use of the time that the Bishops and Deputies are expecting to devote to the actual business of the convention.
Then we adjourned to our separate Houses. In the HOD we were oriented to the rules and procedures of the House, and finished about 5:30.
At 6:00, I had a brief meeting with some of the other Communion Partners Rectors. With the massive departures of members of the "right flank" of TEC over the last three years, we're now it. And there were about six of us! Needless to say, we don't have any grand strategic vision, and are mostly trying to provide one another with a modicum of support and encouragement in a larger environment that is singularly depressing.
At 7 I reported to the meeting room of Committee 13, Liturgy and Music. They were holding an open hearing on the set of resolutions dealing with the sanctoral calendar, and the proposed volume Holy Women, Holy Men (a replacement for Lesser Feasts & Fasts). I gave my spiel, suggesting that it needs more time in the oven, and that introducing 112 new commemorations in one lump is like asking the church to drink from a fire hose. I was not alone in my sentiments among those who testified. However, listeing to the committee begin its deliberations following the testimony, they appear to be leaning toward making a few tweaks in response to complaints (John Muir and John Calvin seem to be on the chopping block), but then sending the resolution out. So I may have to yet speak from the floor.
I left the meeting room before they were finished because it was getting late and I was getting hungry and other members of the deputation were waiting for me in order to catch dinner together. This was accomplished at Bubba Gump's Shrimp Company, where I fell on the diet wagon in a big way, succumbing to the garlic bread, white rice, and key lime pie. I can resist everything except temptation. Tomorrow is another day.