General Convention is almost here

Greetings on behalf of the Diocese of Central Gulf Coast General Convention Deputation.

GC#79 is almost here and your deputation has been preparing for several months for the big event.
General Convention, which takes place every three years, will be held in Austin, TX the first two weeks in July. I am honored to serve as Chair of the Deputation and this post is the first of many we will provide along the way. Various members of the deputation will contribute to our communications efforts each day and we hope to include video “vlogs” as well.
The deputation has met as a group twice – an overnight retreat in January and an all day meeting in April. In addition most of us attended Province IV Synod at Kanuga a couple of weeks ago where we joined with all the dioceses of Province IV to hear from Michael Curry, our Presiding Bishop, and Gay Jennings, President of the House of Deputies, along with other officers and leaders of the church. We were given previews of several controversial resolutions, discussed the preliminary budget, and reconnected with friends from across the southeastern dioceses of the Episcopal Church.
Our diocese is well respected across the Episcopal church and several members of your deputation are serving on legislative committees as well as interim bodies which continue the work of General Convention during the three years between conventions.
Alternate Deputy Vince Currie (Christ Church, Pensacola) is completing his last year as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Church Pension Group. Alternate Deputy David Quittmeyer (Trinity, Mobile) serves on the Program, Budget, and Finance Committee as well as on a Task Force to study church leadership and compensation. And Deputy Scott Remington (St. Christopher’s, Pensacola) served on the Standing Commission on church structure, governance, constitutions and canons.
At General Convention resolutions are dealt with by legislative committees. From our deputation we have Deputy Gary Moore (St. Paul’s, Daphne) serving as Vice Chair of Racial Justice and Reconciliation, where he is joined by Deputy Joe McDaniel (Christ Church, Pensacola). Deputy Remington is on the Constitutions and Canons committee. The Reverend Jim Flowers (All Saints, Mobile) is on the Prayer Book, Liturgy, and Music committee. The Reverend Peter Wong (Nativity, Dothan) and myself are serving on the Dispatch of Business committee. Peter is liaison to Program, Budget and Finance and I am liaison to Christian Formation and Discipleship. And Bishop Kendrick is serving on the Congregational Vitality committee.
My next post will provide links to resolutions and a preview of some of the “hot button” topics we will be dealing with.
General Convention is two weeks of very long days, with some outstanding worship, important decisions to struggle with, lots of prayer and many connections with thousands of people across our church. It is an honor to serve this diocese in this way. Please do not hesitate to reach out to any members of the deputation with questions, comments, or concerns. We appreciate your support and especially your prayers.
The Reverend David Knight (St. Simon’s on the Sound, Ft. Walton Beach).

 

Diocese of Central Gulf Coast General Convention Deputation:
Lay Deputies:
Gary Moore (St. Paul’s, Daphne)
Joe McDaniel (Christ Church, Pensacola)
Scott Remington (St. Christopher’s, Pensacola) June Linke (Christ Church, Pensacola)
Alternate Lay Deputies:
David Quittmeyer (Trinity, Mobile)
Lynn Ferren (St. Patrick’s, Panama CIty)
Vince Currie (Christ Church, Pensacola)
Eugene Johnston (St. John’s, Mobile
Clergy Deputies:
Peter Wong (Nativity, Dothan)
David Knight (St. Simon’s, Ft. Walton Beach)
John George (Good Shepherd, Mobile).
Jim Flowers (All Saints, Mobile)
Alternate Clergy Deputy:
Jo Popham (St. Stephen’s, Brewton)

The Good Book Club – week of Feb 11th

It’s time! Starting Sunday, February 11th join with thousands of Episcopalians (and many other good folks – this is not an Episcopal only group!) across the country in reading together the Gospel of Luke (until Easter Day) and the Book of Acts (through Pentecost). For all the info, listing of readings, etc. visit goodbookclub.org

You also may be interested in this article by Bishop Russell Kendrick of the Diocese of Central Gulf Coast, discussing the readings for week one.

Forward Day by Day will also use these readings through Pentecost.

At St. Simon’s, one adult Christian Education offering on Sundays, beginning February 18th, will focus on the readings for the week. Join in any time!

Any St. Simon’s folks interested in joining a conversation with other Good Book Clubbers, just comment on this post as to when (day and time) you are available to meet and we will pass the word.

Stay tuned to this blog for some of my own reflections on the readings as well.

Readings for the 1st week:

SUNDAY, February 11                          Last Sunday after Epiphany
BEGIN LUKE/ACTS
Luke 1:1-56

MONDAY, February 12
Luke 1:57-80

TUESDAY, February 13
Luke 2:1-21

WEDNESDAY, February 14                 Ash Wednesday
Luke 2:22-52.

THURSDAY, February 15
Luke 3:1-20

FRIDAY, February 16
Luke 3:21-38

SATURDAY, February 17
Luke 4:1-13

SUNDAY, February 18                         1 Lent
Luke 4:14-44

Happy reading! May God bless you with his Word this Lenten and Easter seasons.

Fr. David+

Coming soon – The Good Book Club

St. Simon’s on the Sound and the Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast are joining with Episcopalians (and any one else!) from all around to commit to reading the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles beginning the Last Sunday after Epiphany  –  Feb 11, 2018 – and continuing until Pentecost Sunday. Daily reading schedules will be provided, along with a wealth of resources to help facilitate the practice of reading the Bible daily.

Please go to http://www.goodbookclub.org/ for all the details. Here at St. Simon’s we will be forming reading/prayer partners, discussion groups, blog posts, and reading schedules for everyone. Stay tuned for more info and please consider joining us! Invite a friend too!

Driver-less Cars and Church

 

 

The title of this post may seem strange for a blog primarily focused on issues of faith, prayer, religion, and my boring life. But bear with me.
Recently the New York Times published a fascinating series of articles on the impact of autonomous or driver-less cars and trucks. You can find it HERE. The Times looked at this technological revolution in transportation from many angles – transportation of goods, how cities will change (picture no street signs, and parking only on the perimeter of town – for the driverless cars of course), how expectations of employers may shift to include your commute time since you are not having to worry about driving. There is a lot of speculation and visioning and legalities and the like to encompass as this technology moves forward. One thing I think is for sure – it’s coming.

The one area I haven’t seen or heard anyone talk about regarding driverless cars is the church. Today in most churches programming often has to be geared around the reality that an increasing number of our parishioners don’t drive at night (or drive at all – more on that in a moment). We want to include all demographics in the things we offer, discipleship and formation, fellowship and fun, worship and service, but driving restrictions are just as difficult to, pardon the pun, navigate as are things like work schedules and child care. I currently teach a Bible study on Acts and offer the same class in the morning and in the evening, knowing neither of those times alone would attract all those interested. In fact they are attended in almost equal numbers. I would much prefer more intergenerational gatherings, but with weekends so jam packed for young families, doing so on Saturday or Sunday doesn’t really help much, and if we offer them on a weeknight we are eliminating participation from a decent number of folks whose presence would greatly enhance the event.

While driverless cars would be really wonderful in helping reduce or eliminate driving distracted or driving under the influence, I like to also consider how they could reopen church programming to a segment of faithful people who currently cannot drive at night. 
In addition, every church struggles with transportation of elderly to Sunday morning worship when many of them are no longer able to drive at all. They have lost their independence and it is heart breaking when we are not able to consistently provide rides to church. I imagine a pool of parishioners with driverless cars who drop off their owners and then go pick up those who no longer have a way to church! What a difference this could make in their lives, the ability once again to go shopping, doctor appointments, visit friends, and worship

without being dependent on someone else to drive them!
Technology now exists where the home bound can watch church on their computer or TV. And that’s great. But Christianity at its core is an incarnational faith – God became one of us in the birth of Jesus. Flesh and blood contact matters. Being in the room or worship space with other believers is important, being able to attend formation classes and to participate in service ministries to others are huge aspects of discipleship. I can’t wait for the day when those who feel sidelined yet have much to contribute and a great desire to be in the midst of their fellow parishioners will be able to safely and regularly with the advent of this technology.

I say – bring it on! And hurry up! After all, we all know this technology is really not new….

Well so much for that…

Headed home. No way I can “retreat” with such a monster storm headed to Florida. The path looks better for panhandle right now but we all know those models are just educated guesses.

Either way lives are already being lost and incredible damage will continue along Irma’s path. Walked their beautiful labyrinth this morning praying for all victims of Harvey and Irma. May God be with you.

The retreat center is really lovely and I wish I could have stayed and prayed more with the sisters in their gorgeous chapel.

The pic is of the labyrinth which sits at the gate of the cemetery. Oldest grave I saw was from 1905!

Itinerant: noun. a person who alternates between working and wandering.