Every day here is busy. For many of us, Sunday was busy in a different way. The morning began with the Bishops United Against Gun Violence public witness. It was powerful. It was emotional. It was hot (and getting hotter). Speakers included the family of Carmen Schentup (killed in the Parkland shooting) and prophetic-witness Abigail Zimmerman (an incoming 9th grader in Waco TX). We prayed and sang and cried. We were reminded that WE are the CHANGE. We were reminded that if we don't stand up for our children, they will stand up for themselves. For those that could attend, it was an emotional start to the day. (More details here.)
The morning continued as we boarded 16 large buses to travel to the T. Don Hutto Residential Detention Center for a prayer service for the women detained there. By noon, in the Texas sun, it was definitely hotter. That did not prevent the nearly 1,000 people that turned up to bear witness to the need to keep families together. Again, we prayed and sang and cried. We walked to the front of the detention center and, even from the distance, were able to see women making motions in the window - acknowledging our presence. We later learned from @Grassroots_News
"A woman called from Hutto after today’s prayer and told us they were glued to the windows until the last bus left the detention center. Women inside were crying, saying they knew they weren’t alone after seeing so many people there. Thank you @iamepiscopalian!"
It was a powerful morning followed by nearly 4 hours of legislative session (mostly voting on on offices such as trustees, President of the House of Deputies, etc), finally back in the air conditioning. It was a full and blessed day indeed. Blessings. (Alternate Deputy Michelle)
Things to watch for:
- Legislative Sessions (watch via livestream under House of Deputies or House of Bishops) 10:30am-Noon & 2:15-5pm CDT (Today's session will be filled with conversations on D019 - Ending Church Complicity in the Occupation and B012 - Marriage Rites for the whole church. Please keep these highly passionate topics in your prayers on this day, particularly that we may have these conversation in love and respect for each other while listening to God whispering in our ears.)
- Worship (watch via livestream under Worship) 5:15pm CDT
- Impeccable pigeon captivates 79th General Convention with real digital presence - Episcopal News Service (Don't miss this fun little story!)
- July 8th Sermon by (17 year old) Andrés Gonzélez-Bonillas
- Bishops United Against Gun Violence public witness
- Episcopalians gather in public witness outside immigrant detention center
- Schentrups deliver emotional plea to end gun violence
- Gay Clark Jennings re-elected for third, final term as deputies' president
- Westboro members outnumbered by counter-protesters who support LGBTQ community
Monday's reflection from (Deputation Co-Chair) - Dean Brian Grantz
Good morning, Team EDNIN!
Today we come upon what is for me one of the most meaningful, hopeful verses in all Holy Scripture. Remembering that the context is the vexing, perplexing, and oft exasperating tension between Spirit and flesh, Paul says this: "Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words." Therein lies the majesty and mystery of God's love for us. When we do not know what to say, God is already interceding within us. When we do not know what to do, God is already working in us. When there is no language, no description, not even a coherent thought to describe the emotional and spiritual quagmires, contradictions, and conundrums we find ourselves in *in the flesh*, God is already breathing deep within us, just as God did in the beginning: a sigh that brings our mortal flesh to life.
This is a word in season as the legislative agenda shifts in earnest from committees to the floors of our respective Houses. God is already working in us as individuals, in our deputation, in our faith communities, in our diocese, and in the Church. God is already interceding for all God's children, even before we have any comprehension of our need or lack. When we do not even know how to pray - when we do not even know that we *should* pray - Jesus is already praying for us. THAT is some Amazing Grace. THAT is hope. THAT is love in motion: seeking, serving, saving the beloved. Seeking, serving, saving you.
May you know Christ's blessings to the very depths of your soul on this fine Monday.