Report from General Convention: July 6

The Convention has not started yet, though people are arriving now in great numbers. Today lots of deputies, bishops, Episcopal Church Women, and other folks registered. I received my famous three-ring binder, into which I’ll put all the resolutions on which I am to vote. Sadly, it does not appear that I will be able to use my laptop to pull the resolutions from the website, since WiFi is not allowed in the House of Deputies. If it were allowed, one could leave the souvenir binder in one’s hotel room. On the plus side, the three-ring binder is biodegradable, and we are assured it will hold its shape if it gets wet. It’s not clear if this means I could read the day’s legislative calendar whilst showering. Perhaps some intrepid deputy or bishop will test this. But I digress.

At this point, it’s a bit like old home week around here. People are reconnecting with friends, some of whom see each other only once every three years. I met a fellow blogger today for the first time, though we’ve traded emails and facebook messages for years. That was a treat. I expect to make many more connections with new friends, internet friends, and long-time friends.

The mood seemed good among those with whom I spoke. There was not a lot of angst about any of the various big issues we’ll tackle while we’re here. I expect the angst will increase over the next couple of days as legislative committees begin to meet.

Tomorrow is orientation for deputies. In the morning there is a four-hour session for new deputies. I cannot imagine what we will cover for four hours, but I will report to you. Alas, this report will not be live, I fear. I do hope we are able to avoid spending two hours learning how to use the electronic voting system. People who cannot operate their television remote should just let a nearby deputy cast their vote for them.

Incidentally, this is an older crowd. The median age of a deputy is a little over 58. A fellow deputy from Rhode Island, who is 19, tells me that there are only 22 (out of 880) deputies under age 30. We have to fix that. While we need the experience of older deputies, we also need the enthusiasm of younger deputies. I’m 41, and I feel like I need to go find the kids’ table as I look around here. At least we did our part in Rhode Island. The clergy deputation, we computed at dinner tonight, is age 50, on average. My soup arrived as the computations were being done for the lay deputies, so I’ll have to report that tomorrow.

If there are things you are curious about, please do let me know by email or in the comments. I can’t promise I’ll be able to answer, but I’ll try. I also can’t promise I’ll post every day, because my main responsibility this time around is to be a deputy. Blogging will have to take a back seat. When I’m able to write though, you, dear reader will know what I know.

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2 Responses

  1. Ren Aguila says:

    Re: your note about the age of delegates, I am not surprised. This does reflect what I understand was a pronounced, almost consistent tendency to ordain older, second-career people to the clergy. I do understand that of the nominees to Executive Council, I could only count one person who may be below 30. It does say a lot, and that worries me as someone who is concerned about these things.

  2. Lisa Fox says:

    Scott, I think there’s another reason for the average age of lay deputies. To spend two weeks at GC, one has to use vacation time, be retired, be unemployed, or be in a job with summers off. I was sorely tempted to run for deputy this year, but just couldn’t make myself use 2 of the 3 weeks vacation I get annually. Maybe we need more students and teachers.
    It’s easier for clergy, I think, since this probably counts as “work time” for you all.