Monday, July 13, 2009

Sunday Eucharist and UTO ingathering

July 12, 2009

At this morning’s Eucharist the cavernous hall in the convention center was nearly full, as parishioners from all over the Diocese of Los Angeles joined for worship with deputies, bishops, exhibitors and everyone else who is participating in any way in General Convention.

At the head of the first group of bishops in the procession was our deputy Char Vinik, who served as one of four vergers for the service. Right behind her was Bishop Frade. (Char’s blog at has additional pictures of her with participants in the service.)

The Korean Drum Band that opened the Exhibit Hall on Tuesday was part of the procession, along with rippling streamers and dancers swirling scarves. Several thousand voices reverberated in familiar hymns--with some stanzas sung in Spanish--and choirs and soloists added music ranging from Mozart to Gospel.

At the heart of the service was the UTO offering; as each diocese was announced, a representative offered at the altar a piece of paper with the amount of that diocese’s United Thank Offering collected over the past triennium—a total of $6.7 million churchwide.

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori was celebrant and preacher for the service, and former Presiding Bishops Frank Griswold and Ed Browning concelebrated with her—probably the first time that three presiding bishops have been at the altar together at a General Convention.

In her sermon Bishop Katharine urged that we “travel light.”

“The offering that we receive today is a sacrament of traveling light,” she said. “When we hold something lightly, we’re much more able to offer it freely, like sharing peace – if you find it, great, if not, let it go and move on. The United Thank Offering is a sacramental sign of inward gratitude for what is, turned to outward and visible mission.”

“Mission is our life, and it is a life spent on the road, traveling light, anticipating hospitality, and sharing what we have.”
The complete text of her sermon is at

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