Every deputy from the Diocese of RI has been asked to write a reflection on their experience at General Convention. You can read those reflections here. Below is what I have submitted to be published tomorrow.
A few days ago we heard a fabulous sermon by Bishop Michael Curry on being Crazy Christians. This sermon has shaped much of my thoughts and prayers as we progress through this General Convention. Much of what we have been doing in the House of Deputies seems a bit crazy, but not in the spirit filled way that Bishop Curry called us to. I find myself asking myself, “If we adopt this resolution will it help us be Crazy Christians”? Most often that answer is no.
At times I find myself frustrated with what are we doing when it is hard to tell how it will proclaim the Gospel in the world in which we live. I often wonder why we spend so much time on the “apple pie” or “puppies and chocolate” resolutions. Do we really need to spend all this time making ourselves feel better? Yesterday – I think it was yesterday as time seems to have stopped here in Indianapolis – the House of Deputies (HoD) voted against making September Lay Ministry Month. That wasn’t because the HoD hates lay people, but rather because lay people – and clergy – got up and said that lay ministry is important all year long, not just in September. We also voted down a resolution that would, “encourage that in the great fifty days of Easter the people of The Episcopal Church make a commitment to practice the holy habits of weekly worship, prayer, scripture study, tithing, and honing the Sabbath as part of the renewal of baptismal vows”. Again we did not vote this down because we don’t think prayer and other holy habits aren’t important during Eastertide, but rather because we think these things are important during every season of the Church Year. The votes of these resolutions are signs of hope for me. The testimonies of deputies talked about the importance of the ministry of all the baptized and the importance of the holy habits of living at all times. These are the things that Crazy Christians do.
Over these last few days at General Convention we will look at important questions around budget and structure. It is my prayer, and I hope you will join me, that this General Convention can remember that we are called to be Crazy Christians and act from a place of hope, joy, and resurrection.
Earlier today, the Pesident of the House of Deputies called for us to pause our business to sing. The song leader came up and led us in singing Hymn 488 – Be thou my vision
Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart,
be all else but naught to me, save that thou art;
be thou my best thought in the day and the night,
both waking and sleeping, thy presence my light.
Be thou my wisdom, be thou my true word,
be thou ever with me, and I with thee Lord;
be thou my great Father, and I thy true son;
be thou in me dwelling, and I with thee one.
High King of heaven, thou heaven’s bright sun,
O grant me its joys after victory is won;
great Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
still be thou my vision, O Ruler of all.
May those of us gathered in Indianapolis have the vision, wisdom, and joy to do the work we are called to do – to live into our call to be Crazy Christians.