Let the games begin! Arrived last night in Austin, it was only 102 degrees at 6pm! And it’s not a dry heat!
I have just a few minutes before my first committee meeting. I am assigned to Dispatch of Business and hopefully can tell you more about what that means after this meeting. Basically we manage the flow of resolutions to the House of Deputies and House of Bishops. We meet every morning at 7am and every day at the end of that day’s legislative session. We also attend all meetings of the committee to which we are assigned.
You can follow resolutions yourself. Go to this link, and click on the “Virtual Binder” on the right hand side. You can search for resolutions by number, committee it is assigned to, and proposer.
At GC we deal with legislation in the form of resolutions. They can come from interim bodies – which are commissions and task forces who produce reports for the Blue Book (also accessed from the link above) as well as resolutions for all of GC to act upon. All resolutions are assigned to legislative committees, where they can be edited, combined with others, etc. The committee sends the result of their deliberations to the floor of the respective houses with a recommendation to adopt or dismiss or refer. I am assigned to be the liaison to the Committee on Christian Education and Discipleship, and that committee has a lot of resolutions to deal with. We meet for the first time tonight.
The Reverend Scott Gunn, Executive Director of Forward Movement (that’s the Forward Day by Day folks) has published on his blog comments on every pre-filed resolution from the Blue Book. Scott includes his own opinion on each resolution, but those are just his opinions. The bulk of the work he has done is to describe each resolution, some history on the topic, and any controversy that may be part of the debate. Go to this LINK to access all of Scott’s work, you can search by resolution and topic, etc.
As a member of Dispatch I am required to attend all the meetings and hearings of the committee I am assigned to, which means I won’t be able to blog about some of the real interesting/controversial resolutions unless my committee is not meeting at the same time. If you are a Twitter use, the hashtag #GC79 will be used by anyone that is tweeting about General Convention and may be a way to follow hearings you are interested in.
Hot button topics will include proposals for a new Book of Common Prayer, additional work on marriage liturgies to include gender-neutral language, Israel and Palestine, and a lot of resolutions coming from a special committee on the church and women which will address issues from the MeToo movement (sexual harassment in the church certainly does exist), as well as working toward equal opportunities for women in ministry, in bishop elections, and the like. When possible I will post my own thoughts on these resolutions once we see how they will come out of their respective legislative committees.
Meanwhile please post in the comment section any questions, concerns, or comments you would like to share. All comments must be approved by me before they show up on the blog so just know it may take some time to see your comment online.
Your prayers, most of all, are greatly appreciated.