Dear Friends -
Sunday, July 8 is my day to file a report about the happenings of the General Convention here in Austin, Tx. I am a first time clergy deputy for our beloved Church’s General Convention. When I sat at our designated table on the floor of the Convention on Day One, I was filled with a deep sense of gratitude for this incredible privilege.
We had a sabbath from legislative hearings Sunday morning. Some in the deputation attended the Bishops United Against Gun Violence gathering in Downtown Austin. Some 30 plus bishops in full vestments, along with clergy and laity, stood with the Schentrup family whose daughter, Carmen, was killed in school shooting in Parkland, Fla.
Others from the deputation attended services at local parishes while still others boarded one of the 19 buses and attended a prayer service at the T. Don Hutto Residential Center in Tyler, Tx. 500 women are presently detained there and over 1000 joined the Presiding Bishop in prayer and protest of the separation of families pursuant to enforcement of immigration laws.
We returned to the legislative session in the afternoon and began consideration of a resolution on a same sex marriage rite. Debate continues tomorrow. Afterward, we concluded the evening as dinner guests of Jeannie and Bishop Johnson at Perry’s Steakhouse and Grille.
The work of the General Convention is around the clock. The days are rich and full and fast paced. The days begin with hearings at 7:30 a.m. then we move to legislative sessions followed by worship services. After worship, there are often more hearings and special events to attend. It is educational, inspirational and exhausting! I have grown in appreciation, understanding and love for the breadth and depth, the complexities and camaraderie, the gifts and governance of The Episcopal Church. It is an honor to serve as a deputy.
Gratefully - Gayle+
The Rev. Gayle McCarty
St. Luke’s Episcopal Church
Jackson, Tn

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