General Convention: July 3, early morning

Convention is underway even though the first legislative session is on July 5th. The Blue Book which contains the reports of all the Committees, Commissions, Boards and Agencies that have been at work over the past three years, says that General Convention is from July 5 to July 12.  Those are the legislative days. But the convention itself forms up today and tomorrow. Today registration begins and there are meetings of legislative committee chairs. Tomorrow the Presiding Officers will speak to us and we will begin organizing the legislative committees and their work. 

The trickle of people who came in yesterday will become a flood today. 

A few beginning observations from last night.

Candidates for Executive Council are already here and have some nifty hand outs. Gone are the mimeographed sheets of yesteryear. Now card stock with graphics and color pictures are the order of the day.  The openings for Executive Council always bring good people forward and choosing among them will be difficult.  

The other big election is for the Trustees of the Church Pension Fund.  There is a bit of talk about how strongly the Church Pension Group and the existing trustees push for re-election of members who have already been serving. The Trustees is sometimes understood as a bit of a closed club and that is resented.  How that effects electability is hard to say.

The election of a President and Vice President of the House of Deputies is a bit of a strange contest at this time.  Only two people have come forward to stand for president - The Rev. Gay Jennings and Ms. Martha Alexander.  One is clergy, the other lay. If a clergy person wins the election for President, Sally Johnson and Pauline H.G. Getz will be  candidates for vice president. (The president and vice president must be of different "orders" - lay or ordained). At the moment there are no other names before us.  No doubt there will be nominations from the floor, particularly for the VP slot, given that we won't know until after the election of the president whether the VP will be lay or ordained. But still, here we are about a week away from the elections and only four people have come forward.

Gay Jennings has produced the first button for this General Convention, a campaign button that simply says, "GAY".  Its nicely done as a graphic.

The Exhibit Hall opens today and I will be exploring this afternoon. It will probably be the only time during Convention that I will have for schmoozing with folk there. So expect some more photos of that tribal fest.

Around the table yesterday at dinner there was some conversation about the news that several bishops have been notified that charges have been filed against them by persons whose names have been withheld (appropriately) and that the intake officer (in this case Bishop Clay Matthews) is examining the matter. The blog world is in a bit of feeding frenzy looking for conspiracy, mendacity, and other nasty possibilities of manipulation. I don't there is any.  As to why it has come up right before convention, in spite of the theory that this is to distract us from worthy work, etc, my sense is that it came up because the intake officer is obliged to inform the accused promptly.  The real question is why did the person making the charge do so at this moment.

Well, enough for the moment.  More as the day progresses.


  1. "The real question is why did the person making the charge do so at this moment."

    Yes, that qualifies as a 'real question' for sure!

    And alongside it, 1) why did the Intake Officer dignify the charge, 2) was the PB involved if he didn't choose to, vetoing his decision, 3) is any of this timed as it is because Title IV is going to be reviewed and so one might question its actual probity.

    I hope you can find out and report to the wider world of Episcopal Christians who don't like this sort of stealthy Title IV activity.


  2. No, the real question is which one of the accused made the accusation public. Given that Clay Matthews would not have done so, and no one else knew, that leaves one of those who received a notice. Who did so, and why, is the question.

  3. "the real question is which one of the accused made the accusation public"

    I don't take your point. Is someone formally accused (of a frivolous charge) and told they are subject to disciplinary procedures 'in a few weeks' required for some reason to keep silence? Required by whom?

    Keep in mind as well that Title IV is being revised. It is a flawed document, so judged even by liberals like Attorney Rehill (who defended +Righter).

    Why would someone so charged be obliged to stay silent?


  4. Perhaps you are playing dumb to the process Robert. The formal charges are being looked into. The charged have been alerted to that fact. The decision to proceed with the charges has not been made. If the charges were found without merit, there would be no further process and the world at large would have been none the wiser.

    So, what political games is the one who publicly made this stage of the process public hoping for.

  5. Dear David

    Kindly read the public remarks of the Intake Officer. He says he will initiate Title IV proceedings in a few weeks.

    That means he did not dismiss the charges.

    This is fairly basic data.


  6. "The decision to proceed with the charges has not been made."

    No, either the Intake Officer decided to 'proceed with the charges' or he didn't and the PB overruled. That is the way Title IV works.

    I believe you are misinformed.



OK... Comments, gripes, etc welcomed, but with some cautions and one rule:
Cautions: Calling people fools, idiots, etc, will be reason to bounce your comment. Keeping in mind that in the struggles it is difficult enough to try to respect opponents, we should at least try.