Episcopal Life Convention Daily
Thursday, 6 July 2000  

This is a web version of the ECUSA General Convention Daily. Anglicans Online has produced this web version, from the official PDF edition, for your reading convenience. Other days' issues are here.

Chinnis and Griswold address joint orientation

On the afternoon of July 4, Dr. Pamela Chinnis, president of the House of Deputies, and Presiding BishopFrankT. Griswold addressed a joint orientation session, outlining their hopes and expectations for General Convention. Noting the number of first-time deputies (37 percent according to electronic vote taken at orientation, 41 percent, according to Dr. Louie Crew's informal tally), Chinnis said these new faces indicate that perceptions of General Convention as "hidebound bureaucracy" are "exaggerated."

Acknowledging the issues that divide, Chinnis identified two aspects of Jubilee, the convention theme. She called it a time to lie fallow, to reenergize, "a time of stillness to look inward for grace and wisdom." And, she said, it is also a time for action to "make justice and create freedom, [a time to] challenge the reigning establishment.

"As individuals and convention, we will be pulled in both directions. Some tugging will be painful, but we must hold fast to the Anglican way, the via media," she urged, encouraging listeners to find Christ in one another.

Griswold promised to expand on the Jubilee theme in his daily homilies, and focused on the importance of maintaining unity and openness, particularly in discussions concerninghuman sexuality. "When we talk about sexuality, we are not dealing with an abstraction. Sexuality is not a disembodied 'it' removed from human experience," he said. "My friends, we are all sexual beings, and if you haven't acknowledged that, take a minute to do so."

Reiterating a theme he has articulated before, Griswold spoke of the discipline of active listening, of conversation and conversion (from the same root word) and reconciliation. He called on General Convention to "guard the precious gift of unity"; to recognize the image and authenticity of Christ in one another; and to be receptive to the truth as Jesus reveals it to us "in the diverse opinions, perceptions and experiences of those we encounter."

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