Monday, July 28, 2003

First Day at GC

Well I'm here! Beautiful weather and a great hotel room in Minneapolis. So far that's all I can tell you about GC. The convention itself doesn't begin till tomorrow. My role here is as Provincial Youth coordinator for Province II. My immediate concern are my two youth delegates (they have seat and voice but no vote. They're allowed on the floor -I'm not - and can speak to convention just like any delegate. But they can't vote on the issues) Ryle and Betsy are two outstanding young people just like all the rest of the Official Youth Presence (the official term for the youth. I'll refer to it as GCOYP) They're catching back up, playing, laughing and not thinking a lot about the issues that await us. I don't want you to think that these are kids who don't care. They went through all the proposed resolutions, pulled out all the ones having to do with youth and passed them around for comment. But they then went on to read most of the rest of them too! I've spoken with a fair number of them who have also spoken to either their rector and/or their bishop about the issues coming up.

As for myself I'm saddened by the vitriol generated by both sides in these debates. While I have my own feelings on the issues it bothers me that there seems to be little discussion only posturing. There seems to be only "our way". For the traditionalists it's our way or we leave. I'm not sure how the church advances by splitting. I am also hearing from some traditionalists that they're NOT leaving even if the church does something that they think is absolutely wrong. I hope most, even all the traditionalists will take this position. We need all the parts of the spectrum (OK maybe not all, the extremes at BOTH ends can take a hike in my opinion).
I'm saddened by the feeling coming in. I'm apprehensive that some folks one way or the other will feel they have no choice but to leave. I also told the youth that they will spend the next 10 days standing firmly in the center of history being made. The world is paying more attention to our church than most days. What we do here will be marked if only for a little while. They will have the best view and perhaps even be given the chance to affect the outcome. I will pray for the youth and my church.
May God keep us all in the palm of his hand. May our ears be open to His words.

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