Monday, July 6, 2009

Great is Thy Faithfulness

Sunday night and we’re (almost) ready to roll!

The Integrity General Convention core team gathered in Anaheim today for Eucharist and orientation. Integrity’s been witnessing at General Convention for thirty years (since 1979) and each time we’ve learned from our past experience. The investment in infrastructure we have been able to make this year as a result of funding from the Arcus Foundation has certainly paid off. There are many new faces around the table here, and as we share snippets of our life stories the wealth of talent and experience is impressive. We certainly miss those old-timers who did not come this year in order to make space for new campaigners but are excited by new possibilities.

Integrity Core Team members are very aware that we are here as a result of the generosity of Integrity members and friends and that our role is to represent you as we witness to God’s inclusive love. In the homily this morning (available at Caro Hall reminded us that although our legislative agenda is to move the church to a point where it fully includes all the baptized in all the sacraments, that is only part of our bigger mission to further the Reign of God and to work for reconciliation.

The Anglican Communion Listening Process has come under a lot of fire from conservatives in recent weeks, but any relationship has to start with listening. Right now some of the Integrity team are attending a workshop on communicating in a way that builds peace--honing their skills in listening to and affirming those whose ideas are different. Since the Lambeth Conference there seems to have been a lot more openness to listen and we are looking forward to welcoming the Archbishop of Canterbury in a few days to experience firsthand the Episcopal Church in conversation.

The video Voices of Witness-Africa gives voice to some in the Communion who would have no other way to be heard. There’s a clip from it on IntegriTV today and we will have a full screening later during Convention. That video, made by Cynthia Black and Katie Sherrod, would not have been possible without generous financial support from many friends.

We start this Convention with full hearts. Hearts full of gratitude for all those who have worked for full inclusion at General Convention over the last thirty years, gratitude for those who have made it possible for us to be here again this year, gratitude for the talent and professionalism of those gathered here this year, and gratitude to the God who calls us and who is faithful.

Watch it here.

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