General Convention 2006

Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling. Then I will go to the altar of God, and I will praise you . . . Psalm 43:3-4

The General Convention of the Episcopal Church
met in Columbus, Ohio from June 11-21, 2006.
This blog offers a view of the convention and beyond from the perspective of Lydia Evans, a two-time lay deputy from the Diocese of South Carolina.
Visit the links found below for additional resources
as well as pre- and post-convention coverage.
Thank you for remembering the convention deputies and their families in your prayers. For further resources, visit my webpages.
For all posts from the month of June, click here.
For all posts from the month of July, click here.


Can Anything Good Come Out of Columbus?

B008/The Church Calendar: The Dorchester Chaplains

This is an excellent resolution, proposed by the Rt. Rev. George Packard, Bishop Suffragan of the Armed Forces, and which came up on Friday afternoon. This resolution directs “the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music to consider the commemoration of the Dorchester Chaplains as an addition to the Calendar of the Church Year, with appropriate biographical material and propers for inclusion in Lesser Feasts and Fasts.”

This is a great resolution and here’s why.

“On February 3, 1943, the U. S. Army Transport Dorchester, a troopship with 902 soldiers on board, set course across the North Atlantic as part of a convoy en route to Greenland.

Four Army chaplains were assigned to the ship: Lieutenant George L. Fox, a Methodist minister; Lt. Alexander D. Goode, a Jewish rabbi; Lt. Clark V. Poling, a minister of the Dutch Reformed Church; and Lt. John P. Washington, a Roman Catholic priest.

Unknown to them all, a German U-boat followed the ship.

“At 12:55 a.m., the submarine fired three torpedoes instantly killing 100 men in the hull of the ship. Others were flung wounded to the decks. Power was knocked out by the explosion, and darkness engulfed the frightened men below deck as ocean water rushed through gaping wounds in the hull.

"The ship began to sink quickly. Above the chaos, the four chaplains could be heard calming the men, comforting them, urging them to be brave and directing them where to go.

“When there were no more life jackets to be handed out, the four chaplains took off their own life jackets and gave them to waiting soldiers. The chaplains continued to minister to the men in the moments before they died.

"As the ship sank, the chaplains were seen to link arms and pray together in English, Hebrew and Latin. A total of 672 soldiers perished on that night with the four chaplains – all of different faiths died with arms clasped in common prayer.”

The Dorchester Chaplains are held up as “ecumenical and interfaith models of sacrificial love and visible reminders of the presence of God in the midst of peril.” This resolution came to the House of Deputies after having passed in the House of Bishops. It passed in the HOD, so this group will be included in the Calendar of Saints and commemorated in Lesser Feasts and Fasts.

Along with all of the other hot-button issues which come up at General Convention, there are some really good things that happen, too.


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