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 http://episcopaldigitalnetwork.com/ens/2012/07/05/presiding-bishop-preaches-at-general-conventions-opening-eucharist/
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: http://episcopaldigitalnetwork.com/ens/2012/07/05/funding-for-youth-event-evangelism-mark-house-of-deputies-first-day/)
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.