Friday, May 29, 2015

The Presiding Bishop and General Convention

This morning I awoke to the happy news that my article with profiles of all four candidates for Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church has been published online and will soon appear in print in the June 6 issue of The Living Church. Having done profiles of two candidates in advance of the last election nine years ago (including one of Katherine Jefferts Schori, the eventual selection) I was pleased to be asked to do profiles of all four candidates this time.

As I noted in my article, we are in a very different era than we were in 2006--especially as far as the number and variety of information sources available to us. In 2006 the iPhone had not been announced and Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube were in their infancy. Now, in only a few clicks, one can have more than enough information about the candidates as well as the General Convention as a whole. Scott Gunn has provided an excellent summary of the reports and resolutions of General Convention in his series of articles. Others have provided their own commentary, including an excellent series from Susan Snook in her blog and via the Acts 8 Moment group she helps lead. Speaking of the Acts 8 Moment, there is also the related Memorial to the Church at the newly-created Episcopal Resurrection site.

We are now less than one month away from the 78th General Convention of the Episcopal Church and, as you can well imagine, there are fast and furious discussions going on the House of Deputies and Bishops email list, the General Convention Facebook group, and via innumerable blogs. This coming convention promises to either be a transformational moment in which The Episcopal Church institutionally breaks itself open to facilitate more effective mission and ministry in the twenty-first century or the biggest disappointment in recent memory as the energy behind the near-unanimous vote for restructuring the Episcopal Church dissipates amid the realities of parochialism and turf wars. Bishop Andy Doyle has blogged about our human tendency towards limited vision here and I hope we are able to rise above such tendencies and truly position the church for twenty-first century ministry. We shall see.