07/08/09: The first day of the 76th General Convention began with the Eucharist, at which Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori preached about heart transplants: “We are in cardiac crisis if we think we can close the doors and swing our incense and sing our hymns and all will be right with the world. The heart of this body is mission. …How will this heart push more lifeblood out into a languishing world?”
The day ended with a forum on the global economic crisis that featured Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams. “What we have seen in our world is not simply an economic crisis but a crisis of truthfulness,” Williams said. “We need to define more carefully and more generously what we mean by wealth.” Panel members Sarah Eagle Heart, Michael Schut and Dr. Stephen Dzisi, described by House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson as “young vibrant persons doing God’s mission in the world,” got a standing ovation for their “two-sentence” responses to a question about what the Episcopal Church needs to hear about joining God’s mission in the world.
In between: Legislative committee hearings continued, early and late. The House of Deputies conducted its first legislative session in fives, adopting “Five Marks of Mission” and the five mission priorities put forward by the Program, Budget and Finance Committee. The House of Bishops passed its first resolutions, A075 and A076 on relations with the Presbyterian Church and the Church of Sweden, which now go to the House of Deputies for consideration. The Episcopal Church Women’s Triennial, concurrent with General Convention, had its opening ceremony. And, even with a sagging economy, Episcopalians still go shopping.
For an even briefer brief, check out the Daily Wrap in the on-demand video section of the Media Hub, where Heidi Shott issues a six-word sermon challenge. Video from many of the day’s big events is also at the Hub.