July 13, 2018
Closing Eucharist
Although there is one more day of legislative deliberations left, General Convention held its closing Eucharist on July 12 in the main worship space that has hosted the daily services. Bishop Michael Curry was celebrant; Bishop Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows of the Diocese of Indianapolis was the preacher.
Serious conversations
on many topics, and
more fun with pigeons
As General Convention moves into its ninth and final day of deliberations, it looks back on a long list of resolutions considered and voted upon, on topics including Prayer Book revision, immigration, Israel and Palestine, the needs of disabled people, matters of church governance, and many more. It also had a little more fun with pigeons, as can be seen in the photo at left. (Our readers probably don't need to hear all the bird puns that accompanied this little skit in the House of Deputies; suffice it to say that there was much groaning. Where they got those masks your scribe has no idea.)

The occasional silliness was needed to break up the long legislative sessions endured July 12 by the deputies and bishops, beginning in the morning at 9 and concluding 1 p.m., breaking for lunch and resuming at 2:15 p.m. and ending at 6 p.m. In spite of the long hours and many resolutions, both bishops and deputies continue to give careful consideration to the work at hand.

Among the resolutions that came before the House of Deputies was A230, "Deploring the Sin of Scapegoating in Politics," which was drafted by Bishop John Harvey Taylor and proposed by the Committee on Racial Justice and Reconciliation. Only one deputy spoke to the resolution; he stated that he would like to be able to tell his congregation that he spent part of his summer vocation standing up to the evil of scapegoating. The deputies passed the resolution overwhelmingly on a voice vote, concurring with Wednesday's vote by the House of Bishops.
Deputy Dan Valdez, who served as chair of the immigration subcommittee of the Committee on Social Justice and United States Policy, rose to speak in favor of C009, "Becoming A Sanctuary Church." Valdez drew attention to that part of the resolution that called for the church to connect with local and national immigration advocacy groups.

The House of Deputies voted to approve the resolution, in concurrence with the House of Bishops.

We've been asked what happens if the time runs out before the Houses finish considering all resolutions. Resolutions that are not acted upon by both houses are "dead" for this triennium. They are not carried over to the next General Convention; they must be re-submitted by a deputy, a committee, a diocesan convention or a bishop.

Photo / Kelli Grace Kurtz
Convention approves use of expansive-language
version of Rite II Eucharistic prayers

[Episcopal News Service – Austin, Texas] Both houses of General Convention on July 12 adopted a resolution that allows all congregations in the Episcopal Church to use optional, expansive-language versions of three Rite II Eucharistic prayers in the 1979 Book of Common Prayer.

Resolution D078 provides alternative language for Prayer A, Prayer B and Prayer D. The changes are available for trial use until the completion of the next comprehensive revision of the Book of Common Prayer.

Full ENS coverage of the 79th meeting of General Convention is available here.
Prayer book revision has been the subject of great debate during this convention, which eventually agreed to the creation of new liturgical texts to respond to the needs of Episcopalians across the church while continuing to use the 1979 book. No specific date was set to begin such a comprehensive revision.

Deputies overwhelmingly adopted the resolution on a vote by orders, which is required to authorize liturgies for trial use. The results were:

Clergy: 78 yes, 19 no, 12 divided
Lay: 89 yes, 14 no, 6 divided

Fifty-five votes in each order were required for passage. Divided votes are recorded when the clergy or lay members of a deputation split their votes between yes and no.

After passage the resolution quickly was sent to the House of Bishops, which passed it on a voice vote after little debate.

The full report from ENS is here.
General Convention unites
behind immigrants in
prayer, action, legislation
If there was one issue that defied any expectation of controversy at the 79th General Convention, it was immigration.

Bishops and deputies arrived in Austin last week on the heels of a national uproar over the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy toward immigration, particularly the decision to separate children from parents in detention. And despite the administration’s reversal on family separations, immigration policies continued to be a hot-button issue, including in the border state hosting the Episcopal Church’s triennial gathering.

But if the country remains divided over what to do about immigration, the thousands of Episcopalians gathered here presented a unified front in support of families who have been separated, of those facing deportation and of immigrants in general – through prayer, testimony, action and the unobstructed passage of legislation.

Read more here. Photo / Frank Logue
Bishop John Harvey Taylor addressed Resolution D019 on July 11, not B019. The full text of the resolution is here; Bishop Taylor's remarks (which are correctly quoted) are in the July 12 issue of the General Convention Report. The News regrets the error.
Reporting and photos, except as noted, by Janet Kawamoto
Stories from Episcopal News Service
ENS has a team of reporters covering every aspect of General Convention. Following are links to some of their articles (in addition to those referenced above): more are here. (Click on the headlines to read the articles.)

The 79th General Convention passed three resolutions brought to convention the Commission on Impairment and Leadership, which refers to intervention, evaluation and possible re-entry or action needed related to various forms of leadership impairment.

House of Deputies passed five more resolutions July 12 related to the Episcopal Church’s response to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but those resolutions faced a mixed reaction in the House of Bishops a day after the bishops soundly rejected an earlier resolution regarding the church’s investments in Israel.

The House of Bishops on July 12 approved a resolution to develop and implement a “shareholder engagement plan” to guide dioceses, churches and individual Episcopalians investing in gun manufacturers and retailers to change company policies through shareholder advocacy.

After rejecting all three amendments put to them, deputies on July 12 accepted the proposed 2019-2021 budget and sent it to the House of Bishops for their consideration.

Three days ago, Native Alaskan Bernadette Demientieff appeared at a joint session of the 79th General Convention and spoke about the destruction of the Gwich’in way of life, now threatened by drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Much happens each day during General Convention. To complement its primary coverage, Episcopal News Service has collected some additional news items from July 12.
Keeping up with General Convention

This is communication central for the convention. It includes links to livestream and on-demand video of various events, including worship and the July 7 revival.

Daily broadcasts in English and Spanish, anchored by the Rev. Lorenzo Lebrija.

News, commentary features and Twitter.

News of the Episcopal Church Women meeting concurrently with General Convention.

For true church nerds: this is the information used by bishops and deputies as they go about their work at the convention, including texts and progress of all resolutions. It is updated regularly.

You can follow social media updates from General Convention by following and posting with the hashtag #GC79. ENS is maintaining a feed that pulls in Tweets and Instagram photos: visit ENS here for daily reports.