Thursday, July 16, 2009

Money, mission and courtesy

Today began with a special order to consider the budget. We had the rules for the special order read to us. Then we spent more than 30 minutes asking questions about the rules. Then we began talking about the budget and promptly forgot the rules. When we finally settled down, it was almost time to go to Eucharist. We started at 9:30 and hadn't adopted the budget by 11:30. I give thanks that this is not how we do business in East Tennessee!

After church and lunch, we did finally adopt the budget but the last 19 minutes of debate took us about 45 minutes. Except that there were no commercials or color announcers, passing the budget was much like a football game. What is supposed to take 6o minutes really takes three hours. :-)

And then we put on our running shoes and took off. All the courtesy resolutions have been passed and sent on to the Bishops. We passed resolutions on the environment, the Defense of Marriage Act, Honduras, some changes to the canons and we defeated a resolution to give the Official Youth Presence the vote. A deputy who is about 18 got up and said if the youth presence wanted to vote, they should run for General Convention like everyone else. That pretty much convinced those on the fence!

I had a short meeting of the Prayer Book committee immediately following the 6:00 recess but our legislative day is now over. There is no session tonight for which I know we all give thanks. Many of the EAst Tennessee deputies are heading downstairs to have dinner together, having decided we are just too tired to venture out. I'm having breakfast with a friend - a real breakfast with eggs! - in the morning. This is only the second time I've had the time to go somewhere, sit down and be served that most important meal of the day.

Tomorrow will be the final sprint for the finish line. The finish line will happen even if we are not ready for it. So pray for extra stamina tomorrow and we will see you back in East Tennessee at post-Convention meetings next week. The one for Upper East is at St. Christopher's on the 22nd at 7:00. That's Wednesday night.

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