Greetings Friends,
 
It is my turn to share my experiences of General Convention. Today was day 9, our last day.  As I walked down 2nd Avenue toward the Convention Center this morning, I thought back to what I felt as this journey began.  This was my first time to participate with the deputation from our diocese.  It was a joy and a privilege to be a part of this ministry.  I learned so much about our active role in considering resolutions that become a vital part of what governs us a whole church body.  Many of the resolutions we addressed pertained to historical events and conflicts. I was following the committee that focused on the Israel-Palestine conflict.  I believed I could not address this issue without digging deeper and learning more about the history. I did some reading prior to coming here. I reached out here to various organizations that worked with Palestinian refugees , and met with someone that works with the American Jewish Congress.  There were opportunities for debate at the committee meetings.  I wanted to hear both sides, and be receptive to what was being shared.  Their stories need to be heard, and we need to listen with the ears of our hearts.  I was appreciative to have the time to reach out to talk with people and gain more understanding.
My time was split as I was also involved with the ECW Triennial. I was able to catch-up with others in our Province, and participated in the elections, and heard resolutions.
I participated in the gathering for Bishops Against Gun Violence, and heard youth speaking out and demanding change. As a teacher, I find it sad to now include active shooter drills in our schools. There will be more opportunities to support Bishops Against Gun Violence in the future.
I will forever hold in my heart the prayer and song protest at the Hutto Detention Center. We knew the women saw us as they were moving white towels on the narrow windows. We were told they cried and felt they weren’t alone when they saw we were there to support them.  We gave them hope, and were told they watched until the last bus left. I found it was difficult to leave, it just felt uncomfortable.
What we did here was all about Holy work. Our work here is done, but it really opens the door for what we need to do as we return home.  Our resolutions will be our playbook, and we need to act on what we adopted. 
We believed in the importance of adopting these resolutions, we need to validate the importance by how we follow up on our vote.
Tomorrow we will be traveling home, keep us in your prayers for safe travel.
 
Peace,
Jean Arehart
 






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