2015 Diocesan Convention
On Friday, November 13th St. Luke’s delegates, Merle Aaron, Mary Laughlin and Linda Melville joined Denise Galloway, (Deacon –in Training), Reverend Romo and the Very Reverend Brunelle at the 149th Convention of the Diocese of Long Island. The two-day convention took place at the Melville Marriott attended by lay and clergy from 130 churches and missions that make up
the diocese from the Brooklyn Bridge to Montauk Point (think about that for a moment!). The convention theme, One Diocese One Mission, rang loud and clear and provided we three with a clear understanding as to the purpose of this body of dedicated Episcopalians serving Long Island. One Diocese One Mission. We are part of a bigger picture.
The newly elected Presiding Bishop, Michael Curry, in a televised address to the convention, said that “Now is the time to go into the world, to let the world know that there is a God who loves us, a God who will not let us go, and that that love can set us all free. This is the Jesus Movement and we are The Episcopal Church, the Epis- copal branch of Jesus’ movement in this world.” One Diocese, One Mission. How powerful to be part of such good work.
In his opening remarks, The Rt. Rev. Lawrence C. Provenzano (Bishop of Long Island) were rather bitter- sweet. As you may recall, the Paris bombing had just occurred. The Bishop shared that he considered “scrap- ping his notes and use the time for prayer”, but then said, “that’s the point; we can’t, we have work to do”. His decision was wise and his introductory remarks set the stage for a meaningful and productive convention.
“Geographically, we are long and narrow. However, we are spiritually broad and wide! Our community is culturally and ethnically diverse, witnessing to the hope that is ours in Jesus Christ in many languages and ex- pressions. Our embrace of the neighbors we are called to love and serve is expansive and generous. Our imag- inations are ever widening as we continue to listen and respond to God’s call to be his people from this corner of the Vineyard in this moment in time.” This introduc- tion really gave focus for the convention. What also set the tone was the proposed 2016 Ministry Plan. The plan, as printed in the convention book states “This plan funds structures, initiatives, resources and personnel that exist to strengthen the spiritual ber of this diocese and encourages local congregations and ministries”. The Bishop also said that it had become clear to many in the diocese that there was a growing, unseen popu- lation of people on the east end of the Diocese. Farm workers, day laborers, wait staff, and domestic help living and working in some of our most af uent com- munities were nearly invisible to the church. The arrival of Father Gerardo Romo to establish a new Latino ministry centered at St. Thomas has made a signi cant impression on the Diocese and clearly shows that we are embracing what we are called to do.... missioning in support of a wider church, moving outward, changing lives. Father Brunelle and the people of St. Luke’s re- ceived tremendous recognition for the work being done to support and broaden the Christian community in the East End through Hispanic outreach.
We enjoyed hearing two guest speakers; Bishop John Tarrant of South Dakota and Bishop David Bailey of Navajoland who shared how the nancial support of
the Long Island Diocese has provided them the funds necessary to initiate and deliver successful programs and services to Native American people in their regions. Their remarks were delivered with great appreciation of all that they have been able to accomplish through the generosity and support of so many parishes form the Long Island Diocese, again reminding us that we are part of a bigger picture.
Other highlights included Shinnecock Native Americans performing ceremonial dances on Friday evening and offering a traditional chant in memory of those who had died as part of the Saturday morning Eucharist and was a very moving part of the service. Scripture readings and prayers were read in several languages including Spanish, Korean, Chinese, Creole, Native American, all of which were extremely empowering to show how broad our Christian faith extends!
We participated in the election of of cers, honoring
of new ministries and anniversaries (another time where Gerardo was recognized) and our own Denise who was nominated to the Diocesan Commission on Ministry. We moved into Canonical Appointments, Propositions and Resolutions/Changes; all very organized and business- like! Let’s just say we are in good hands.
When the convention adjourned, we said our good- byes to old and new friends throughout the Diocese. On behalf of your St. Luke’s delegates, we were honored to participate in the conference. We three arrived at the convention separately but returned to East Hampton together via a wonderful car ride where we were able to talk about what we learned. The experience was spiritual and empowering, reminding us of how special our church is and the difference we are making and will continue to make as ONE!
Linda, Merle and Mary