ALL SAINTS’ ALERT – It’s that time again, please send in any new names to Stina ASAP!
I want to give you my report on Convention this year.
First, about the Eucharist on Friday evening. The Asian Commission of the Diocese was asked to put this service together. We worked as a team, and came up with a very nice liturgy. I did the work of putting the bulletin together, and making sure all of the pieces came together. I was very pleased with how it turned out. Because it was so much work, I asked that the congregation consider that Friday evening Eucharist as their weekly church service so that I did not have to prepare for Sunday morning on top of everything else. Many SKK people came, which made me very happy. Before the service, there was a dinner, and one piece of entertainment was taiko, with our own Ethan and Evan Noah playing taiko with two other small boys.
Second, about the business on Saturday. Other than passing the budget, the usual things on the agenda are to elect people to particular offices, and to debate the resolutions that people have sent to convention. The budget at convention is a pro-forma pass, about which I have reservations, but am not willing to spend time and energy on changing. What I noticed about the elections was that there were almost no contested positions, which is rather strange.
However, what made the day interesting were the resolutions. Marriage rites, Palestine/Israel divestment, Prop 47, SRI investing and General Theological Seminary were the resolutions that had people’s attention. The convention was overwhelmingly in favor of supporting Prop 47, which changes minor infractions from felonies to misdemeanors. The Prop has a couple of troubling issues, but fundamentally we are in favor of it. The bishop brought up the resolution about marriage rites, and the presenter explained that it is a resolution that we as the diocese are sending to the national level for their consideration. It asks that the language in the prayerbook be understood to be inclusive of gay couples, so that “a man and a woman” would be able to be changed to “two persons.” This is what we did with the ordination rites when women’s ordination passed. It also separates the church rite from the legal one, something that I have advocated for a long time. After the presenter spoke, the bishop looked – there was no one standing to speak pro or con, so he asked the question. It was not unanimous, but almost.
The deacon who has kept the Palestine/Israel issue in front of us for many years finally put a resolution forward that people could vote for as a group. It had to do with selective divestment of Episcopal money from American companies that are supporting Israel’s military aggression. For example, Caterpillar has produced a tank with a bulldozer on the front of it, which is used specifically to bulldoze Palestinian homes. There were other companies. This also is a resolution that will go to the national convention, but I am glad we finally passed something at the local level. People look to Diocal.
Investment and divestment were also the focus of our local diocesan investment policy. Last year, we passed an amended resolution saying we would move 5% a year of our investments out of “traditional” investments into “socially responsible investment” instruments. SRI options are finally becoming much more mainstream than they were even 5 years ago. The Investment Committee of the diocese was not very interested in having the convention give them advice on how to invest, they have been doing a very good job of it. While that is true, the convention also made it clear that we want the committee to look much more seriously and divesting from the traditional money-makers of tobacco, firearms, and the like, and investing instead in SRI portfolios. There was a compromise resolution at the end, but I felt like the Investment Committee had been given notice that things will change. I expect that suddenly they will find ways to deal with it.
Finally, you may or may not have heard anything about the General Seminary fiasco. There is much that is unknown, as is to be expected in personnel issues. What we do know is that eight of the tenured faculty at General made demands, and were told that their resignations had been accepted by the President. They countered that they had not resigned, they wanted to meet with the Board of Trustees. While I am not sure what all happened after that, because the meetings were closed, they were told that the Board had agreed to the resignations. Needless to say, the storm that ensued on social media was enormous – many of our clergy across the nation went to General. Our convention weighed in, sending a resolution saying we were dismayed at what seemed to be lack of due process. We were part of a group of voices, and the result this week was that the faculty was reinstated.
As Mary Vargas said at the end of the day, it was much more interesting this year than previous years.
MANY MANY THANKS
Thanks to everyone who helped with Convention: Myrna and Mia for coordinating the taiko performance during the pre-Eucharist supper, Kei for pictures and clergy dates for the storyboards, Ryoko for doing the Japanese reading on Saturday, Gordon for representing the laity at the meeting on Saturday, Carl for carrying the SKK banner at the Eucharist, and for everyone who came to the service Friday evening!
Thanks to Mary Vargas for coming to the Gun Violence Convocation at St Francis with me.
Thanks to everyone who helped out and came to the World Communion Service at CUPC.
Thanks to Itoko for helping out at the Curry Cookoff, and to Kei and Yuki for all of their work on the event, and to Wendy who was the MC.
11/1 Sat 3:00 pm – Day of the Dead Mass and Fiesta at St James/Santiago, Oakland
11/2 Sunday – All Saints’ Day
11/8 Saturday – Deanery meeting at St Francis, SF
11/9 Sunday – BC meeting
11/18 Tuesday – JARF @ CUPC
11/20 Thursday – ACDC @ Holy Child, Daly City
11/25 Tuesday 3:00 Kokoro Thanksgiving Service
11/27 Thanksgiving Day
11/30 Sunday – Advent begins