Friday, July 6, 2012

July 6

July 6th at General Convention
Posted on behalf of Deborah Harmon Hines, at her request

Today for me started with a Legislative Committee.  As a member of the House of Deputioes (HOD) I am co-chair with my House of Bishop (HOB) counterpart, Obispo David Alvarez of Puerto Rico, of the Church Pension Committee. At this convention major issues for Church Pension Committee are related to either the Denominational Health Plan or the Lay Employee Pension Plan, both mandatory.  As a bi-cameral body, this works a lot like congress. This comittee has met six times in three days in addition to daily legislative sessions. Each resolution must have a legislative hearing, discussion and a decision made by the committee to: 1) adopt, 2) amend, 3) reject, or 4) dispatch. Each resolution is sent to either HOD or HOB for action. If the resolution is passes, it is sent to the other house. A resolution must pass in both houses in order to become a part of our governance structure, polity and policies.

After appointment as a HOD chair, extensive training before General Convention and immediately after arrival is required.  Appointment as a legislative committee chair or member generally comes when one has attended a number of General Conventions.  It is a lot of work. It is also very good getting to know your fellow committee members, working together to achieve something for the good of the church.

Today the HOD recognized our Bishop-elect along with seven other new bishops who had cleared the final steps to confirm their elections at General Convention. This may have been one of the largest group of new bishops confirmed at General Convention in a long time.   It was very gratifying to walk up the center aisle of the HOD with Bishop Douglas Fisher, his wife Betsy and the Western Massachusetts deputation.

It is 9:00 pm. I left the hotel at 7:00 am this morning for my committee meeting. I am tired, but feel good that we are working for the greater good of our church, the glory of God and the spread of God's kingdom. I love this work and will sleep well tonight.


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