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INDIANAPOLIS, IN: Tweets and Twitters out in full force at GC2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN: Tweets and Twitters out in full force at GC2012
Twittering & Tweeting PB Katharine Jefferts Schori and HOD President Bonnie Anderson

By Mary Ann Mueller
Special Correspondent
www.virtueonline.org July 4, 2012

The first clue that the two big guns of General Convention were about to speak was when Rick P tweeted: ‏"The House of Deputies is gathering for the presentations by the Presiding Bishop and the President of the House of Deputies."

Follow the thread of the tweets to see how the thoughts flowed and unfold as Katharine Jefferts Schori and Bonnie Anderson's HOD make their respective opening remarks to the House of Deputies. See how the Convention's chief officers' words are received and interpreted by the live as-it-is-happening tweeters and witness what is happening around them.

Also Secretary to the General Convention Canon Gregory Straub is always debonair in a bright jack and his signature bowtie. Wednesday he paid homage to the Indy 500.

Follow the tweets ... and make up your own mind.

The Presiding Bishop's address and the President of the House of Deputies address are posted following their respective tweets.

There is also a picture of the dapper Canon Straub following his tweets.

#GC77 TWEETS ABOUT PRESIDING BISHOP KATHARINE JEFFERTS SCHORI

Megan Castellan: The AZ table in the HoD. We got good seats.

Evan D. Garner: After this morning's committee mtg, I am very encouraged. About to hear from Pres of HoD. Hope that spirit continues.

Cole Mayer: ‏ #GCYOP in the HoD for the first time pretty awesome.

Jim Naughton : Will be live tweeting the opening remarks of Presiding Bishop and Prez of House of Deputies starting about 2 pm.

Matt Kennedy: Girl doomed to life of unending conflict. PB tells her to "challenge her elders" -- in TEC this means everybody.

#GC77 http://www.ssw.edu/blogs/communityconnections/tweet-day-goes-emgrundy-gc77

frsimmons: ‏ International, Ecumenical and Interfaith guests assembled to hear the opening address of the PB and the PHoD

1h The Episcopal Café: ‏ Live tweeting the opening remarks of Presiding Bishop and President of House of Deputies soon.

Jill Cox: Step.away.from.the.computer..Must.have.sunlight...And, watermelon..

Scott Gunn: PB gets a standing O. Nice.

EpiscoDioMilCF: ‏ PB is speaking during the opening.

Scott Gunn: Straub also got applause, probably for his checkered jacket. Wow.

TJ Geiger: beautiful opening prayer at welcome that ref'd four directions of mother earth, in the name of brother Jesus.

The Episcopal Café: PB Katharine Jefferts Schori: Death must precede resurrected life. We are partners in God's recreation and healing of world.

Jason Sierra: "We're here for tune up...to synchronize our hearts with God's" - PB

Episcopal Church sOH: Presiding bishop to the church: be not afraid. God is at work in our midst.

TJ Geiger: PB K. Jefferts Schori meditations on the kind breathing we experience, that bring us the holy.

Paul Bayes: ++KJS at TEC #gc77 "Look for connections w/ your sparring partners." Got that, Synod? "Look for connections w/ your sparring partners."

Morgan S. Allen: "Breathe deep and be not afraid, for God is in our midst" from the #Episcopal Presiding Bishop's opening remarks at #GC77 .

The Episcopal Cafe : PB KJS: Let that breath go or we will never be God's partners otherwise. Look for connections w/ your sparring partners.

Vivian Taylor: Discovery of the Higgs Boson and the acceptance of trans people are the two best signs of living in the future ever seen.

The Episcopal Café: ++KJS: Search out those you have wounded or have wounded you. Go find the supposed source of wounds and bld bridge tgthr.

The Episcopal Café: ++KJS: Don't pick at scabs or they'll never heal. If this a family reunion. Find those who 4 u are outlaw side of the family.

TJ Geiger: #GC77 KJS: if general convention is like a family reunion seek out "the outlaw side of the family" for you. "build living bridges"

Joseph P. Mathews: While ++KJS addresses deputies for opening session, the exhibit all is empty except exhibitors.

Rob Skirving: PB KJS offering her opening address at #GC77 ... encouraging us to spend time with the parts of the family we might call "the outlaws"

Thomas Purdy: If this is the EC's family reunion, go find someone from the outlaw side of the family - build living bridges. PB KJS

EpiscoDioMilCF: "Go and build some living bridges" PB

TJ Geiger: #GC77 KJS: the Moravians are teaching us much about reconciliation.

Ft. Worth Episcopal: #GC77 "Go and build some living bridges." PB addressing Convention.

The Episcopal Café: ++KJS: speaks of ecumenical outreach, #Lutheran, #Moravian #Methodists. Healing around #Anglican Communion.

EpiscopalServiceCorp: Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori to GC77 : "go and build living bridges" healing the Anglican Communion

Episcopal Church sOH: PB Jefferts Schori: time to cultivate the spnr mission field -- the spiritual but not religious

Pamela RW Kandt: Presiding Bishop KJS stresses reconciliation, healing & building bridges w/ "outlaw" members of the family.

Robyn Barnes:#gc77 SBNRs= spiritual but not religious; requires different skills from us. PB Robyn Barnes: PB acknowledges contributions of full-communion partners and ecumenical dialogues in opening address. Matt Kennedy: "PB Schori: Death must precede resurrected life." Well, she's got the first part down pat

EpiscoDioMilCF: The PB is speaking to the SBNR (spiritual but not religious) and how we reach and talk to that idea

Ft. Worth Episcopal: "SBNRs - those who claim to be spiritual but not religious" field ripe for learning oportunities. PB RT: SBNRs= spiritual but not religious; requires different skills from us. PB Kris Stoever: ‏ whoa, Matt. What's with the gratuitous contempt-tweeting into a perfectly nice timeline?

The Episcopal Cafe : ++KJS: Reimagining ourselves for mission in a changed world is our most important challenge.

Christopher D. Hofer: The PB asks how we can reach out to the SBNR (spiritual but not religious) in our communities

Thomas Purdy: Reorganizing ourselves for mission in a changed world is the best work we can do #PBKJS

Karen E. D'Angelo: "Reforming and reimagining ourselves in a changed world is the greatest challenge"

Jim Hamilton: Presiding Bishop is talking about ministry to the SBNR . That's us. Keep contextual ministry weird.

Christine Faulstich: Glad to see diocese of Alabama is on board with PB's commitment to reconciliation

The Rev. Erin Jean: Presiding Bishop says: the world around us is learning to develop effective networks.. And so are we GC77

Paul Van Brunt: Listening to the PB during our joint session of General Convention

TJ Geiger: #GC77 KJS: church needs nodal-like connectivity--distributive leadership

RT : PB acknowledges contributions of full-communion partners and ecumenical dialogues in opening address. Ft. Worth Episcopal: the world around us is developing networks and so are we. PB

Jos Tharakan: How about TED talk for TEC asks PB.

TJ Geiger: KJS: a deputy wondered if TED talks might offer a model for some church work

Ft. Worth Episcopal: PB KJS: TED talks for TEC

Matt Kennedy: PB Schori: "Go and build some living bridges." or just walk over bishops who get in your way...

The Episcopal Cafe : ++KJS: Assest based community development is a way of recognizing the ways God has already been at work.

R. Stephen Gracey: SBNR: Spiritual, but not religious. Everyone is religious. Just not about christianity.

Robyn Barnes: ++KJS calls for responsive structures. My inner history geek is skeptical.

FrMike: Listening to PB Katharine offer spiritual orientation to #gc77 task.

Robyn Barnes : ‏ ++KJS calls for responsive structures. My inner history geek is skeptical.

The Rev. Erin Jean: Passion keeps networks growing & expanding.... We need to allow ourselves to be directed by the Spirit --PB paraphrase

Karen E. D'Angelo: just got a shout out from the PB...

EpiscopalServiceCorp: Episcopal Service Corps shout out from the Presiding Bishop- a vibrant network in TEC.

Jason Emerson: "Go look for connections with your sparring partners...." ++PBKJS

The Episcopal Cafe : ++KJS: Wants special commission to restructure church, not just those invested in way church now works. Look outside ourselves.

The Rev. Erin Jean: Anxiety in the church rooted in fear of diminishment, loss of power or control, of loss of status

R. Stephen Grace: TED is by invitation only, right?

Thomas Purdy: ‏ God is at work beyond this Episcopal Church and we have something to learn from that reality. #PBKJS

The Episcopal Café: ++KJS: wider church not that interested in internal politics of this gathering, but in vitality of local communities.

episcopalmain: The PB encourages deputies and bishops to - if GC is a family reunion - go find your outlaw relatives and hear their story.

The Episcopal Cafe : ++KJS: Politics is not a dirty word. Art of living together in community. Applies to church as well as society.

The Rev. Erin Jean: Politics is not a dirty word.. It refers to the art of living together in community.. Has as much to do with Christ as with nations.

Karen E. D'Angelo: "We don't yet live in the fullness of the reign of God- but we do see glimpses of it" across the church

mspahr: ++KJS: wider church not interested in the internal politics of this gathering, but in vitality of local communities

Ft. Worth Episcopal: "Politics is not a dirty word" PB

The Rev. Erin Jean: We live in the tension of what is and what will eventually come to be in God's good time

The Episcopal Café: ++KJS: Live in awkward, lively tension of what is and what will come to be. In this together.

Episcopal Church: PB: Wider church not that interested in internal politics of this gathering, but in vitality of local communities.

Robyn Barnes: I love TED but worry about TECTED and our ability to truly uphold those who are doing good and sustainable things. We like status quo.

EpiscoDioMilCF: "We live in awkward and lively tension" -PB

Jos Tharakan: How about TED talk for TEC asks PB.

TJ Geiger: KJS: "politics is not a dirty word" --it's the art of living together in community and church must do politics that helps kingdom come

Matthew Wise: "our job here is to make common cause for the sake of God's mission...building up of societies that look more like the reign of God"

The Rev. Erin Jean: Our task is to be wise as serpents and innocent as doves in finding and blessing any creative gift that will serve God's dream

The Episcopal Café: ++KJS: our task is to be wise as serpents and innocent as doves in finding creative gifts that will help realize God's dream.

Ft. Worth Episcopal: can we reframe our view? PB

The Rev. Erin Jean: Breath deep.. Open eyes and ears.. Build bridges with unlikely folks.. And let God's words prospe

Ft. Worth Episcopal: PB KJS: We live in that awkward place between what is and what is to be

Steve Pankey: The PB makes opening remarks re: reasonable expectations of "we won't find perfection here."

EpiscoDioMilCF: Let us not miss all 5 marks (paraphrasing the PB)

TJ Geiger : #GC77 KJS gives funny plug for her "all five marks" budget.

Episcopal Diocese: The Presiding Bishop gives her opening address to General Convention. "Our job here is to make common cause..." Robyn Barnes: I am excited about The #Episcopal Church dying...dying to how it has been to be resurrected.

Center Aisle ‏@CenterAisle ++KJS: "May God bless our labors in this place." Amen.

Maryann Philbrook: Just heard the presiding bishop speak. Amity Carrubba: Love the idea of a TED talk for TEC. Lyle SmithGraybeal: "we will not have a perfect convention" :) PB Jefferts-Schori

Matt Kennedy: "PB KJS: We live in that awkward place between what is and what is to be..." said Captain Smith to his crew

auntiedasch: ++KJS: Reimagining ourselves for mission in a changed world is our most important challenge.

Anglican.TV: ++KJS prays the prayer of discovery. #GC77 "I am disturbed"

Caroline Carson: "Disturb us Lord" here's a link to the Prayer of Sir Francis Drake

Jesse Perkins:‏ "Disturb us, God, when our dreams have come true because they were too small." -PB

Ian T. Douglas: Convention just initiated in joint session with addresses by Pres. Of House of Deputies and Presiding Bishop. Committees met in am.

santospopsicles : "PB KJS: We live in that awkward place between what is and what is to be..." said Captain Smith to his crew

Timothy Fountain: PB says "church must die to live" - it's one thing to accept death, another to kill stuff 'cuz someone says to http://esv.to/1Co3.17

Kyle : If the tweets out of #GC77 are any indication, there's a slight danger that the Episcopal Church might vote itself out of existence.

FrMike: Deputy Andrew Green's daughter once told some people in conflict to "Build a bridge and get over it."

FrMike: Is Bishop Katharine reading Anglican Minimalist where a Gen-Con Ted was proposed in parallel to an more narrowly focused polity Con?

Molly Payne-Hardin: Interesting/inspirational quotes fr PB remarks @ Gen. Convention.

Episcopal News (ENS): Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori's opening remarks http://bit.ly/M6nRop #gc77 #Episcopal

General Convention: opening remarks by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori

General Convention: opening remarks by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori

[July 4, 2012] The following opening remarks were presented today by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori at the 77th General Convention of the Episcopal Church, meeting in Indianapolis IN through July 12.

Opening Remarks General Convention 4 July 2012

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori

Presiding Bishop and Primate The Episcopal Church

When this body gathered three years ago we reflected on mission as God's beating heart in our midst. General Convention is this Church's regular opportunity to strengthen that incarnate heart for its work in the coming years. We're here for a tune-up - to breathe deep, clear our vision, focus the muscles, and synchronize our heartbeat with God's.

I would invite everyone here to take a deep breath. Breathe in Holy Spirit, the source of life. Remember that we depend on that divine gift for all that we are and all that we have. Breathe deep, for the spirit is blowing a fresh wind, and bringing new creation out of the chaos of the deep. Contemplating that chaos frightens some, for we never know what is coming, but there is no creation without it - like the death that must precede resurrected life. We struggle with it because we can't yet see what is aloft on that breeze. Yet we are the stuff of God's creation, we are borne on that wind as partners in God's re-creation, reconciling, and healing of this world. Breathe deep, and be not afraid, for God is at work in our midst.

Consider what happens when hearts and minds and spirits are open to receive that breath. For some, it may feel like the hard push of resuscitation after breathing has stopped - like rescue breathing for a drowning victim. The only solution is to let go and receive that breath, for there is no life without it.

Sometimes that breath feels like a mere whiff, a barely discernible zephyr in the evening garden. Go on out there and search for more - go look for the freshening breeze.

Or that breath may be like the last gasp of a hospice patient. Let it go. Give thanks for the life that has been, and expect resurrection.

And for some, that breath may come like the first one taken by a newborn child - the breath that comes with an old-fashioned whack on the backside. Cry out for joy.

Let that breath get the heart beating and the blood moving, for we will never be God's mission partners otherwise. Let that circulating blood connect us with the other parts of this body, here and far beyond this place. Go look for connections with your sparring partners - for the left hook and the right jab both come from the same body. Link up with somebody from another part of the theological spectrum - this big tent is the dwelling place of the holy, and we will never be who we were created to be if we only work with the fingers of the right hand or the left. Search out those you have wounded or who have wounded you - seek them out and let the grudges go - there isn't much life in hanging on to them. It's like that old tale about swallowing rat poison and expecting somebody else to die. Go find the supposed source of wounds and build a bridge together - notice the blood that's been shed, and let it form a good scab to draw flesh together. Continue to pick at the wound and it will never heal. Let it go and keep breathing.

If this convention is The Episcopal Church's family reunion, then go find somebody who represents the outlaw side of the family for you and spend a few minutes learning your relative's story. You might promise to pray for each other through the coming days. Perhaps you can find time for a cup of coffee or a meal together. That kind of reconciling work will have a greater effect on our readiness for mission than any legislation we may pass here. We're here to tune up the muscles and nerves and ligaments of this body for reconciling work, for the work of mission writ large. We're going to need the gifts of every single part of the body in order to respond to that breath/wind/spirit blowing over the face of the deep - so go and build some living bridges.

Episcopalians are increasingly engaged in creative reconciling work with other bodies and partners beyond this Church. We've learned a lot in recent years about neighbors across the globe and in more local communities. We have been in full communion with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America for more than ten years, and we're growing into a newer full communion relationship with the Moravians. We are sharing and exchanging staff members with the ELCA, and our armed forces chaplains are working and learning together. The Moravians have a great deal to teach us about reconciliation, particularly in their commitment to avoid having anyone leave the table. The first Episcopal church is about to receive a Moravian pastor - in Western North Carolina.

We're seeing new possibilities in our conversations with the Methodist churches, and the ways in which that conversation is working to heal the sin of racism will ultimately strengthen us all.

Recent years have seen some healing in our relationships around the Anglican Communion, and missional partnerships continue to grow and deepen. We are learning a great deal about how to be more effective partners, particularly when we are able to engage with humility and openness to our own transformation.

We have another significant opportunity for bridge-building, with the SBNRs around us - those who claim to be Spiritual But Not Religious. Those fields are indeed ripe with possibility, but the crop needs rather different methods than we're used to. We need robust networks and the eager humility that will let us learn from others who are engaging new populations. The people of the Episcopal church in Frankfurt in Germany offer a great example. That congregation is reaching out to American deportees, people with German citizenship but often no ability to speak the language and no knowledge of the culture, who have been expelled by the United States, often for quite minor legal infractions. The congregation Christ the King is building community with people who have deeply spiritual questions but no trust or experience with the church. There is some similar kind of need almost everywhere, but it means going out into the community to listen for it, and finding new ways of sharing what we know of more abundant life in Jesus.

Re-forming and re-imagining ourselves for mission in a changed world is the most essential task we have before us. We're not going to fix the church or the world at this Convention, but we can do something to make the church a better tool and instrument for God's mission if we can embrace that new wind, discover God creating new life among us, and listen and look for Jesus.

We need a responsive set of structures, more connected at all levels of the church, and better able to tap the gifts of all parts of the body. There is good and creative work going on in many places, and we need to learn how to spread that information and learning as widely as possible. It needs nodal systems, like the heart muscle in a circulatory system, or the cells in a nervous system that collect and keep passing on the news. That pumping heart or those nerve cells are initiators or stimulators of communication - in other words, leaders. When those parts are equipped and committed to sharing good news, then the network becomes far more effective, and communication ripples out and across the broader community. But when effective and distributed leadership is absent, those networks quickly disintegrate.

The world around us is learning to develop effective and robust networks - and so are we. There are networks of innovators in church planting and congregational development, including ones that offer peer coaching. A couple of days ago a deputy suggested another possibility - what about TED talks for TEC as a more fruitful purpose for this kind of churchwide gathering? We are just beginning to move toward this kind of a network for theological education resources - of seminaries, diocesan programs, and others - and that movement needs a whole lot more encouragement.

The domestic poverty initiative born at the last Convention is an example that is bearing significant fruit, from the churchwide gatherings focused on best practices to the ongoing work in Asset Based Community Development and other forms of community organizing. Looking at the assets already present in our communities as a necessary part of mission engagement is a way of discovering where God has already been at work, blessing the created nature in a local context. It's a theological approach that says we will notice where the kingdom is already present, or in the process of emerging. Many of you know other places where effective connective tissue is emerging and growing - Episcopal Community Services, Episcopal Service Corps, the ethnic ministry and justice networks. Passion keeps networks like those growing and expanding - it's about blessing the work of the Spirit and letting the wind of God fill the sails and propel us into the world.

Discovering the most effective ways to organize and network ourselves for mission, for governance, and for supporting that mission is going to require us to look outside ourselves. We have to be willing to search out the gifts and assets already present. Something like a blue ribbon commission would be helpful - a leadership group that includes independent voices, that is non-partisan, that will offer the input of outsiders and people on the margins of the church, not just those already deeply invested in the church and in the way the church is now. That may not be easy for this body to engage, but God is already at work beyond this Episcopal Church and we have something to learn from that reality.

A lot of the anxiety in this body right now is rooted in fear of diminishment, loss of power or control, or change in status. The wider church - the grassroots - in not all that interested in the internal politics of this gathering. It is interested in the vitality of local congregations and communities, in ministry with young people, and in opportunities for transformative mission engagement in and beyond the local context. Our job here is to make common cause for the sake of God's mission. That is in part a political task.

Politics is not a dirty word - it refers to the art of living together in community, and it applies to Christ's body as much as it does to the various nations in which this Church is present. We don't yet live in the fullness of the reign of God, even though we do see glimpses of it around us and among us. Our task is to gather the various parts of this body of Christ, together with any partners who share our values, for the work of building societies that look more like the reign of God. That takes compromise, for we will never all agree on the proper route or method for getting there. We live in the awkward yet lively tension between what is and what will eventually come to be, in God's good time. We aren't going to find perfection at this Convention, but we can prayerfully work at discerning a way forward that will let us gather our common gifts to work toward that dream of the reign of God.

We're in this together - as the full range of Episcopalians, together with our Christian siblings - both those most like us and those who seem most distant - and we have other potential partners for the various parts of the mission God sends us to do. Our task is to be wise as serpents and innocent as doves, in finding and blessing any creative gift that will serve God's dream. Can we reframe our view? Will those with eyes to see and ears to hear look for the places where God's creative presence is already at work? God has given those gifts, and we will miss the mark if we ignore them. We will miss all five marks if we ignore the partners and possibilities around us. So breathe deep, open your eyes and ears, build bridges with unlikely folks, and let God's word prosper in that for which God sent it. And may God bless our labors in this place. -------------------------------------

#GC77 TWEETS ABOUT OUT-GOING HOUSE OF DEPUTIES PRESIDENT BONNIE ANDERSON

frsimmons: PHoD said "Looyville." I am chagrined.

Steve Pankey: ‏ @BPWhiteLives. gets a shout out from the PHoD. Remember him on July 17th.

The Episcopal Café: Bonnie Anderson: shout out to @BPWhiteLives. Talking about how laity came to hold authority after Revolution.

Thomas Purdy: We should celebrate the distinctive polity of the EC on this 4th of July. PHOD

TJ Geiger: Bonnie Anderson addresses the complicated nature of US national freedom and experiment.

Ft. Worth Episcopal: "Impossible to refect on the Fourth of July witbout reflecting on the institution of slavery." PHOD

The Episcopal Café: Bonnie Anderson: quotes Frederic Douglass, speaks of how difficult July 4 can be for Native people,African Americans.

TJ Geiger: Anderson quotes from Frederick Douglas' 4th of July address--his words still ring true because US ideals are still not Shared by all #GC77

The Episcopal Café: Bonnie Anderson: Too many potential leaders in our church are excluded by people with access to power, money and education.

Steve Pankey: When we speak of laity, clergy and bishops, do we mean bishops aren't clergy?

Ft. Worth Episcopal: PHOD Bonnie Anderson "too many potential leaders are excluded" "too many voices still missing"

Rob Skirving: PHoD Bonnie Anderson reminds us that on 4thJuly we celebrate ideals, not realities ... quoted Frederick Douglas ...

Joseph P. Mathews And do we only mean priests?

The Episcopal Café: Bonnie Anderson: Don't treat governance as a lifeboat in which there is too little room for lay, clergy, bishops all.

Jim Hamilton: Bonnie Anderson, Pres of House of Deputies taking us to task on the unheard voices of Shared authority needed.

EpiscoDioMilCF: ‏ PHoD is speaking to the lack of varying voices in our church. Well said #gc77

Ft. Worth Episcopal: "The blessings of independence are not yet enjoyed in the whole church . . . Too many voices are missing." PHOD

Morgan S. Allen: "Too few of us gathered here are poor, or young, or people of color" from the President of the House of Deputies opening remarks to #GC77

The Episcopal Café: Bonnie A: It has been a bruising triennium in councils of church.

Dante Tavolaro: PHoD talking about the power and privilege of those at GC

Robyn Barnes : PHoD speaks abt how the Church is still exclusionary. // AMEN

Karen E. D'Angelo: "Too many of the voices here are not poor or young or diversified" -President of the House of Deputies Bonnie Anderson

frsimmon: Did the PHoD just compare slavery to restructuring?

Kris Stoever: Hah. ABCD gets a shoutout from PB KJS. Development.

Episcopal Church Soh: Bonnie Anderson: We are liberated children of God

Ft. Worth Episcopal: PHOD our true identity...we R the liberated children of God, all of us 2gether, lead toward the promised land quoting F. Douglas

Caroline Carson ‏: Passover, freedom, inclusion - they don't happen to us unltil they happen to ALL of us. Bonnie Anderson speaking now.

The Episcopal Café: Bonnie A: Our true identity isn't in being children of founders, proud as we may be, but in being liberated children of God.

Thomas Purdy;. PHoDBA raising issue of leadership of HOD (laity, priests, deacons) in the councills of the church...on Indep. Day

TJ Geiger: Anderson recalls the complaints of israelites complaints in the wilderness on the way to the promised land.

Ft. Worth Episcopa: PHOD we are being forced to get on the road toward the promised land.No going back 2 Egypt.

The Episcopal Caf: Bonnie A: wandering in a wilderness of declining m'ship, acting like Israelites in Exodus, whining, worshipping golden calves.

Steve Pankey: I'm realizing that the PHoD and I live in two different worlds. Her's informs mine, but the foundations are fundamentally different.

santospopsicles: Exciting.?

Ft. Worth EpiscopaL: PHOD We need the God-given gifts of all who are on this journey.

Holli: no, I think you heard it right. #gc77

Thomas Purdy: Like those in the Exodus we're all pretty sure we'll 'die out there' as we tackle budget and structure. PHoDBA. (Knock it off.)

Ft. Worth Episcopal: "We need the God- given gifts of everyone who is on this journey."PHOD

EpiscoDioMilCF:"We need the God given gifts of everyone on this road" PHoD

TJ Geiger: Anderson worries about "a false choice between mission and governance"

Micah Jackson: "Too few of us gathered here are poor, or young, or people of color" from the PHoD opening remarks to GC77

Caroline Carson: We need to "cut it out" whining, having golden calves, etc.) if we are to progress down the Promised land hwy & we must share the road

auntiedasch: "Too many of the voices here are not poor or young or diversified" -President of the HoD Bonnie Anderson

The Episcopal Café: Bonnie: Worried we may forfeit tradition of strong stands for justice. Worried about false choice tween mission and governance.

Robyn Barnes: For the record, I'm not concerned about TEC dying out. Just spent a week with a group of kids and there's no reason for them to leave

auntiedasch: PHOD Bonnie Anderson "too many potential leaders are excluded" "too many voices still missing"

The Episcopal Café: Bonnie A: What I am going to do at #GC77, regard next 9 days as one long Bible study on how we can be more like people of God.

Steve Pankey: PHoD "the next 9 days are one long Bible study in how the Church as institution can be the Church as People of God"

TJ Geiger: 5 Anderson: Regard general convention "as one long bible study." And stay focused on the promised land.

Jos Tharakan: Become a people of God church than the institutional church, shares Bonnie Anderson.

We Are Episcopalians: Become a people of God church than the institutional church, shares Bonnie Anderson.

The Episcopal Café:‏ Bonnie A: let us be humbled by God's acts and inspired by God's spirit.

Anglican.TV: Geez... General Convention is losing a good leader in Bonnie Anderson.

Caroline Carson: I've never heard Ms. Anderson speak, I think she did a great job.

The Episcopal Café: That wraps up the opening remarks. auntiedasch: ‏ Pres HoD What I am going to do at #GC77 is treat the next 9 days as 1long Bible study on how we can b more like people of God

David. :) Amazing remarks #PB and #Bonnie.

Scott Gunn: PHoD: The choice between mission and governance is a false dichotomy. // Yes. So is the choice between reform and lay participation. #GC77

Joseph P. Mathew: Me too. I have none of that. Word proclaimed, sacraments celebrated, and all. @scottagunn Seems to me the Gospel (and living it) has always been this mystical blend of both-and. can't think that the bible has more to do w/ heaven than with earth. Episcopal Divinity: House of Deputies president Bonnie Anderson closes her opening remarks with a quote from EDS's Fredrica Harris Thompsett #GC77

Mother Laurie: The twitter fest will be amazing. #GC77

Amy Real Coulta: not a choice *btwn* governance & mission, but time to discern our missional strategy & then imagine how our governance could serve it

29m santospopsicles ‏@santospopsicles Not good RT @frsimmons Did the PHoD just compare slavery to restructuring? #maybeiheardthatwrong #gc77 santospopsicles Not there #wasteoftime&money PHoD talking about the power and privilege of those at GC FrMicah: "Too few of us gathered here are poor, or young, or people of color" Tripp Hudgins : Deputy Orientation. :-/ Good intention, but seems to be a by patronizing.

Megan Castellan: Best quote: "Rules of order trumps Roberts rules, Roberts rules trumps chaos."

Epis PriestProbz :@episcopalcafe is she talking abt Bonnie Anderson? Joseph P. Mathews: Opening remarks. Stuff really really starts tomorrow

Bishop William White: Apparently the Anderson woman has acknowledged my existence. I am well pleased.

Episcopal News (ENS) : General Convention opening remarks by House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson http://bit.ly/Pf9epm #Episcopal #GC77

General Convention: opening remarks by House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson

[July 4, 2012] The following opening remarks were presented today by President of the House of Deputies Bonnie Anderson at the 77th General Convention of the Episcopal Church, meeting in Indianapolis IN through July 12.

President of the House of Deputies Bonnie Anderson Opening Remarks for the 77th General Convention July 4, 2012

Happy Fourth of July. I am a big fan of parades and picnics and fireworks. I especially love it when the day can include a baseball game. In fact there is one tonight right across the street in Victory Field. A great thing about a baseball game is that you can arrive late. The game between Indianapolis and the Louisville Bats begins at 6:05 so if you want to come over after the legislative committee meetings, you can buy tickets at Victory Field.

Independence Day in the U.S. -which is the day on which the Second Continental Congress signed the Declaration of Independence that made the United States independent from Great Britain- this day has particular significance for all Episcopalians. Many Episcopalians gathered here enjoy a rich legacy of fighting for independence in other countries and those other countries that are members of the Episcopal Church, and the flags you see behind me on the monitor pay tribute to those noble struggles. By accident of history, however, our church and its polity came about because the American Revolution severed what James Dator, historian, called "the flimsy ties of ecclesiastical government" (Dator 13) that bound the Anglican churches in the colonies to the Church of England. And by accident and the good fortune of the General Convention Office (getting a better rate on the convention center because of the holiday) we've gathered on the national day of the United States. So I want to reflect on that just for a few minutes.

Now it's not true, as some of us may have learned in confirmation class, that the Founding Fathers of the United States finished with the Constitution and walked across the street to establish the Episcopal Church. But historians have shown us that as you'd expect, because our church and the United States were formed at the same time they were influenced by a "cross-fertilization of ideas" (Dator 15).

In fact, the conditions of the American Revolution are in many ways responsible for the leadership of the laity that is one of the Episcopal Church's particular gifts. Deputy Tobias Haller writes about this in his essay called "To Govern and to Lead" in the collection Shared Governance. Deputies and diocesan bishops received a copy of it in the mail.

Independence from England meant a break with the authority of the Bishop of London. What's more, many existing priests were loyal to England and new priests had to travel to England to be ordained. Ordained authority was hard to come by in the Episcopal Church in the United States, and the laity exercised significant leadership. Our first Presiding Bishop, William White, who like Thomas Jefferson was a student of John Locke, became a champion of shared governance by all orders-laypeople, clergy and bishops. His feast day happens to be July 17, after we've finished our business and gone home again, so be sure to remember him then.

So it seems auspicious to me that we are beginning this 77th General Convention-in which the structure of the Episcopal Church promises to be one of our principal concerns-that we are beginning on July 4. Just as we celebrate the distinctive democracy of the United States on Independence Day, we should celebrate the distinctive polity of the Episcopal Church that became part of our DNA because of the circumstances of the American Revolution in which our church was born.

But, as many of you may be thinking right now, celebrating July 4 isn't that straightforward. You don't have to scratch the surface of July 4 very hard to expose the horrors of colonialism that the United States inherited from Great Britain and continues to impose on so much of the world. You'll also find in the Declaration of Independence itself evidence of the bigotry and ignorance that led to the Native American Genocide for which we have yet to atone or make restitution. And it is impossible to reflect on Independence Day without reflecting on the institution of slavery that so many of our Founding Fathers and their descendants defended to the death.

On July 5, 1852 in Rochester, New York, Fredrick Douglass delivered a fiery Fourth of July address that lasted more than an hour. Don't worry-I'm not going to emulate him, at least in length.

Frederick Douglass, as you may know, was born a slave and escaped to freedom. He became one of this country's leading abolitionists-the most prominent African American leader of the 19th century-and his writing and oratory served as the conscience of the nation for many years during the struggle to end slavery.

In his famous speech, Douglass spoke for those who were not made independent by Independence Day:

The blessings in which you, this day, rejoice, are not enjoyed in common. The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity and independence, bequeathed by your fathers, is shared by you, not by me. The sunlight that brought life and healing to you, has brought stripes and death to me. This Fourth [of] July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn.

The scourge of African American slavery that Douglass struggled against has ended in this country, but the plagues of racism, oppression, discrimination, violence and poverty have not-not in the United States, and not in any of the other fifteen countries of the Episcopal Church. What we celebrate on July 4th in the United States is an ideal that we have not yet achieved. Douglass's words still ring true: The blessings in which we, this day, rejoice, are still not enjoyed in common.

As we set about discussing how to restructure the church, we need to remember that the blessings of independence earned through struggle in many countries of the Episcopal Church are not yet enjoyed in common in the church either. We have not yet realized the ideal of shared leadership of laity, clergy and bishops. Too many potential leaders in our church are excluded because people who already have power and access to money, technology, and education enjoy the privileges not available to all of us.

We are a great and diverse body gathered here today, but I know-we all know-that too many voices are still missing. Too few of us gathered here today are poor, or young or people of color. In our idealistic yet imperfect polity, too many voices remain unheard in the councils of the church.

Worse yet, in recent months, it's even become fashionable in some circles to celebrate the exclusive nature of the church in the name of efficiency-to treat our governance as a lifeboat in which there is precious little room for laypeople and clergy, to question the value of our shared authority to the future of The Episcopal Church, to assert that the diversity of voices in our governance is just much, too loud, too messy, too expensive, and way too big.

It's been, frankly, a bruising triennium in the councils of the church. But as I read and reflected on Frederick Douglass's speech, I found that his words steered me toward liberation:

This, for the purpose of this celebration, is the 4th of July. It is the birthday of your National Independence, and of your political freedom. This, to you, is what the Passover was to the emancipated people of God. It carries your minds back to the day, and to the act of your great deliverance; and to the signs, and to the wonders, associated with that act, and that day.

Now, what Douglass is winding up to say to the people assembled before him in 1852 in Rochester is that their emancipation was not his. The Passover doesn't really happen for some of us until it happens for all of us. And he was right in his fiery eloquence about the evils of slavery and white privilege. I urge you to read his speech.

But also in his righteous fury, Douglass calls us back to the story of Israel's liberation. Our true identity, I remembered as I read his speech, is not in being the children of the Founding Fathers, as much good as their Declaration of Independence brought to some of us in this world and in the church. Our identity is that we are the liberated children of God. All of us, all together, are being led toward the Promised Land of God's reign.

If you've followed the conversation about church politics recently, you'll recognize us in the stories of our forebears who were led out of slavery in Egypt. They went toward the Promised Land, those Israelites, but a lot of the time they went kicking and screaming. "Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness?" "What have you done to us, in bringing us out of Egypt? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness." (Exodus 14: 11-12)

Let's be honest. We in the Episcopal Church have been forced to get on the road toward the Promised Land. Some of us are happy about that, because being the institutional church of power and privilege, which we used to be, seemed a lot like being slaves in Egypt. Others of us were doing just fine in Egypt, and we'd be happier going back there. We're wandering in a wilderness of declining membership and budget reductions and we're pretty sure that we're going to die out here.

But there's no going back to Egypt. We're on the Promised Land highway, and we're spending a lot of time acting like the Israelites. We whine, we don't trust each other, and we try to hoard what we have been given even though it won't keep. Even though when we take more than we need, it breeds worms and becomes foul. And I'm pretty sure that we can all name some golden calves that we've been worshipping.

We need to cut it out. All of us. If we're going to reach the Promised Land together, in one piece, we need the God-given gifts of everyone who's on this journey. We need the folks who were slaves in Egypt and the folks who were rulers in Egypt and the folks who weren't born yet when we left Egypt and the folks who came from other places to be on this road with us.

I am a bit concerned that this recent round of wandering in the wilderness has put at risk our central identity as a people whose democratic decision-making has led us time and time again to take prophetic actions on issues of justice and peace and build strong mission relationships with one another and with our sisters and brothers across the Anglican Communion. I am worried that a false choice between mission and governance will keep us from hearing the voices of all the baptized as we restructure the church and create a budget for it.

It is my prayer that the process of restructuring The Episcopal Church and developing its budget will allow us to listen more closely to people who do not carry important titles or sit in the councils of the church, but who know a great deal-perhaps even more than we do-about how to find our way in the wilderness and how to be the kind of church that God is calling into being.

The great Verna Dozier reminded us that we, the church, are a sleeping giant, and the way to wake ourselves up is to know the Biblical story as our own story and start wrestling with what it has to say about our lives and our path as Christian disciples. "A funny thing happened on the way to the kingdom," she wrote in The Authority of the Laity. "The church, the people of God, became the church, the institution."

Here's what I'm going to do at this General Convention, and I invite you to join me. I'm going to regard the next nine days as one long Bible study in how we, the institutional church, can be more like the people-of-God-church. As we journey in this wilderness-through restructuring and budgets and hearings and resolutions-I am going to keep my face pointed toward the Promised Land where God is calling us, toward the church of the future in which everyone's voices are heard and everyone's leadership is valued.

I want to close with a passage from We Are Theologians, a seminal work by Deputy Fredrica Harris Thompsett. Listen carefully-she has wise words for us:

If our vision of the church is meager or even modest, we have missed the mighty acts of God. If we think of Christians as hopelessly embattled, we have lost our ancestors' experience of the expansion of God's reign. If we reject biblical wisdom because we see the Bible used as a tool for legalistic oppression, we have forgotten the gospel's response to Pharisees, the way in which Jesus' liberating ministry threatened the religious establishment of his own day. If we think religious complacency and indifference are modern habits, we have overlooked the complaints of the biblical prophets. And if we think the question "What does the Bible have to do with my life?" sheds more light on heaven than on our work on earth, we have lost the creative essence of God' work.

In the next nine days, let us be humbled by God's mighty acts and inspired by God's creative Spirit. Let us be the people-of-God church, united in our shared leadership and the love and liberation of Jesus Christ.

Let us pray.

O God of unchangeable power and eternal light: Look favorably on your whole Church, that wonderful and sacred mystery; by the effectual working of your providence, carry out in tranquility the plan of salvation; let the whole world see and know that things which were cast down are being raised up, and things which had grown old are being made new, and that all things are being brought to their perfection by him through whom all things were made, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (BCP 291)

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#GC77 TWEETS ABOUT GENERAL CONVENTION SECRETARY CANON GREGORY STRAUB

EDEIO: ‏ This may be Straubs best opening jacket yet.

Thomas á Becket: ‏ After GC77 Gregory Straub will be touring with Cheap Trick.

frsimmons: I'm calling Straubs opening jacket, "One night in Bangkok."

EpiscoDiocese of KS: On the big screen in the House of Deputies, Gregory Straub's Indy jacket really stands out.

Samantha Cutlip: Gregory Straub, opening presentation. And another awesome jacket.

Caroline Carson: It is quite a coat.

David. :) Oh and Gregory. You rock the checkers.

David. :) ‏ : I have to say, Gregory you are rocking the blazer.

Pamela RW Kandt ‏: And they're off. GC77 Sec'y Gregory Straub's opening day checkered flag jacket.

The Rev. Erin Jean: performance fleece..

Steve Pankey: Is Gregory Straub the only man on the leadership team in the HoD?

Mary Ann Mueller is a journalist living in Texas. She is a regular contributor to VirtueOnline.

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