Monday, November 30, 2009

Standing Committee

We just finished a big meeting in Rumbek. It was the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Church of Sudan, which stands in place of the Synod which only meets every 3 years. It was all hands on deck with the provincial staff, so my typing skills were put to use as a minute taker. I minited the house of laity and some of the general sessions.

Some of the more noteworthy decisions were the affirmation that women may become deacons, priests, or bishops, and an affirmation to continue dialog with all members of the Anglican Communion.

During the reading of the resolutions, when it got to the one about women bishops, a great cheer went up from the Mother’s Union, and the bishop’s wives.

For those of you who have ever put on a conference or convention you know the sheer volume of logistical matters involved. This meeting was impressive. The logistics of getting all the bishops and delegates from all over Sudan to one place was amazing. Many of the delegates had never been to Rumbek before.

For me this meeting was the convergence of two worlds. We were in a air conditioned conference facility that could have been in an office park in some commercial district in California. We were following set legislative practices that reminded me both of diocesan conventions I’ve been to and of my time working at the State Capitol. But then in the evening we all left the conference room and went back to our tukls (grass roofed huts), pit latrines, bucket showers, and plastic chairs under the moon. The other difference is that in this meeting, besides the normal matters of church governance, they were discussing matters of life and death, hunger, development, and peace.

See the appeal by the Standing Committee regarding the situation in Sudan: click here.

1 comment:

Jesse Zink said...

Some day I want you (or someone) to write about the worldwide ubiquity of those plastic chairs. They are everywhere! How do I buy stock in the company that makes them?