This morning started early which is beginning to feel normal. It's not that much earlier than I start working at home but at home, I don't begin with meetings!
We began deliberating on and thinking about how to craft legislation on same sex blessings. The debate is complicated by state laws this time around. Several states have legalized same gender marriages and the church in those states needs a way to respond. Regardless of what the marriage statutes are from state to state, The Episcopal Church is incorporated in each state and so our canons cannot stray from state law - as I understand it. So how do we write a resolution that will conform in all states? I'm not sure we have figured that out yet. We shall see tomorrow.
This morning's legislative session was again a committee of the whole to allow people to speak about B033. For the most part, people spoke in favor of moving on rather than repealing it, something that hasn't been done very often in our history and isn't really helpful. The World Mission Committee will now take all the comments and begin to craft that resolution.
After lunch, I changed places with Ann Markle and became an alternate for the afternoon. So I had time for a nice lie down, finished a book and had my nails done. What a treat! And then it was back into a committee meeting but a brief one.
Ann, Kay Reynolds, Katie Piper and I had dinner together and then took a cab to a grocery store for breakfast bars, fruit (raisins for me, nectarines for others) and a few other things to make our days easier and our breakfasts and lunches less expensive. The cab was very late coming, arriving just as we were loading our stuff and ourselves into another one. He was a delightful cabbie, listens to classical music and can't imagine why people like to get drunk. Neither can we so it was a friendly ride back. We had been offered a ride by a retired bishop and his wife if we were still there when they came back out of the grocery store. Since they were driving a fairly small car and none of us are fairly small, it's a good thing we didn't have to take him up on it.
The good news tonight is that the House of Bishops passed our Bishop's resolution today without amending it. This is a resolution to cut in half the budgets for all interim bodies. I said more about it on the Diocesan blog site (http://gc.etdiocese.net).We ought to get it in the House of Deputies in the next few days. Of course, we are already behind by at least a day in our own business. The most controversial thing to come before us this afternoon was the consent to the election of the new bishop for Ecuador Central. It is a long story, the short version of which is that the election was very close and the deputies here are contesting it. The Credentialing Committee, headed by Lynn Schmissrauter of our deputation, feels that the bishop-elect is well qualified and a fine man. I am told that the consent has been tabled to a time certain and that's a shame.
Tomorrow is another day and who knows what joys await us. It really is exciting to be here and an honor to serve East Tennessee as a deputy.