The theme for our diocesan convention this year is “The Jesus Movement.” Convention is a giant worship service, reunion, party, and board meeting all rolled into one. One of the highlights of Convention is the Bishop’s address. There are also inspiring presentations from people and organizations doing God’s work throughout the world. There are vendors and exhibits representing ministries and outreach and partners.
Our delegates, Mary E. Pacher and Chuck Pacher, and I will share a table with delegates from St. Stephen’s in Longview and St. Germain in Hoodsport for the work of convention. We will debate and vote on resolutions, the Diocesan Budget, and the strangely entertaining Constitution & Canons Committee Report, which is given more like a standup comedy routine each year.
The resolutions this year include:
- Resolution #1: 2017 Diocesan Assessment Rate (To be reduced from 16% in 2016 to 15% in 2017)
- Resolution #2: Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) to Clergy Salary Scale for 2016 (Set at 1.6%)
- Resolution #3: Continuing Support for the Millennium Development Goals
- Resolution #4: Concerning Response to Central American Refugees
- Resolution #5: Calling for Respect for Human Dignity in Campaign Season
The most interesting of these is likely to be #4, which calls for a wide array of statements to lawmakers and other elected officials asking for protections and rights for refugees. For instance, the first part of the resolution asks that we “call upon our government to redirect its resources to providing humanitarian responses to refugees and asylum seekers instead of militarizing the border and incarcerating children and separating families.” I predict a lively discussion.
Your delegates and I will represent St. Dunstan’s Church in these discussions and votes. It is a great honor to be there at convention on behalf of such a vibrant, faithful community. I give thanks for this congregation and for the opportunity to be a part of a diocese committed to doing God’s work in the world.
Yours in Christ,