Today began at 6 a.m. with a walk around downtown Salt Lake City. It was truly refreshing, very few people out, much cooler, a nice walk and a good way to start the day. At 8 a.m we had our first legislative session of the House of Bishops, where we were essentially organized for business, and went over our agenda for the day. The deputation from the House of Deputies came to the House of Bishops to tell us they had organized for business. They sent all the deputies that were born in the 90s! As the PB said to us, that is the 1990s! It was a sizable group but far smaller than you would hope to see. We, the House of Bishops, in turn, sent two bishops to inform the Deputies that we were organized for business. The PB asked them as they left the room what year were they born?
At 9:30 we had the first of our daily Eucharists, the Feast of John the Baptist. The next of the PBs Sermon can be found here. This is always an amazing thing to see, more than 5000 people in a room, celebrating and singing, one of my favorite parts of this whole thing.
If you followed my blog and my antics at the last General Convention this will mean something to you, we took an offering, of real money! Of course, when I got there the large basket marked “offering” was pushed over to the side. I asked why, and asked the ushers to pull it over so people could not miss it! She looked at me and said, “They warned us about you!”
After Eucharist I was warmly greeted by the 3 year old daughter of the Bishop of Northwest Pennsylvania and Bethlehem and his wife Carly. I asked her if she was willing to make a selfie and she liked to get real close to the camera! She is a beautiful child!
After that, I headed off to my legislative committee, Church Pension Fund, where we took up our first resolution about the Deonominational Health Plan. We met on that for several hours. then a break for lunch.
After lunch back to committees for more discussion and then back to legislative session in the House of Bishops. We took up there a closed session discussion and then an open one where several bits of legislation work was accomplished in this very first day. We welcomed some visitors and I was most happy to get to meet the new bishop of El Salvador, +David, who I have not met until then. We are developing a companion relationship with that diocese so a very good meeting indeed.
Dinner and then a meeting with our deputation for our nightly debriefing. I also promised to start snapping pictures of the Olympians I see and so I did today! Here you see Pat McGuire who was working the door at the House of Bishops when I arrived and the Rev. Rachel Taber-Hamilton, Rector of Trinity, Everett and a member of our deputation.
At the Eucharist I snapped this photo of the Rev. Hunt Priest, Rector of Emmanuel, Mercer Island and a member of our deputation and two visitors from Olympia, the Rev. Kathleen Kingslight, Rector of St. Paul’s, Bremerton, and Kathy Thomason, wife of Dean Steve Thomason also a member of our deputation.
The official youth deputation is a group of about 16 youth from around the Episcopal Church. We have one of our very own, Maddy Gonzales from St. Mary’s, Lakewood. That deputation visited the House of Bishops this afternoon and it was great to see them. Here is Maddy, who reported she is having an excellent time here!
More tomorrow, hopefully, off to get some rest!!