August 4, 2003

From figueroa Mon Aug 4 22:47:03 2003
Subject: General Convention Report 8/4
To: philemon
Date: Mon, 4 Aug 2003 22:47:03 -0400 (EDT)

Dear faithful AAC members and friends and guests,

Report from the General Convention at Minneapolis

Brothers and sisters,

As far as getting issues settled, it was a very messy day today. Two misconduct allegations are being investigating about The Rev. Canon Gene Robinson. The House of Bishops has postponed action on consent to his election pending a preliminary inquiry being conducted by the bishop of Western Massachusetts.

Bishops are also holding up action on same-sex blessing liturgies issue until the matter is resolved. What makes this messy, is that if the allegations turn out to be true, we do not have closure on the outstanding issue.

Full details can be found at official and unofficial news sources. Recommend you see this afternoon's ENS report by David Skidmore at:

Otherwise, we are of good cheer. God has called us here to be faithful.

Your many messages of prayer and support have been shared and are greatly appreciated.

The AAC has invited Forward in Faith to bring their daily Eucharist to the main sanctuary at Central Lutheran Church for Tuesday morning at 9:30 a.m., a direct competition with the General Convention Eucharist. Bishop Duncan (Pittsburgh) will be presiding and preaching. I'll be there of course, no doubt with hundreds of others supporters.

At today's General Convention Eucharist, after a luke warm sermon by the PB, he instructed the table bible study/discussion groups to discuss how each of us has found Jesus here at the General Convention in the midsts of the current conflict. That was changing the rules, but that's cool. I had a story, but didn't want to go first. Finally, one of the priests at our table, read the Gospel, not following the PB's instructions, but one of the lay alternates pitched in then giving her testimony. After that it was hard to get a word in edgewise. At what seemed like the last moment, I pitched in: "I came to General Convention early to worship and pray and work with the American Anglican Council . . . " and then the time was up and everybody stood up.

But, after the peace, while the choir was singing quietly, they all ganged up on me to tell the rest of the story. So, I said: "I came to General Convention early to worship and pray and work with the American Anglican Council for the Episcopal Church, against the General Convention that over succeeding General Conventions has taken us down this path towards destruction that has been charted by the United Church of Christ before us. I have found Jesus in the young AAC volunteers, lovingly passing out materials each morning, making signs at the spur of the moment proclaiming love in the face of the hate filled signed being carried by some other groups. I have also found Jesus in the many other AAC volunteers, who are here at great personal sacrifice, pouring out their lives to defend the faith and doing the work that God has called them to do. I have also found Jesus in the many other deputies on both sides of the issues that both passionately believe in who have reached out to each other in the midsts of this conflict in love."

It was a great teaching moment. People were visibly moved.

All for now.

Andy Figueroa

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