Diocesan Convention wasn't just about knittingWell.
No, really. We also passed some resolutions, one having to do with consitutition and canons to enable the search for a new bishop, and the other two having to two with those issues facing the church.
We dealt with Resolution #4 first. Well, actually, we had dealt with #2 first, that being the one about the canons. And, when we actually got to Resolution #1, it wasn't Resolution #1 anymore, it was Resolution #1a. And, in fact, we passed Resolution #4, but the wording was substantially changed. And then we passed Resolution #1a, mainly in its entirety, but only after someone had proposed getting rid of paragraphs 1 and 2. That was shot down.
What I think we passed, in substance, is that we like being part of the Anglican Communion, we regret any hurt, we're not crazy about a Covenant, and we're not happy about bishops violating diocesan/national church boundaries.
Bishop Rowthorn gave us two meditations and a homily, each building on themes of baptism and ministry. He was a very good storyteller, but it's hard to translate stories into a report.
I did take notes on his final meditation, the mission-oriented one. This one was centered around the story of the Good Samaritan, and he challenged us by asking, who are the priest and the Levite?" Passing by day after day.
He gave us some chilling statistics--I wish I'd had a chance to ask him his sources, but I'm not surprised by most of them. I was taking notes here, any errors in transmission are unintentional and mine alone.
11 million children die of preventable diseases, one every 3 seconds. He ticked off the seconds--1-2-3. 1-2-3.
Over a billion people live on less than $1 a day.
500,000 women die in childbirth.
2.6 billion lack sanitation.
We spend $400 billion on defense, and $13 billion in development aid.
2% of charitable giving in the U.S. goes outside the country.
He quoted a person named Valerie Pitt, saying the church developed "the fatal habit of directing energies into self-cultivation and controversy."
He also said that "spirituality" was a "life substitute" and not a "life revealer."
"Our issues are taking up our energy, and the outcome? We pass by on the other side leaving the world half-dead by the side of the road."
He quoted Bono, "love thy neighbor is not advice, it's a command."
Jeffrey Sachs, "The end of povery is a choice, not a forecast."
Food for thought as we approach Thanksgiving.