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.


Goodbye, Columbus

I’m on the plane enroute from Columbus to Charleston with a connection in Atlanta. (Haven’t we heard it said that you can’t even get to heaven without going through Atlanta?) On the way to the gate this morning, I bumped into +Hayes Junkin, lay deputy #1 from the Diocese of New Hampshire who sat directly behind me for the entire convention. Also on the C concourse were +Susan Crane and +Freddy Richardson from Tennessee.

I’ve been listening to Michael Frye’s Be the Centre on my IPod. That’s probably a great way to begin my prayers this morning. Here are the words: Jesus, be the centre, be my source, be my light, Jesus. Be the fire in my heart, be the wind in these sails, be the reason that I live, Jesus.

Good morning, Lord. Thank you for this day. Thank you for bringing me into this world, for giving me life, both on this earth and in the life to come.

Thank you for my family, especially my husband, Don, an incredible support to me for these 25 years and an amazing father to our three children. Thank you for his faithfulness, to me, to our marriage, and to You, Lord. Thank you for Henslee who has been a great companion on this road for the last four days. She is a constant reminder that the official Youth Presence at GC2006 does not represent every Episcopalian under the age of 25. She is a prophetic voice when she says of the House of Deputies, “Y’all need to get your act together.” Lord, please don’t let what she has seen at this convention muddle her view of the body of Christ.

Thank you for Coakey and his child-like love of You and your creation. I know he will welcome me home with a cry of Mommmmy! Thank you for Rivers. I know he has been a great help to his dad, and a tremendous comfort to my Mom while I was away.

I am so blessed to have my brother, Michael, who has been praying for all of us, as well as the deputation from his diocese in Mississippi. We’ve all needed prayers as we navigated the web of church polity and parliamentary procedure. My sister-in-law made it possible for both Henslee and I to be away during this last week, and I thank you for her, Lord.

Thank you also, Lord, for my Mother. She was given the incredible gift of this uninterrupted time with her daughter-in-law, Dawn, and we took great comfort in knowing that she was so well cared for. Thank you for a successful surgery on Tuesday as Mother received a porta-cath in order to continue her chemotherapy. I know you were there guiding the hands of Dr. Baird as he performed this procedure.

Thank you for all who were with us in Columbus from the Diocese of South Carolina. We were grateful for the prayers and encouragement of Annie Belser and Eunice Logan, who reminded us to eat and sleep, and for Lynn Skilton and Louise Salmon, who paid particular attention to our wonderful bishops. Let us not forget how blessed we are to have the strong and steady leadership of these two men.

We have been so encouraged by the faithful witness of the Episcopal Church Women from our diocese: Margie, Catherine, Sue, Nancy, and Katherine. Thank you for their presence in Columbus. I am grateful also for Kay Meyer who has accepted the call to lead the National ECW. Let her hear your voice, Lord, and give her Your vision for the women of the Episcopal Church.

Lord, I have been blessed by the company of +John, +Kendall, +Mark, +Rick, +Peter, Lonnie, Bobby, Wade, and Bob. Thank you for the sacrifices made by the deputation from South Carolina, for the time they’ve taken from families, parishes, and work in order to make this trip to what has seemed at times to be the world’s largest vestry meeting. Lord, let us spend more time in the councils of our church focusing on You, and less time debating the issues. Let us worship You as the Creator of all things, let us remember that You are the judge of all men, that You are our Redeemer, and that You are risen and alive and in our midst.

Thank you for Binky, Elfgirl, and all of the webelves who kept TitusOneNine and all of the sites hosted by CaNN up and running. Thank you for live-blogger Matt Kennedy, Sarah Hey, Kevin and the rest of the orthodox entourage with us in Columbus.

Thank you for Mary, Dana, +Martyn, Angela, Rachel, (especially Rachel!) +Tony, +Sharon, +Ellen, +Karola, +Lorne, +Don, Brad, Michael, Maria, +Freddy, Christopher, +Rob, Greg, and +Robert. We’ve been richly blessed by the support of +Richard Crocker and +Mark Eldredge as we rose to the microphones in hearings and on the floor of the HOD.

We couldn’t have survived the week without the noontime encouragement and reflections of +Ellis Brust. +David Anderson has reminded us of the continuum of events in ECUSA. Thank you for giving Cynthia Brust the words to adequately describe the events of GC2006 and the energy to keep up with the frenetic pace. During these past ten days, you have provided water in the desert and peace in the midst of the storm, and for your provision we say, ‘thank you.’

Be with us as we return home to the part of the vineyard where You have planted us. Make us faithful witnesses that we may carefully and accurately share the events of the General Convention, focusing not on those with whom we disagree, but on our assurance of your continued provision for us. Remind us that we are not properties and structures, but we are the ekklesia, the Church, ‘a people called out’ to know You and make You known to a hurting world. Illumine our hearts that we may see where we have gone astray. And Lord, give us the chance to tell one person today about the Good News we have found in You.

In the Name of Jesus,


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