Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Wednesday

My body got me up at a pretty indecent hour, but whatever extra time that may have afforded me got consumed by trying to configure a new iPad I bought yesterday. It was time. Anyway, on the road in time to get to St John's, Decatur by 0930, where it was my privilege to preside at the funeral mass for Fr Bill Toland, who was long retired and infirm by the time I arrived in the diocese. Back in Springfield in time for a lunch of leftovers at home. Then, to the bank to by some euros before, finally, heading to the office. Took care of various odds and ends. Dashed off another lectionary meditation for Forward Day by Day (to appear of November 2019). Drew the drapes and shut the door as a left around 3:30. Tomorrow Brenda and I head to Budapest for a week-long river cruise on the Danube. Then I'm home on "staycation" until 21 August. See you back in this venue then.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Tuesday (William White)

  • Task planning at home over breakfast.
  • Rough-processed the hard-copy pile on my desk after two weeks away. Listened to voicemail.
  • Morning Prayer in the cathedral.
  • Conferred with the Archdeacon on a range of issues.
  • Spoke by phone with Fr Swan about the details of Fr Bill Toland's funeral tomorrow.
  • Did some personal prep for the scheduled afternoon meeting of the Finance Department.
  • Spent the rest of the morning working through a long list of tasks that were all generated by incoming emails over the last several days. None of the overly onerous or inordinately time-consuming, and none of urgent importance, but all of them important to the person who sent the email, and with whom I have a responsibility to keep faith.
  • Lunch from Taco Gringo, eaten at home.
  • Book air travel, hotel, and car rental for a conference I'm attending in Dallas in September.
  • Attended and participated in the regular July meeting of the Finance Department. The agenda at this meeting is always to take a first swing at the operating budget for the coming year. Good people trying to do faithful work.
  • Stepped out when the meeting ended around 4:30 for a brief personal errand.
  • Scanned the accumulated hard copy in my physical inbox.
  • Evening Prayer in the cathedral.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

The Lord's Day (VIII Pentecost)

Still recovering from the trauma of 12 days away at hard labor, we took things a little easy today, and just participated as part of the congregation at the 1030 Mass at the cathedral. It was balm to the soul. After a nice lunch out with Brenda, I spent most of the remainder of the day working on this pastoral letter to the diocese.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Saturday

A day of travel, and getting reacquainted with our home, sweet home. Left the Hampton Inn in downtown Austin at the humane hour of 0830, ahead of a 1041 departure. There was a short hop to Dallas, a short layover, and a longer leg to Springfield that touched down just past 2:30. We got home, got ourselves fed, unpacked, and just lounged around, because ... it's been a while. Monitored Facebook and Twitter for continued General Convention detritus. 

Friday, July 13, 2018

Friday

It's over. And sooner than expected. While I was at lunch with some bishop colleagues, we learned that the House of Deputies had adjourned. When the HOB came back to order at 2:30, we had exactly one substantive resolution to concur with, and then the Committee of Dispatch informed the Presiding Bishop that we had completed our legislative agenda, and we adjourned before 2:45. This is the earliest adjournment I can remember from my six General Conventions.

There's lot that can be and needs to be written about this 78th such event, and I will have more to say over the weekend. For now, I'l simply observe that we try to do way too much, and therefore probably don't do a lot of it very well. As the HOB was flying fast and low this morning, I had about ten seconds to look at a resolution before being asked to vote on it. Yes, I could have done in advance, but ... in the name of all that is real ... when? So much of what we are asked to do is utterly unnecessary to the good order and common life of the dioceses of the Episcopal Church. 

We could start by banning all resolutions that have to do with public policy, because nobody cares! We're in an echo chamber pretending that we have the power to actually do anything, when we don't. Then, we could continue by banning all resolutions that merely "encourage" or "suggest" or "call on." Usually, they're about stuff that's already happening. Those who are interested are doing it anyway, and those who aren't are never even going to notice.

More later. But ... so glad this is behind us.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Thursday

We're headin' to the barn, and the horses can small the hay, oats, and sugar cubes.
As always, see here for an issues-oriented perspective.

No more committee work. The legislative session began at 0900. The House of Bishops quickly burned through the handful of resolutions that were on the calendar--at this point mostly requests to concur with actions taken by the Deputies--and then we were just plain out of work, from underemployed to unemployed. Strangest thing I've ever had happen at General Convention. After a bit, at the request of one of the bishops, we went into executive session. This was not to cover up a conflict or anything like that, and it was completely unrelated to any General Convention business. It was a time of personal sharing and prayer. 

We broke for lunch about a half-hour early. I grabbed a quick couple of tacos and then headed up to the JWMarriott for another Communion Partner bishops strategy session. We're working on an "Austin Statement" that will be released sometime tomorrow or the next day.

Back in legislative session at 2:15. There was a trickle of business, but we spent an awful lot of time from then until around 4:45 just standing around in informal conversation groups.
T
he Springfield deputation all had dinner together.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Wednesday (St Benedict)

See here for a substantive account of the day's goings-on.

Yet another 0730 committee meeting, but we finished all our work for the entire convention at 0830, so there was time for a leisurely breakfast before reporting to the floor of the House of Bishops at 1030 to continue encasing the ground product of legislative sausage-making. This went on until around 12:40.

Brenda was off with some bishops' spouses, so I grabbed a quick burrito bowl in the Exhibit Hall foot court before heading up to the JWMarriott for another strategy session with my Communion Partner bishops colleagues.

At 2:15 we gathered on last time in joint session, this time to hear the budget presentation by the joint committee on Program, Budget, & Finance (PB&F). There was time for a few questions--and there are some real detail wonks among us--before there was a break so the bishops could be kicked out to go to their own room. We continued in legislative session until 5:00. The chief accomplishment was the passage of B012 (see link above).

I skipped both Eucharist and a CP strategy session in order to get a head start on blogging and then enjoy a relaxed and delicious (though not inexpensive) dinner with Brenda. (Spicy margaritas before blackened redfish on crawfish étouffée hit the gastronomical bullseye). 

Back into legislative session at 7:30. We were finished in about 90 minutes. This thing is winding down.