Saturday, June 24, 2006

Home is Where the Boa Constrictor Is

It's good to be home, although yesterday's sighting of a woman walking with a boa constrictor (yes, a real one) around her neck didn't do much to convince me that we're in our quiet and predictable neighborhood in Davenport.

Sometimes I just shake my head at church politics. It both fascinates me and so irritates me that I wonder why I'm going down this path. I've just returned from my second (and last) time serving as a lay deputy at General Convention. We spend ten days in legislative sessions (needlessly long, bringing up a whole host of concerns about the costs involved) that proceed at a snail's pace. During two sessions in the second week, deputies debated for nearly 45 minutes each the amount of time we ought to allow for debate! We could have considered several more of the 300+ resolutions in that time.

Both the House of Bishops and House of Deputies passed legislation responding to The Windsor Report that left virtually everyone dissatisfied; as the newest resolution appeared on the last legislative day with very few hours remaining, debate was hurried, people were emotionally spent, and the overall energy for such a weighty matter seemed questionable. Nonetheless, I wish to note how encouraged I am by our Presiding Bishop-Elect's remarks to the House of Deputies, in which she stated that this resolution is "far from adequate." Indeed she is right; we were left with watered-down language that tried to appease many, but in the end did no such thing.

As I cast my vote to confirm the election of Katharine Jefferts Schori, I felt such a part of history in the making. After her name was announced to a hushed crowd of thousands last Sunday, one of my favorite Seabury people (also a deputy) threw his arms around me and nearly lifted me off the floor in excitement!

Of course, I love that Katharine Jefferts Schori is a scientist. You may know that I am partial to scientists. In my recent experience, Jefferts Schori also pays attention in a way that looks different to me. She was the only PB candidate that took the time to attend and testify at the hearings on the budget. She presents as wise, calm, and mightily centered. I am quite happy about her election, and I am delighted to have gotten one of the buttons that appeared on Monday, which says, "It's a girl."


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