Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Fun things to do at General Convention

So General Convention, the triennial gathering of the entire Episcopal Church is in town. Preliminary work is already under way, but things really get going Thursday, July 5, and run through July 12. Most events take place at the convention center or the JW Marriott. What's an All Saints member without an official role to do?
  • Worship. Starting Thursday, there will be a community mass every day at 9:30am in the JW Marriott. On July 12, mass will be at 11:30. Note that on Sunday All Saints will cancel its 10am mass; we encourage you to go to the General Convention mass instead. You do not need to register as a visitor to attend any worship service.
  • Celebrate: The mass on Sunday, July 8 is a huge festive gathering. We are excited that All Saints will be participating as a host to the delegations from our diocesan partners, Bor and Brasilia, thanks to a grant from the All Saints endowment. Contact Patricia Griffin for details on how to be seated with our guests at the Sunday mass. Also, at the Indiana Day celebration at Victory Field immediately following the mass, stop by the hospitality suite for our guests between 3-5pm. All Saints is sponsoring refreshments for the reception.
  • Observe the legislative sessions. All sessions of the House of Deputies and most sessions of the House of Bishops are open to visitors. You can find the legislative calendar on the General Convention website.
  • Check out the exhibit hall. Exhibitors from dozens of organizations within the Episcopal Church and other religious organizations will be at the convention. Our own Brother Francis Jonathan Bullock and his compatriots will be there -- stop by and say hi!
  • A daypass for visitors costs $20. But volunteers get in free on the day of their shift. Volunteering is a great way to meet others in the diocese and around the country. Volunteer here.
There are some unofficial events worth mentioning. This is by no means an exhaustive list. You do not need to register as a visitor to attend any of these events.
  • Solidarity rally and march with Hyatt workers. The Hyatt and other hotels in Indianapolis routinely hire temporary workers to clean rooms to avoid paying benefits. But maids who work as temporary workers are then blacklisted by the Hyatt as ineligible to be hired on full time. Whatever the human resources merits of the policy, the policy violates Christian ethics. The rally will begin on the steps of the State House on Thursday, July 5 at 4pm, and will march to the Hyatt from there. The rally will conclude at 6pm. E-mail Dianne Aid at sanmateo921@yahoo.com for more information.
  •  Acts 8 Gathering for Prayer and Action. Bloggers Susan Brown Snook, Scott Gunn, and Tom Ferguson are hosting a visioning gathering for anyone who cares to attend. The budget and church structure are very hot topics at this year's convention. This gets into very wonky territory. But these folks are trying to do some visioning for what the future structure of the church might look like, understanding that how a church spends its money tells you a lot about its theology. Young people are especially encouraged to attend. Thursday, July 5 at 9:30pm. Capitol II Room at the Westin.
  • Integrity Reception and Mass. For many participants at General Convention, the Integrity mass is one of the most inspiring and memorable events. Bishop Mary Glasspool will preside; Bishop Gene Robinson will preach. Monday, July 9 at 8:30pm, Sagamore Ballroom at the Indiana Convention Center. The mass will be preceded by a reception honoring Louie Crew, Integrity's founder, starting at 7pm, outside the Sagamore Ballroom.

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