Tuesday, July 7, 2009

so it begins...

Today, the Gen. Con. got in full swing. The display hall opened at noon, lots of committee meetings in morning and evening and 2-5:30 session of House of Deputies. The first part was a presentation on Public Narrative--a process we'll be using for a total of 6 hours over three days to share 'stories' in an effort to come to an understanding of the Mission of the Church. It was developed by Marshall Ganz of Harvard's Kennedy School. Ganz is a long time organizer in the area of civil rights. It sounds interesting. We'll be doing it with people from our own diocese so it can translate, hopefully, back to CT.

The second piece of time was the orientation for the House of Deputies. It was an amusing and light-hearted way of presenting the rules of order of the House. Quite creative. Also, the theme of the Convention--"ubuntu"--an African word that is difficult to translate. It means, roughly--"I in You and You in me". It is used to express the communal connection of self-idenity that is quite problematic to westerners. We see 'identity' as ' individuality' while 'ubuntu' defines our personal identities in relationship to others and to the environment. A longer way of defining it is something like "I am who I am because you are who you are..." The Convention theme seeks to guide us toward understanding that we do not exist as individuals in isolation, but as individuals in community and relationship and interdependence. The priest who described 'ubuntu' was Michael Battle, the Canon Theologian of the Diocese of LA. Michael, some of you might remember, was a seminarian at St, John's back in the 1990's. He went on to get a Ph.D. from Duke and is well known within the church. He was passionate and profound in his presentation. It is a remarkable and transforming concept if we can incorporate it into our oh-so-individualistic thinking and being.

I have to go to the Caucus of the Ct deputation now. if it doesn't run too late I'll post again tonight.

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About Me

some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.