Saturday, July 7, 2012

July 6

This afternoon our diocesan Youth Commission president, Nora Vinas, from Holy Cross, Miami, was one of two youth who made a presentation to the House of Deputies on behalf of the Official Youth Presence.  She spoke of how youth programs transform the lives of young people, and “quench my thirst” for deeper involvement in the church.

“Youth events have taught me to speak up,” she said—and speak up she did!

The youth received a standing ovation from the deputies, and House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson told them, “We value you beyond measure.”

Tomorrow Nora is scheduled to speak to the House of Bishops and the ECW Triennial.

This is the fourth consecutive General Convention at which a youth from Southeast Florida has spoken on behalf of youth and youth ministries to one or both of the houses; Nora follows in the footsteps of Erin Ferguson in 2003, David Pringle in 2006 and Michael Sahdev in 2009. She is the first young woman from our diocese to be chosen to represent Province IV and the Official Youth Presence in this way.

Her speech will be posted tomorrow afternoon after she has spoken to the bishops and the ECW.

Friday, July 6, 2012

July 5

Bishops, deputies, exhibiters, convention staff and volunteers and many guests gathered this morning for the opening Eucharist. Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori was the celebrant and preacher, and was joined at the altar by Evangelical Lutheran Church of America Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson and the Rev. Dr. Betsy Miller, President of the Provincial Elders’ Conference of Moravian Church Northern Province.

“We are all here to make common cause for the healing of this world – of its many peoples and nations, as well as the rest of creation,” the Presiding Bishop said in her sermon. “Our ongoing challenge is to look beyond our own interests to God’s intent for this world.” (For the full text of her sermon go to

Deliberations began today in both the House of Deputies and the House of Bishops. Among other actions, deputies approved a resolution calling for funding the Episcopal Youth Event; asked for $1 million to establish diocesan “mission enterprise zones” to assist a diocese or a group of parishes in reaching out to under-represented groups in the church; and affirmed the “Website Challenge,” which calls on all congregations to have an effective, dynamic and current website by 2015. (For more on today’s actions in the House of Deputies, go to:

Resolutions approved by the House of Deputies must also be approved by the House of Bishops in order to take effect.

This afternoon (July 5) a group of protesters gathered by Episcopal Network for Economic Justice and UniteHere, the hospitality workers' union, marched from the state capitol to the Hyatt Regency Hotel to protest the Hyatt's harassment and intimidation of workers' attempts to organize. Indianapolis is the largest city in the country without any unionized hotels. The issues here are similar to those raised by the case of the “Mardi Gras 10” in our diocese; workers’ rights are an important part of social justice ministries throughout the Episcopal Church.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

General Convention--July 4, 2012

Today committees met, the exhibit hall was open for business and old friends from across the Church greeted each other. Legislative sessions will begin tomorrow, but this afternoon both the House of Deputies and the House of Bishops held orientation sessions, beginning with opening remarks by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori (here) and House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson (here).

There are photos on our diocesan Facebook page. If you’re on Facebook, it’s Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida; if you aren’t on Facebook, all our photo albums are public: go to

Remember that you can follow all of General Convention as it happens on the Media hub.