A first-timer’s reflection from the October Diocesan Convention

Posted on November 20, 2012

[Editor’s note: We receive several enewsletters from DioCal parishes. Lenore Williamson’s experience and reflection of Diocesan Convention was published in The Pathfinder, from All Souls, Berkeley, and it caught our attention. Please consider sharing your stories with us at pcn@diocal.org or diobytes@diocal.org.]

This was my first convention, and honestly, my expectations were in the same lower level area as where the meeting convened in the basement. However, by the day’s end, I was lifted to Cathedral level, as I saw how effectively the information process flowed and decisions were made on behalf of the Diocese of California.

The day began with all of our delegates arriving on time at All Souls, boarding the Toni Borgfeldt Transport across the Bay, and finding a parking space right next to the Cathedral. After opening prayers and introductions, Bishop Marc’s inspiring address to the convention began with explaining how the central meaning of parish can be equated to outside neighbors. He drew a parallel from the parable of the Good Samaritan, an outsider taking care of and showing compassion to an unfortunate neighbor in distress.

This theme was carried further in breakout table discussions prompted by two questions: How have you been the recipient of loving compassion, and how might you live into a new model of being a neighbor in this context? Both questions stimulated meaningful sharing of experiences in my small group.

After voting on committee nominations, the delegates were to consider and vote on three resolutions. The first, Poverty as an Agenda Issue, was puzzling to me, so I attended a breakout discussion around this poverty resolution. The groups’ thoughts on the topic and our consciousness of what we as Christians are doing that would effect or involve people living in poverty, was insightful and helped me clarify the resolution’s intent.  The resolution did pass for the calendar year 2013, and proposes that every meeting agenda have time for reflections on how our work engages issues of poverty in our community. The other two resolutions: Martin Luther King Jr. Service Day and Support for Proposition 34 to abolish the death penalty were also passed.

For the finale of the day, good news came our way as the winner of the Big Gain was announced for the Episcopal Campus Ministries. UC Berkeley Canterbury won again with St. Clements keeping the Book of Acts for another year for raising the most money.