The Larger Conversation: version 2.0

February 21, 2020
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by the Rev. Tamsen Whistler,
General Convention Deputy


#MeToo, Disciplinary Canons, Prayer Book Revision, Expanded-Language Versions of Eucharistic Prayers A, B and D in Rite II—all of these are “Top Ten” topics related to resolutions from the 2018 General Convention (GC) directly affecting us in the Diocese of Missouri. 

Did you know, for example, that Bishop Smith gave our clergy permission to use the expanded-language versions for Prayers A, B, and D, beginning Advent 1, 2018?

Did you know, lay person or cleric, if you have experienced sexual abuse or harassment by Episcopal clergy—even if it happened years ago—you have a two-year window to report that abuse, to tell your story?

In our Diocesan Convention Nov 22-23, 2019, in addition to electing a bishop (!), we elected our lay and clerical deputies to the 2021 General Convention in Baltimore. Several issues likely to come before our deputies in Baltimore will be directly related to decisions and actions of the 2018 GC in Austin, TX, including the topics noted above.

Your 2018 deputation committed to providing information about decisions and actions of the Austin convention in “new” ways. Rather than holding reporting sessions in a few places and otherwise publishing lists of resolutions, we held Zoom (online) conferences with Facebook Live on the topics of creation care and dismantling racism, with the intention of further programs on #MeToo, etc. We tried a format of information one month, discussion the next. We did not reach nearly the audience we hoped to engage and suspended the project last summer with the resignation of Diocesan Director of Communications Beth Felice.

The information is still pertinent; those resolutions continue to affect us and will in the future. The Zoom format, not so much. We are considering other methods, including, perhaps, podcasts and panel discussions. If you have ideas about how best to get this otherwise unwieldy message out, please let us know what you think. What we do with the remaining 2018 information will inform how we approach GC news in 2021.

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