As a first-time deputy, I was impressed by how organized it was with the registration, handling concerns of Covid safety, and the number of volunteers available to help you out. The Reverend Colin Mathewson was our leader, ensuring we knew what to do and shepherded us throughout the convention. He had us on a group text so that we could connect easily.
There were four clergy deputies + one alternate, and four lay deputies + one alternate, and Bishop Susan represented from our diocese in the House of Bishops. Only eight deputies could sit on the main floor and vote–the alternates could sit in the back of the room and follow along. Our group decided to have alternate deputies switch off with one of the deputies to experience what it was like to be part of the resolution discussions, candidate discussions, and to cast a vote. In past conventions, alternates did not have this opportunity, but because it was only four days, rules changed.
The days were long, 9am -9:30am but there were 2 hours allotted for lunch and dinner, plus some breaks thrown in there, too; personally, I would rather work later and not have to stay more days. Most of us had meals together, and it was great to share this experience and get to know each other better; we were a good team that cared for one another. At the end of each day, we had a quick debrief session in the lounge area where Bishop Susan and any deputies would enlighten us with any learnings of the day.
My takeaway was a greater understanding of the process; how some resolutions require more discussion before voting and how some get voted to the Consent Calendar. I was nervous about how we were going to get through the 400+ resolutions in four days, but to my amazement, it got done.
I was especially attentive during the discussion about the Program Budget and Finance. I wanted to understand the budget analysis, that good decisions were being made, where money was designated and spent, and how to bring in more net income than before.
I am thankful for the opportunity to have had the chance to learn about all the important business matters that take place for the Episcopal Church and to serve as a Deputy to General Convention from the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego.
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