Saturday, September 23, 2017
2017 Fall House of Bishops, Day 2
The morning consisted of more presentations by members of various indigenous peoples. A 96-year old tribal elder singing "I found my thrill on Blueberry Hill" in her native Athabascan language brought the house down. It was impressed upon us how much the ancient peoples of this land rely on a finely-honed eons-old pattern of relationship with nature revolving around the cycle of seasonal change. It's not only their cultural heritage; it's their food supply and their social fabric. There is great anxiety over the effect that proposed oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge would have on this delicate ecological balancing act.
The afternoon session was devoted mostly to preparing us for our various excursions to remote villages tomorrow, include a crash tutorial on videography and video editing on a smart phone. They're encouraging us to shoot lots of video and send clips to the communications wonks in New York, which they can harvest and edit toward the compilation of a collective video narrative.
This was the evening for "class" dinners (I'm in the Class of 2011, which is made up of all bishops who were elected in 2010, no matter whether they were consecrated that year or the following one.) As a class, we bonded extraordinarily well from the get-go, and very much enjoy one another's company.