Well today was the first day for the consideration of the election of Canon Gene Robinson. Lots to mention but a few other details first.
Minneapolis is a beautiful city, many water fountains and sculpture along the main street. Plus lots of green space too. I enjoy this city a great deal. Some wonderful restaurants and a lot of theatre( including, of course, the Guthrie).
I've actually found a positive side for the looney protesters (yes they're still here. Starting to see some counterdemonstrations too) They make me appreciate and feel closer with the conservative elements within our denomination. We may disagree, even very seriously, but we are much closer than we realize when we see what the extremes really look like.
For the lovers of massed choirs today's Eucharist was for you! Fabulous huge vested choir just give you goose pimples. Sang "I am the bread of life", "Guide Us Oh Thou Great Jehovah" etc. A great round of applause when Puerto Rico brought up their UTO offering as a member of ECUSA. I think that was their first "official" act. Good Sermon from a Nigerian priest.
Meanwhile on the floor...When the time came to begin discussions (it was NOT the first order of business) the lines that formed were immense. A preliminary time limit of 30 (?) minutes was set. Comments went from the pro mike to the con mike. Much of it was same old same old on both sides. One of the OYP was one of the first pro speakers and represented the youth of the church very well. The best con argument I heard was one that said if you're not sure then you should be voting NO. For such a contentious issue that struck me as reasonable. The vote came but the results were not displayed immediately. In order to insure that nothing went wrong the computer votes (done with remote control voting pads) then double checked with the paper ballots. Vote was done by order (meaning clergy and lay votes were tallied seperately. Then each diocese reported that each order voted Yes/No/Divided) When the tallies were proper the No and Divided votes were read off. The secretary read them off into utter silence. There were very few surprises. For those in WNY both the Lay and Clergy voted Yes. No demonstrations (yelling, clapping etc) are permitted and the very large crowd in the gallery behaved itself very well. The tension was very apparent. In the end the vote was over 60% in favor of Canon Robinson in both orders. We prayed for several minutes both before and after the vote. It was very powerful. I simply prayed that we would be open to what God wants and would carry it out with love. We'll see if it gets answered. Bishops will consider the issue tomorrow.
Tomorrow I'll be wearing a pedometer to give you some idea of how much walking we do during a routine day. I'm sure there's something else I wanted to tell you but I can't think of it now!