Friday, January 29, 2010
Diocesan Convention: The church militant here on earth.
The Episcopal Diocese of Newark meets today, beginning with Eucharist at the Cathedral in Newark with business sessions across the street at the Robert Treat Hotel. We'll have our diocesan banquet there tonight.
Tomorrow begins at 6:45 AM with the Women's Commission Breakfast where we'll hear a speaker on the topic of human trafficking. Eucharist again at 8:30 AM but in the hotel (not my favorite) followed by a full day of business.
We've got a few controversial resolutions before us - I mean, we ARE the Diocese of Newark - but, for the most part, the controversy will be around a proposed new Outreach Program (and fund drive to launch it), as well as reduced terms for the Trustees (from 'life term' to a term of 5 years).
The Women's Commission has submitted two resolutions, one entitled "The Evil of Trafficking" which urges all congregations in the diocese during Lent to address the problem by using the resources available at the Bishop Anand Resource Center. This one is on the consent calendar.
"Studying the Stained Glass Ceiling" requests the Human Resources Advisory Committee, in consultation with the Women's Commission, to survey diocesan congregations and search committees about clergy deployment patters and compensation packages, "paying particular attention to differences by gender."
That will, no doubt, pass without much debate. Oh, some tired old windbag will get up and say something about how "there's no gender discrimination in the Diocese of Newark so why are we doing this?" Folks will groan in their seats. The bishop will pound the gavel and call for order. Some folks will giggle.
It's part of the entertainment value of Christians trying to do the work of the church militant here on earth.
This too shall pass - along with the resolution. The controversy will come next year when we report our findings to the Diocese. Stay tuned.
I'll just have time to catch my breath on Saturday night before we get ready for our Annual Meeting at St. Paul's. It's going to be a difficult meeting. Lots of folks are unemployed or now underemployed or scared to death of being 'downsized' and our pledges show it.
We've had to reduce and consolidate some positions and add a line item for debt service to repair the roof (FINALLY!).
The business end of the church may not exactly be the "kosher" part of the body, but it is important, none the less.
I'll try to post updates from the floor of convention. You know. Because it will be sooOOOooo exciting.
I'm told there's WiFi at the Robert Treat Hotel. God forbid Convention should keep us from the "real" work of the church.
See ya in church!