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February 11, 2018: A Report from the 2018 Diocesan Convention

by John Longstreth

I was fortunate to serve in the All Souls lay delegation to the Diocesan Convention at the Cathedral in January along with vEnessa Acham. Father Jadon, Linda Mahler, Rachelle Sam, and Lesley Krauland also took part. I had been looking forward to the experience, and it was in fact a very inspiring and enjoyable day. The highlights included:

  • Meeting and reconnecting with members of other parishes. 
  • A stimulating address from the Rev. Dr. Delman Coates of the
  • Mt. Ennon Baptist church in Clinton, Maryland, who spoke of his church’s success in embracing change when necessary, and in avoiding “the false assumption that the only way to grow is to embrace a prosperity gospel and give up on social justice.” 
  • Passing resolutions to offer sanctuary to immigrants (offered by a Haitian immigrant who is now the rector of a church in Prince George’s County); encourage inclusion of transgender people; and promote the use of gender-inclusive language for God in future revisions to The Book of Common Prayer or Hymnal. 
  • Updates from Bishop Mariann on inter-parish cooperation initiatives in the diocese, including the Bishop Walker School for Boys and Latinx outreach efforts in Aspen Hill.
  • Electing alternate delegates to the triennial, church-wide General Convention this summer in Austin, Texas and to various diocesan committees.

All Souls got two “shoutouts”: first, as one of the few parishes to fully tithe to the Diocese; and second, for our hosting, with St. Margaret’s and St. Thomas’, of the Thirsting For Justice monthly gatherings. As I sat with the St. Thomas delegation at lunch, I heard how active All Souls has become in the effort, particularly our younger members.  Also, St. Thomas’ priest sponsored the two gender-inclusiveness resolutions we adopted, which suggests to me that the effort is making an impact in raising awareness of and promoting solutions for various social justice issues.

On a personal note, the positive experience inspired me to think about getting more involved with the Diocese, and I am considering joining a committee that enlists lawyers to assist in disciplinary cases (in which our parishioner Lee Davis also participates). 

I’d like to thank the parish again for giving me this opportunity.  I would encourage anyone to take part in future conventions, and everyone to keep abreast of our life as a diocese. For further details and full text of the addresses, resolutions, etc., visit https://is.gd/EDOWConvention

Last Published: February 8, 2018 11:54 AM
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