Registration continues at General Convention today and the Exhibit Hall is open. My first trip to General Convention ever was back in 2006 when the convention was held in Columbus, Ohio. I spent a great deal of time in the exhibit hall as my role was as part of the Diocesan Communications team back when we were writing in html and written updates were as much as we could imagine.
During my time in the exhibitions, I spent time talking with people from all over the communion. I met people from all manners of different political and theological positions. One of the great and wonderful aspects of General Convention is the opportunity to reconnect with folks you may have met in seminary, in ministry, at worship services when you're traveled, in dioceses you may have lived in, in all various manners of ways. It is those connections that help to ground us to one another.
One morning in the exhibit hall, I ran into a dear friend who was working at the Integrity booth. We laughed and talked. We caught up. We hugged and bid each other adieu. Moments later I found myself at a booth by the AAC, the American Anglican Council. The same sequence repeated itself. We laughed and talked about our lives, catching up on time which had passed. We hugged and said our goodbyes. If you don't know it, those two groups are about as far apart theologically as they can be and still believe in Christ. My two friends would never have sat down and had the experience I did. But it was a reminder to me as I continued to walk among displays and merchants that we are a family, we are one in Christ, and those of us who can are called to be a bridge when we can.
These next several days, I know many people who disagree with each other. There will be strong words in committees, hearings, meetings, and even on the floor of both Houses. But we will have chaplains, clergy, and others who will remind us when we begin to drift apart that we are one, together.
Today's video marks the opening of the exhibit hall since that continues to hold a special place in my heart. The next piece is to let you know what the forthcoming videos will focus on. Again, we aren't concerned so much with the details of legislation in these, but on the formative experience of being here when the church gathers. Blessings to you.