Friday, July 13, 2018

2018 General Convention, Day 11

It's over. And sooner than expected. While I was at lunch with some bishop colleagues, we learned that the House of Deputies had adjourned. When the HOB came back to order at 2:30, we had exactly one substantive resolution to concur with, and then the Committee of Dispatch informed the Presiding Bishop that we had completed our legislative agenda, and we adjourned before 2:45. This is the earliest adjournment I can remember from my six General Conventions.

There's lot that can be and needs to be written about this 78th such event, and I will have more to say over the weekend. For now, I'l simply observe that we try to do way too much, and therefore probably don't do a lot of it very well. As the HOB was flying fast and low this morning, I had about ten seconds to look at a resolution before being asked to vote on it. Yes, I could have done in advance, but ... in the name of all that is real ... when? So much of what we are asked to do is utterly unnecessary to the good order and common life of the dioceses of the Episcopal Church. 

We could start by banning all resolutions that have to do with public policy, because nobody cares! We're in an echo chamber pretending that we have the power to actually do anything, when we don't. Then, we could continue by banning all resolutions that merely "encourage" or "suggest" or "call on." Usually, they're about stuff that's already happening. Those who are interested are doing it anyway, and those who aren't are never even going to notice.

More later. But ... so glad this is behind us.


Ronald Hall said...


M Fitzpatrick said...

I'm one of those dreaded Millennials. But I'm also a servant of Jesus Christ and a member of The Episcopal Church. Like it or not, we are the future of the Church. This was my first glance at General Convention. Ideally, I'd be a delegate in three years, to join my generation in taking responsibility for our church. But this isn't very inspiring. The councils of the church shouldn't just be something to "get through," exasperated and fed up. They should be labors of prayer and devotion as we try to discern God's will for his church. I hope someday I can join in that labor. I hope, Bishop, you'll encourage us to do so.

Bishop Daniel Martins said...

I don't mean to be cynical. There are many wonderful moments. But, in aggregate, it's exhausting--mentally, emotionally, and physically. I have to think there are better ways of doing this work.

Tom Sramek, Jr. said...

I wasn't there this time (was an Alternate last time) but rather than downsizing General Convention to match The Episcopal Church, I found myself wanting to expand The Episcopal Church to match the effort being put forth at General Convention! Thanks to you and your colleagues, as well as the deputies and everyone else for your efforts.

Unknown said...

Amen three times on your last paragraph! SO tired of that kind of resolutions at ANY church convention!

Unknown said...

Amen three times on your last paragraph! SO tired of that kind of resolutions at ANY church convention!

Rev Mathew Baker said...

Dear Bishop Martins,

Thank you for your daily informative and heartfelt posts.
Your insights, candor and humor have been most appreciated.
Rev Matt Baker
Diocese of Albany