July 8, 2018
Or at least I think it’s day four. It’s hard to tell. While I have in fact been outside (between the Austin Theological Seminary, where we’re staying and the Convention Center and two hotels committees are meeting in) and seen the sun, time has started to behave oddly. I’ve had to ask someone what day it was twice today alone. Everyone, and I mean everyone here (even the pigeon standing in for the Holy Spirit in the House of Deputies) is exhausted. Personally, I think it’s the good kind.
I have spent the last four days testifying up and down different committees on a number of different resolutions. I’ve spent the most time with Committee 13, the special committee to hear resolutions about BCP revision related issues, where I have been speaking to the need for inclusive/expansive language in our Common Prayer. When I think about a prayerbook revision that includes that kind of language, I am not thinking about removal of everything we have now (what many of those whom are against A068 fear), throwing our rich and beautiful tradition out the window, but of adding more of the richness of our Scriptural tradition as it speaks about God and humanity to our prayed theology. I have testified at a number of hearings on issues relating to transgender people and their welcome in the Church, queer/same-sex marriage rites, and disability issues. Speaking from my own experiences, I have also been a vocal presence in hearings on issues of the systemic gender-based violence perpetuated against women, trans women, and assigned female at birth non-binary people.
While prayerbook revision seems to be the only issues people are talking about today (it passed the House of Deputies, we shall see what happens next in the House of Bishops), I hope that the many other resolutions and issues I testified about do not get lost in the shuffle. I’m looking forward to continuing to track the resolutions I have personally spoken to, as well resolutions related to other peace and justice issues my amazing colleagues have spoken to as well.
- Rowan Pantalena