Today is Sunday, as I write this. I hope I can get it posted on that same day. Since my last blog it seems so much has happened. Days run together, and a morning of the same day may seem like it was a month ago. Still I want to share some, and I will miss some I am sure, and I hope you will not hold me to the sequence of events because that is a blur too.
One of the proudest moments for the Diocese of Olympia at this convention was the presentation to the House of Bishops by Maria Gonzalez of St. Mary’s, Lakewood and a member of the Official Youth Presence at General Convention. Out of this amazing group of young people she was chosen to address the House of Bishops. You can watch her entire presentation on the video below.
She was a huge hit, and I know this video is going to be shared around our church. Maria is an amazing person.
The most moving part of the day was the Schentrup family, whose daughter Carmen, was shot and killed in the Parkland Shooting. Carmen was very active in Episcopal Youth Event and her local youth activities. Her parents shared their pain and their hope before us.
We are also holding listening sessions while here. These are discussions held in Joint Session with both the House of Bishops and House of Deputies. The topics are racial reconciliation, Evangelism, and Creation Care. We have held two so far, racial reconciliation, and evangelism. Our Deputation and I decided to leave the House of Deputies floor, where visitors are not allowed, and join all the visitors present from Olympia in the gallery. We, thus, had a huge circle and a great discussion. Here is a video of a bit of that,
and a picture of us. One of these pictures made the Episcopal News Service account of this session.
Saturday night was Texas Night, replete with a revival led by the Bishops of Texas and our Presiding Bishop, who led us with a remarkable, uplifting, spirited sermon. That video is just below and one of the highlights of this was how well we thought Denora, the interpreter with him and always with us for the House of. Bishops meetings did in keeping up with him!
Finally, Sunday I was invited back to St. James, Austin, where I was serving as Rector when you called me to Olympia. I presided at their main morning service and what a wonderful day it was to be back, after 11 years, at that altar with those special, special people.
The Deaf Ministries of the Episcopal Church have many representatives here and some of them, including Lee Holland of Olympia, came to St. James for church Sunday.
And under the category that is so true of this convention, “you can’t do everything or be everywhere” other events which I wish I could have been part of were the Bishop’s Against Gun Violence Rally in Downtown Austin, and the prayer vigil at the Women’s Detention Center in Hutto, Texas. Some 1200 attended that event and the Presiding Bishop spoke and I will end this blog with his sermon at that event. Take the time to watch and listen