I am tired already. I don’t know how to say it but just to say it. We arrived yesterday, Tuesday, at about 5 p.m. and took the amazingly wonderful, easy, and cheap light rail into downtown Salt Lake City, where it dropped us off just a block from our hotel, in sweltering heat. It is hot here!
First off, let me say that everyone here has been so welcoming. The Diocese of Utah has been getting ready for this for sometime and they have not disappointed in the least. We dropped our bags off in our hotel and made our way directly to my first legislative meeting. I am serving this year on the Church Pension Fund Committee. After that we traveled across the street to the Marriott to the Province VIII Synod meeting. It was reported that Province VIII has tightened its budget, has no paid employees and yet is doing some wonderful things including help to Navajoland and the Diocese of San Joaquin. Our very own Rachel Taber-Hamilton, Rector of Trinity, Everett was elected Secretary of the Province! Congratulations to her.
Our deputation met after all that at about 9:30 p.m. and talked about the day to come. You have a most dedicated group of people here, clergy and lay, and they are representing you so well.
Additionally, there are so many Olympians here volunteering. I see them all over the place. I will try to get you more pictures as I do. Today, we held a joint session to begin and both Presiding Officers, the Presiding Bishop and the President of the House of Deputies made their opening remarks both calling us to be open to change, to listen more than we talk, and to live in hope for what we can do together. Then we met in our respective Houses and heard various rules of order and plans for the upcoming days.
After Lunch, I had a bit of time to travel through the exhibit hall, where, right in the middle of it all I found the Rev. Sarah Monroe sharing her ministry with those gathered. In addition to that on all the information screens throughout the Salt Palace Convention Center videos of Church of the Apostles, Fremont have been playing, and then Heidi Kim, Missioner for Racial Reconciliation for the Episcopal Church and a member of St. Mark’s Cathedral and the Diocese of Olympia also on the screen! Olympia is present!
After that, we again gathered jointly to hear the visions of the four nominees for Presiding Bishop. Tom Briedenthal of Southern Ohio, Michael Curry of North Carolina, Ian Douglas of Connecticut and Dabney Smith of Southwest Florida. After opening remarks and videos they each made, they answered questions posed by people across the church. It was a good afternoon. They all did well, and while I feel we missed big issues, like racism, and how we truly will be a new church in this new generation, it was done as well as could be in a few hours. It also needed to end.. It bordered on too long. We would be in very good hands with any of these fine bishops.
I then attended two receptions (there are many of these every night) one for the American Friends of the Diocese of Jerusalem and one for the Development Office of the Episcopal Church. After that back to legislative committee meetings.
And finally, after a quick meal, soon off to bed. More to come, we are just getting started here. Bless you all,