Reflection from the other side of the looking glass

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Andy Figueroa, Lay Deputy, General Convention Special to Interchange

I traveled to Minneapolis to worship, pray, and work with hundreds of others aligned with the American Anglican Council for the good the Episcopal Church. In the last dozen years (many friends say two dozen years or more), succeeding I believe General Conventions have introduced innovations to the doctrine, faith, and worship of the Episcopal Church by slim margins that many point to as the reasons why the Episcopal church has shrunk while the U.S. population has continued to grow that I have opposed. Still, the work of General Convention goes on like an unstoppable machine, and continuously, notwithstanding a schedule that shows a Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning "free."

Most deputies begin their mornings with early committee meetings, that are often reconvened each evening due to the incredible volume of convention business. Many meals are missed, and sleep deprivation can be a real problem for those who lack the discipline to take care of themselves. Because I was a first-time deputy, I was not assigned to work on a committee. I was asked to be part of a team monitoring the Ministry Committee for the American Anglican Council legislative team. Our senior clerical deputy, Anne Robbins, was chairman of that committee. The committee worked tirelessly and brought forward what appears to be major improvements to the Canons regarding the ministry of both ordained and lay persons. I also attended many other committee meetings to testify for or against legislation being brought before General Convention.

The American Anglican Council legislative team did an incredible job of preparing dozens of deputies to testify on controversial issues/legislation with verifiable facts, solid Biblical exegesis, and orthodox theology. Occasionally, our voice was heard and legislation was changed or compromises reached that were brought forward to and approved by the House of Deputies and House of Bishops. On the major issues, it became clear that our witness was contrary to the will of General Convention.

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