[Episcopal News Service – Austin, Texas] Much happens each day during General Convention. To complement Episcopal News Service’s primary coverage, we have collected some additional news items from July 11.
Special edition of Inside General Convention focuses on Cuba
Lynette Wilson, reporter and managing editor for Episcopal News Service, interviewed Cuba Bishop Griselda Delgado del Carpio and Western North Carolina Bishop José McLoughlin about the House of Bishops’ and House of Deputies’ historic vote to admit the Episcopal Church of Cuba as a diocese.
What once was lost can now be found
With as many as 10,000 busy people scurrying around the Austin Convention Center and surrounding hotels for committee meetings, legislative sessions, Exhibit Hall shopping and chance encounters with friends, it’s inevitable that some of them will misplace some of their belongings. Some of that paraphernalia winds up lining the counter of the Information Center.
With participants warned to keep hydrated under the blazing Texas sun, water bottles and sunglasses are the most common stragglers, according to volunteer Louise Horner of Marysville, Missouri. Two folding hand fans also were in the lost and found the morning of July 11.
Horner said the Information Center volunteers also have a small collection of single earrings.
Some larger items go astray at times. Volunteer Beth Deleery of Austin said one participant jokingly stopped by to see if the volunteers could look for her spouse.
And, ever the theologians, some convention participants, invoking the information services of the booth, have asked if any of the volunteers know the meaning of life.
– Mary Frances Schjonberg
Mothers, babies reunited on House of Deputies floor
A July 5 misunderstanding of the Rules of Order that allowed for the House of Deputies president’s discretion to permit babies to accompany deputies onto the floor has been clarified by the passing of Resolution D087 on July 11 of the 79th General Convention. The resolution spells out who is permitted on the floor, and now includes “infants under 1 year of age with a parent or guardian who is a deputy; children over 1 year old who require nursing or bottle-feeding only while feeding; and caregivers of children to bring a child to a feeding parent when the child needs to be fed, escorted in and out as directed by the president.” A “designated feeding area” will be present on the house floor that provides for voting access, but a parent will not be required to use it.
– Sharon Tillman
Bishops approve task force on theology of social justice
The House of Bishops, meeting during the 79th General Convention, on July 11 adopted a resolution that attempts to answer the question of how social justice fits into the mission and ministry of the Episcopal Church. Resolution A056 directs the presiding bishop and president of the House of Deputies to appoint a Task Force on the Theology of Social Justice Advocacy as Christian Justice. The bishops approved the resolution without debate.
If the $15,000 that is requested for the work is allocated, the committee would be tasked over the next three years to consider scripture, approved liturgical resources, other theological texts and previous actions of General Conventions to summarize ways in which the Episcopal Church understands the work of social justice as an essential mission and ministry of the Christian church. The resolution also directs the task force to study how the Episcopal Church currently fosters theological understanding and leadership for social justice, as well as to recommend ways to foster theological and practical conversation on social justice.
– Mike Patterson