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Thursday, July 09, 2009

 

General Convention Journal, Day Two

General Convention Journal, Day Two
Dear Friends in Christ,
      Another busy day in Anaheim. This is the first legislative day, which means that the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies met in their first sessions to get organized. The Albany deputation decorated their identification pole with a beaver and a cross, and started a competitive trend! The first legislative sessions were otherwise little more than announcements and technical information. They stood in recess at 9:00 am and we attended the Opening Eucharist, a joyful celebration which featured the announcement that the Episcopal Church of the Philippines, begun by missionary efforts of The Episcopal Church, has reached a financially independent status. PB Schori preached the sermon, emphasizing the importance of mission for the life of the church. Her text was Ezekiel 36:24-26, wherein God promises us "a new heart and a new spirit." The music was uplifting and the celebration gave the convention an exciting beginning.
      Committees continued to meet after lunch, and the more meaty resolutions are coming up on the agenda. Very little of substance was reported out from committees today, but that will change soon.
      Archbishop Rowan Williams arrived today, and is scheduled to address the convention on the subject of global poverty. Look for a report on that tomorrow.
      The deputation is in good spirits, getting over the jet lag and excited to dig into the legislative details. Haven't had a chance today to poll them for specific prayer concerns, but please hold us in your prayers generally. More tomorrow.
      Yours in Christ, Fr. Chip Strickland

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

 

General Convention Journal, Day One

Subject: Diocesan Update Addendum - Gen Convention Day One
General Convention Journal, Day One
Dear Friends in Christ,
      I’ve been asked by Bishop Bill to provide a daily update on the General Convention. Looks like I will be able to make short reports each evening just before supper, so a “day” will mean the events of the previous night and the morning and afternoon of the day of the report.
      We arrived safely in Anaheim following uneventful flights through good weather. We had some minor hassles with ground transportation and room assignments, but those were quickly resolved. The convention facilities and our accommodations are comfortable and convenient, and of course the Southern California weather is magnificent.
      We had a meeting on Monday night over snacks and refreshments and agreed to meet each morning for prayer. That will be a challenge; the legislative day begins very early! Committees are schedule to meet as early as 7:00 am. Committees generally meet through the morning, with legislative activity in the afternoons.
      Following Morning Prayer over breakfast, our deputation moved on to registration and orientation. I visited the Constitution and Canons Committee, which started its work at 8:00 and took up the revisions to Title IV, relating to discipline of the clergy. There is a comprehensive rewrite of Title IV being proposed to the GC.
      At 2:00 pm we assembled to hear the opening addresses from the Presiding Bishop and the President of the House of Deputies. Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori spoke first, urging us to continue on the “road to Jerusalem,” a journey which she stressed included all persons, and she urged us not to languish “among the date palms of Jericho,” but rather to get on with the journey. There was little in the way of detail on this, though there was a sense that the Episcopal Church should continue in the course that has been set in recent years. Dr. Bonnie Anderson spoke next, and emphasized the importance of the Public Narrative, a project which seeks to bring people together by telling important life stories and seeking to meld those stories into a common voice.
      As I write this, the deputation is working through a practice run of the Public Narrative project and then attending a further orientation session. Committee meetings reconvene tonight.
      I am attending my first General Convention, so I have no experience in reading these gatherings, but I do sense a spirit of foreboding. There is concern over budget woes and the fissures in the Anglican Communion. There is anticipation over a planned address by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, which I believe is planned for tomorrow.
      The deputation is scheduled for 13 and 14-hour days, and I expect it will begin to wear on them soon. I have it a little easier, monitoring canonical changes and trying to help make sense of the Title IV revisions, while doing a little networking with other Chancellors. Please hold the deputation in your prayers – we feel the support and appreciate it.
Prayer concerns:
      for parents away from children, and deputies away from their spouses;
      for patience and perseverance in the face of a packed schedule;
      for balance and good habits in work, prayer, eating and sleeping;
      for patience amid the inevitable foul-ups and inconveniences in such a large undertaking;
      that our deputation may speak effectively;
      for a reduction of the spirit of legalism; and above all,
      for a clear sense of our mission given to us by Our Lord.
God bless you and thank you for your support.
Yours in Christ, Fr. Chip Strickland
Chancellor, Diocese of Albany

 

Urgent prayer request from Ireland

Subject: Urgent prayer request from Ireland
Dear prayer partners
      Due to a change in the law you can no longer bring people from overseas to do voluntary work in the church without a Sponsorship License which is issued by the Home Office. In April we had applied for this but had our application rejected because we had paid the wrong fee. We have since reapplied again and it is currently being considered, hopefully a decision before the weekend.
      Please pray that we will be successful as we have several overseas year out volunteers waiting to come over but without this license they can not apply for visas.
      Thanks
      George
      Please can you pray for Linda. Linda was at the hospital today for the results of an MRI scan she had last week and the medical staff have diagnosed her with an acoustic neuroma. This is a type of brain tumour at the base of the brain and attached to the nerves linked to her ear, face and eye. The tumor is about 3cm square but the good news is that it is not believed to be malignant.
      Linda has to see a neurosurgeon on the 27th of July and the most likely option is to have an operation to remove the growth.
      Please pray that the tumour would shrink and that everyone would know the peace that only God can provide.
      Thanks
      Adrian
For our praying friends in Albany, Adrian is our curate.
      Father we uplift Linda before your throne of Grace and pray for your miraculous and healing touch of Jesus to rebuke and heal Linda of this tumour right now in the name Jesus.
      We have a prayer request from our web site crying out for help but the have not left us any details of who they are or how to make contact. The request says "I'm empty I want to die I'm so angry for no reason help!
      Father you know who this person is and all about them, I pray that you can reach inside their mind and comfort and grant them your peace, I pray in their distress that they would reach out and experience your saving Grace in Jesus name.
      One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.
      For in the the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock. Psalm 27 v 4&5
      Many thanks
      Hugh

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