Presiding officers take the stage

The bishops sat with members of the House of Deputies in a joint session this afternoon to hear opening remarks from Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and Bonnie Anderson, President of the House of Deputies.

Jefferts Schori called for “a responsive set of structures, more connected at all levels of the church and better able to tap the gifts of all parts of the body.”

“Re-forming and re-imagining ourselves for mission in a changed world is the most essential task we have before us.  We’re not going to fix the church or the world at this convention, but we can do something to make the church a better tool and instrument for God’s mission,” Jefferts Schori said, if the church can “discover God creating new life among us and listen and look for Jesus.”

Acknowledging the Independence Day holiday, Anderson framed her remarks in the context of American and Episcopal Church history, and called for more voices at the table and more shared leadership.

“As we set about discussing how to restructure the church, we need to remember that the blessings of independence earned through struggle in many countries of the Episcopal Church are not yet enjoyed in common in the church either,” Anderson said.  “We have not yet realized the ideal of shared leadership of laity,

General Convention secretary Gregory Straub addresses today’s joint session in Indy-appropriate attire. Thank you, Karin Hamilton, for this photo.

clergy and bishops. Too many potential leaders in our church are excluded because people who already have power and access to money, technology and education enjoy the privileges not available to all of us.”

Text of the Bishop Jefferts Schori’s address is here, and Bonnie Anderson’s address is here.

While these many good words were washing over the house, we were wondering:

Why are they waving the finish flag so soon?  Turns out it was only the jacket of the esteemed secretary, Gregory Straub.  It’s not over till it’s over.

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