OUR GENERAL CONVENTION 2000 COVERAGE includes this report from Anglicans Online correspondent Judy Fleener. Other reports are listed here.


Friday
In Denver
7 July 2000

You are the salt of the earth. You are the light of the world. Salt was spread around the House of Deputies today. The person who did this reported that he had spread salt on the floor near several deputations, liberal and conservative. It was scattered under the seats of some of the gay members of the House who are "out". The implications of that action are seen in much less positive way than the quote from the gospel. Salt of exorcism was spread among us.

Decorum is a very high value in the House of Deputies. There is usually no reaction to speeches allowed. Applause is expressly forbidden. Deputies are courteous to one another. They wait for the presider to leave the podium before they rise from their seats. This salt scattering was a definite violation of the spirit of the House. There was stunned silence when the act was reported. The vice president, George Werner, was presiding at the time of the incident. He asked deputies to remain on tthe floor for a time of silence and prayer. Soon many of the deputies were up, holding hands, and singing. "We Shall Overcome", Jesus Loves the Little Children", and "Jesus Loves Me" were all sung by deputies. When the singing quieted the House was called back to order and deputies returned to their seats. The salt spreader spoke. He seemed unabashed and spoke about his justification for his actions. Other deputies from his diocese spoke to disassociate themselves from that event.

A gay priest said, "This happens to us all the time. It is good that it is out in the open." Anger, fear for the church, and frustration were all feelings mentioned by deputies.

How can these things be?

Judy Fleener

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