Diocesan Convention Report
Dear People of God,
Thank you for the privilege of representing the Parish of the Epiphany at the Diocesan Convention of 2018. It was exhilarating to witness the example of our Diocese’s representative governing body conducting its affairs with respect, dignity, and fairness. The courage of our fellow Episcopalians in addressing some of the most troubling moral problems in our world today was an inspirational contrast to the integrity of our current national legislative leadership. Our own witness by members of the Parish of the Epiphany stood out above the crowd, with Lisa Garcia, outgoing treasurer of the Diocese, speaking firmly and courageously about the budget; Thomas Brown calling us to consider the issue of updating the language in our Book of Common Prayer; and, Roz Nazzaro and Pam Chester standing at the microphone ready to support the resolution seeking immigrant justice. Erika Almquist affirmed how much the Diocesan Youth Council had meant to her as a youth from the Parish of the Epiphany.
The most controversial item on the agenda was the budget for 2019. The Budget Committee had invested much time and effort into a restructuring of the way the budget is put together. There were complex and controversial issues, which the committee tried to address in the pre-conference forums, but there was still considerable discussion and dissatisfaction on the floor. Although the budget was finally passed, it was clear that a good deal more work needs to be done before there is a consensus.
We were thrilled to experience the diversity of the Episcopal Church in Massachusetts. We were not a homogenous group, and many voices were included and honored. At the Eucharist, the first lesson was read in Yoruba. The Gospel was read in Portuguese. A moving testimony was given in Spanish by a member of St. Luke’s, Chelsea, imploring us to support endangered immigrants. LGBTQ members had the courage to share a few of their stories to emphasize how important our support and witness really is. One of our newest missions (St. Peter’s Church, Waltham) treated us to Ugandan song and dance by the children of the Sunday School. Another new mission, Grace Chapel in Brockton, shared the success of their youth program, modeled after a Nigerian youth program and the IEP process of our public educational system. Their marching band played a rousing rendition of “When the Saints Go Marching In.” Members of the Diocesan Youth Council shared stories of the impact DYC has made in their lives after graduation. And a motion was passed to strike the age limitation from the canons so that lay delegates may not be excluded from the election because of their mature age. Our church is rich and diverse in so many ways!
For complete information on the Diocesan Convention please click here.
Your friends in Christ,
Carolyn Pershouse and Gayle Pershouse