Friday Night Service (11/8)
In spite of the rain, people came out for Friday night’s service to officially begin the 235th Convention. (We heard from Michael Ruk, dean of the Bucks County deanery, that some people drove three hours into the city for the service.) Thank you to all who braved the elements to be in communion with one another.
In the service, Bishop Daniel Gutiérrez commissioned two deacons – Dennis Coleman and Jeff Moretzsohn as Archdeacons. As Archdeacons, both will have an oversight and directive role. Three members of the Diocesan staff – Rev. Arlette Benoit Joseph, Rev. Toneh Smyth and Jennifer Tucker – were commissioned as canons of the Diocese. Additionally, the regional Deans of each deanery were commissioned.
We were also joined by the Rt. Rev. Silvestre Romero, the bishop coadjutor of Guatemala, and the Rt. Rev. Emmanuel Chemengich, bishop of the Anglican Church of Kenya, Diocese of Kitale. The next day at Convention, Bishop Romero shared a presentation at lunchtime on Guatemala.
Convention Day (11/9)
This was the first year of electronic voting. Thank you to all who were patient with us during our learning curve.
“The only thing that will ever hold us back is a theology of scarcity over abundance and fear over faith.” The budget resolution passed unanimously. You can see the budget here and the Bishop’s letter related to it here.
Three people received one of the Bishop’s Awards, which recognizes contributions to the Diocese. They are: The Rev. Dr. Sam Adu-Andoh, rector of the Church of St. Andrew & St. Monica; Virginia Slichter of Christ Church, Pottstown; and George Vosburgh of St. David’s Church, Radnor. Jennie Paddy was also recognized for her years of service on diocesan staff with the Bishop’s Christus Rex award.
Several groups shared short video presentations. These covered Anti-Gun Violence, Evangelism, Outreach Ministry, Global Mission, Restaurant Program (Holy Trinity, West Chester) and Revival (St. Mary’s, Philadelphia). You can see all of them here.
We all were entertained by the youth choir from St. Mary’s, Chester; choir from Christ and St Ambrose; and the choir from St. Augustine Hippo. (Watch some of these from our Facebook page.)
Countless churches, individuals and organizations donated items for blessing bags. During Convention breaks, Canon Toneh Smyth, deacons and volunteers filled 250 bags. These were given to churches to be distributed to those experiencing homelessness.
A new version of the Diocesan magazine was given out to all those in attendance. You can read it here.