The minutia takes over very quickly at General Convention. After a committee spends some time wordsmithing a resolution, it comes to the floor of the House and we do it all over again. In yesterday’s Center Aisle, John Ohmer pointed out that 15 minutes of useless wordsmith debate in the House of Deputies equates to more than five 40 hour work weeks. Yesterday, we wasted close to a year.
I went to bed with parliamentary procedure and process on my brain. It is easy to sleep when one thinks over amendments to amendments for more than about 22 seconds. However, as I woke up this morning, I found myself excited, refreshed, and renewed. It might have something to do with the fact that I got more than 5 hours of sleep last night, but I think it is larger than that.
In the midst of all the minutia, Deeds of Power are happening here.
Last night, Committee 6, Structure, offered a draft resolution outlining their plan for evaluating and reforming the Structure of The Episcopal Church. You can read it here. The resolution begins like few I’ve seen thus far have: with a nod to the work of the Spirit. “The Holy Spirit is urging The Episcopal Church to reimagine itself grounded in our rich heritage and open to our creative future so that we may more faithfully: Proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom; Teach, baptize and nurture new believers; Respond to human need by loving service; Seek to transform unjust structures of society; Strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.” The resolution calls for study, for prayer, and for a gathering of a bishop, a lay deputy, a clergy deputy, and one person under 40 from every Diocese. This resolution is a Deed of Power because the Holy Spirit is at work.
Deeds of Power are happening in the midst of the duldrums. I read a story of a woman who was baptized in the fountain at the Westin Hotel yesterday. Two members of The Official Youth Presence, having testified to opposite sides of the same resolution, shook hands and congratulated each other when they were finished. People are leaving money at the font during worship even when an offering is not taken. Deeds of Power are happening.
In this morning’s Gospel lesson, we hear that Jesus could do no deeds of power in his hometown “because the people took offense at him.” Let’s not take offense at Jesus. Let’s welcome him into our midst. And then, by God, let’s be ready for the amazing Deeds of Power that follow.