Reflection on GC81 by Rev. Rebekah Hays Estera

Jul 3, 2024 | #GeneralConvention, #Stories

Story by the Rev. Rebekah Hays Estera, Photos by the Rev. Rebekah Hays Estera and Cn. Stephanie Martin Taylor

This past week, I was able to attend the General Convention of the Episcopal Church in Louisville, Kentucky. The Association of Episcopal Deacons graciously provided a scholarship for young deacons.

I spent my time watching the legislative bodies at work, connecting with organizations and ministries from all over the country and world, and promoting the diaconate.

The General Convention worked with several deacons present to coordinate serving the  Eucharist to 3000+ people over three services during the week. It was a joy to serve alongside people I know, people I had only met virtually before, and people I had just met.

While there, I also participated in the actions organized by Palestinian Anglicans and Clergy Allies (PACA).

Over two days, we brought the voices of Palestinian Christians to the forefront, creating posters with their quotes. During our Compline for Palestine, I read the Gospel in one of the most powerful experiences of my ministry. I could feel the Spirit heavy on my shoulder. As I moved around and looked at people, I could see Joseph fleeing,  Jeremiah prophesying, and Rachel weeping. I was there with them and our siblings in Gaza as much as I was in a conference center in Kentucky. These verses will forever be linked to this moment. I am so incredibly grateful to be a part of today, and I am so proud of our agile and scrappy team who made this happen.

Top image: Rebekah stands in front of the stage in the worship center at General Convention, while discussing the logistics of serving the Eucharist to 3000+ people. It’s good she chose the fish and loaves earrings for the day!

Rebekah reading the Gospel at Compline for Palestine.

Rebekah holding a “Listen to Palestinian Christians” sign.

Group gathered holding signs to bring the voices of Palestinian Christians to the front


Ellie Simpson
Author: Ellie Simpson


1 Comment

  1. Adam

    Thank you for this wonderful reflection, and for speaking up on for the Palestinian people.


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