Since today was Sunday, the Lord’s Day, the day of rest, we had no legislative committee meetings at 7:30 this morning. Most of us began our day together at the Sunday worship service that included the i gathering of the United Thank Offering (UTO).. The Sunday Eucharist with UTO I gathering is one of the high points of worship at Convention. To a background of organ and brass music, the UTO representatives processed in, followed by all of the Bishops of the Episcopal Church in attendance here. As that procession ended, the congregation of some two thousand people sang together while the presiding ministers entered: the officers of the House of Deputies, lictors, a deacon and the Presiding Bishop.
It’s a wonderful experience to gather with so many people and worship together. It’s also fascinating just to watch the coordination that has to happen in a service this size,; the organization and timing just to serve the bread and wine to all these people. The vergers in our deputation pay close attention to all this. Most of our deputation can be found volunteering as Eucharistic ministers each day.
The services are always translated for people who are deaf or hearing impaired. The translators ( Signers) at this convention are very skilled and expressive. To watch them , particularly when the Psalms are sung, is to receive an additional blessing of beauty and grace.
Today, the Presiding Bishop delighted us with the opening of her sermon. The Gospel for the day was the healing of Jairus’s daughter ( Markn5:21-43) JESUS said “Talitha cum”, which means ” Little girl, get up!” Bishop Katherine began with this paraphrase: ” Talitha cum! Get up, girl! You’re not dead yet!” The congregation cheered. A gracious beginning for the day following the election of the new Presiding Bishop. she went on to say that to the whole Episcopal Church, “Get up, girl! ( woman, man) Get up and dance!”
Following the sermon and prayers, the Diocesan UTO representatives presented their gathered donations. We were represented by Diane Gabbard. Province 1V, of which w e are a member, gave over $800,000 to the UTO, part of the $4 million dollars which will go to world wide mission.
Although it’s Sunday, there is still business to be done, and the House of Deputies convened at 2:15. The session always begins with prayerby the Chaplain, the Rev. Lester McKenzie from the Diocese of Los Angeles, originally from South Africa. He often has us on our feet, praying in song and movement. He walks among us carrying a drum.
Today’s session had a few glitches that that got resolved fairly quickly with the Vbinder, our electronic notebook on IPads. The business of the House continued for three hours, then we were dismissed for Provincial caucuses. Following that, we met for dinner and fellowship with all the folks from Kentucky – both the Diocese of Lexington and the Diocese of Kentucky