This weekend, our diocese gathers for its annual convention out in Lombard, where your clergy and lay delegates will gather with delegates from all over—from all over the city and from all over the state, as far north as Galena and as far west as Warsaw. While there, we’ll attend workshops and worship together; we’ll receive the budget for the diocese; we’ll elect people to serve on our governing bodies; and we’ll pass resolutions affecting our local life and that might be sent forward to be considered at our General Convention next summer. Our keynote speaker is the Rt. Rev’d Jake Owensby, Bishop Diocesan of Episcopal Church in Western Louisiana, who is also a very fine writer; I have often turned to him for spiritual wisdom and his reflection on the readings for Sunday. You can learn more about him HERE and more about Diocesan Convention HERE.
It can be tempting to think that Diocesan Convention is just one more church meeting, but this is how the church discerns where God is at work and how we are to respond to God’s call and this is how we “do” theology in the church and how we govern ourselves. Whenever I feel a little cranky or bored at a church meeting, whether at our church or the diocesan convention or general convention, I remember that it is church meetings throughout history that have decided major tenets of our faith.
When we were wrestling with who Jesus is—some thought Jesus was a really, really good human, others thought he was God in a human disguise—it was the Council of Chalcedon (451 A.D.) that discerned and taught that Jesus is truly God and truly human. It was a Council that gave us the Nicene Creed we recite each Sunday. It was at a convention in 1888 right here in Chicago that we identified four “essentials” to Christian unity (see pages 876-78 in your Book of Common Prayer to learn what they are).
So, please pray for us and all who will gather for a council of the church this weekend.
See you in church!