Tuesday’s worship and time in the full court was as amazing, of course.
But you knew it would be.
The storming started. Table groups rebelled against the process of leaving those we know at our tables to move to those we did not to discern responses to leading questions. Some commissioners wanted to hear the voices more that we knew, rather than the stranger a few tables over. Other commissioners had tables where their voices were not heard, and so needed to move. I encouraged the movement, to remember to always hear the other voice, but, also to support those at crappy tables (and yes, we all know they exist). Hopefully those individuals will find their voice at their table, but in the meantime, we need to support them well.
We finally moved into our commissions, chomping at the bit to get into our proposals.
We are church geeks, here to do the work we were asked by our conferences to do. For some the wait was a major issue. For others, it allowed us to lean into intercultural worship, the place of youth and others in our community, to breathe into the spirit of the whole. I am somewhere in the middle…concerned by the amount of work we are not completing, by the % of time spent in listening and presentations, by the shutting down of conversation from the floor. I am willing to lean into the process for another day.
The commissions process is an interesting one, whereby we discuss the proposal making recommendations, adjustments to language until such time as we have consensus or a reasonable decision, then we move to vote. In our commission, after a little bit of a rocky start, we grasped it and moved through business.
I am not copying the whole proposals below as I do not have the reworked proposal wording here.
We passed reworked proposals on
Recommending that as we enter work in the various courts of the church we recognize first nations, inuit & metis traditional territories
We confirmed that we should have a national gathering of glbttq folks in the next 3 years
We recommended resources be available for a transgender resource
We declined to give adherents the right to vote
We agreed with simulataneous electronic meetings, such as conference calls or online chat.
We agreed with voting during those meetings being done electronically. We declined to allow further work at this time on those electronic options.
We passed having a season of celebration during ordinary time upto Thanksgiving.
We passed having this children’s day being for children in care We declined the proposal re greening of church properties
We agreed that a diaconal minister be on the education and students committees…
And we did more.
The work was good…we were busy.
We struggled on this one: Saskatchewan 1. That the 40th General Council 2009 adopt a policy that the Session (or Church Board or Church Council), in the exercising its duty of oversight of the order of public worship under 5.10.1 of the Basis of Union, may not discriminate against any group of persons on the basis of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, disability or status as divorced persons to the fullest extent, subject only to the laws of Canada, its provinces and territories as may exist from time to time, especially those which protect the vulnerable; and authorize a remit to test the will of the church with respect to this policy.
Here are elements of the conversation in this you-tube.
I can’t imbed in a rush, so please accept just clicking on the link
The work continues. It is hard and your prayers for support and words of wisdom, not on how to vote, but on how to feel the spirit in the space, have been thankfully received. May I be centred enough to speak wisely and to act in a way that carries us forward to justice for all.
(will be edited later — time for breakfast)
sleep won over writing last night.