Can you imagine asking thousands of people to keep silence for an hour and a half. That is what Frank Griswold did today. And believe it or not, it worked. Worship began this morning as usual with readings and a meditation on Jubilee. The Presiding Bishop spoke about how deeply we are loved by God. Then he asked us to spend the next hour and a half in quiet or silence. He talked about reconciliation and asked participants to seek out people with they had some disagreement. We were invited to take a walk, sit with a friend or pray alone. Hundreds lined up to walk the canvas labyrinth set up in the worship space. The Schola Cantorum from the Diocese of East Carolina sang while we prayed.
Everywhere in the worship hall people walked and cried, talked and hugged, knelt and stood to reflect. My monastic friends would call what we experienced lesser silence. People did engage each other when they needed to, greeting people in peace, talking quietly with a friend, or walking through the in the park outside. Many were moved to tears by the experience. The normal everyday legislative session did not begin until late in the afternoon. Deputies and staff are still getting used to one another. The mechanics of the House of Deputies takes time to function smoothly. The electronic voting equipment makes even old hand deputies feel a bit uncertain.
In the evening Integrity, the organization that supports gays and lesbians in the church, held its General Convention Eucharist. It was reported that 1200 people attended. The Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist was certainly packed. The crowd was joyful. The lengthy procession included the Denver Gay Men's Chorus and gay and lesbian clergy. Bishop Steven Charleston had the crowd on its feet and cheering as he cried, "The time is Now!"
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