A Parliamentary Pentecost: Reflections on a First Timer’s General Convention

by | Jul 21, 2022

“A Parliamentary Pentecost” is how I can best describe my first experience as a Deputy to General Convention. The Holy Spirit was clearly at work at Convention as we heard hard truths about our Church’s past, such as our involvement in Boarding Schools aimed at erasing Indiginous culture and identity. We heard a powerful witness from a Deputy from the Navajo Nation, who could not have been much older than my mother, who told her story as a student in such a school, and the impact it had on her, and her nation–and her joy that the Church had finally recognized this issue in Resolution A127 which was adopted by Convention, a small but important first step in reconciliation. The Holy Spirit also made Herself known in prayer book reform, calling the Bishops to enter into discernment, where they ultimately adopted unanimously a better path forward on prayer book revision.

I was also grateful that our Church passed several resolutions aimed at Creation Care, not only in the nation and our world, but also in our Church. One such resolution was one I authored to urge the Church to expand its use of virtual meetings for governance at all levels of the Church to help reduce our harm to creation generated by travel, and to save resources that can be used for other vital areas of ministry.

So many things I expected to be contentious this Convention turned out not to be so. The Holy Spirit molded Her Church through those packed 4 days, and also uplifted many new young leaders in our Church with talent and vision. Like many of you, I often worry about the future of our Church–but I was heartened at what I saw during this Convention, and to see the Holy Spirit at work. While we all entered General Convention with our own idea of how the Church should work, we came out doing things we didn’t foresee going in–yet with faith that we had lived up to our calling, and had been all the better for listening to the Spirit rather than ourselves.

Nathan Brown
Deputy to General Convention, St. Paul’s, K Street