The 184th Annual Convention of The Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis took place this past Saturday, November 13 in Plainfield, on Zoom, and via Facebook Live. Thea Warren Simpson and I represented St. Andrew’s.
Next week, Thea will share the messages our guest speakers (the Rev. Kim Jackson, senator from Georgia and Episcopal priest, and Ms. Tina Tchen, esq., Chief of Staff to Michelle Obama and life-long Episcopalian) brought to us. I would like to share the action items of the convention.
Bishop Jennifer welcomed everyone to “the family reunion of the Diocese.” Indeed, it was a joy-filled celebration, all held within the context of a celebratory worship service. The proceedings opened with a New Orleans-style band playing “When the Saints Go Marching In” and the opening lines of the worship service, then we moved into the business of the day. Mid-day, the “worship” continued with the Bishop’s address and Holy Eucharist. The final blessing and dismissal were at the close of convention. It is remarkable how combining the business and worship into a single experience makes this time together as the family of Christ feel very special.
Resolutions at the 2021 Convention:
The 184th Convention considered three resolutions. All were approved.
Cooperating Ministries (Resolutions 1 & 2)
In Indiana and across the world, our diocese had founded or partners with a wide range of ministries. (Click here: https://indydio.org/ministries/ministry-partnerships/) to learn more about our work. We call these ‘Cooperating Ministries.’ At this convention we welcomed two new cooperating ministries.
- The first is St. Nicholas Early Learning Center (http://www.stnicholasel.org), a ministry to very young children founded by Trinity Episcopal Church, Indianapolis. Their goal is to provide childhood care and education in an intentionally diverse environment.
- We also welcomed The Avenue Foundation, a public foundation, founded by St. Paul’s, Indianapolis, whose mission is to “address the racial wealth gap in Indianapolis by education, incubating, and investing in Black entrepreneurs, visionaries, artists, and faith communities in order to focus on racial equity through economic justice and community (re)development.”
Resolution 3: Encourage General Convention to Research and Document the Episcopal Church’s Role in Native American Residential Schools. This resolution, authored by our diocese, will come before General Convention, which meets in July 2022. It specifically calls for understanding if The Episcopal Church in Indiana had a role in the relocation or abuse of Native Americans here. The goal is to have a full understanding of our history regarding Indigenous peoples and to act for healing of these deeply felt wounds to our neighbors.
Coming together once a year, as a diocese, is a family reunion. At Saint Andrew’s we get a sense of that relationship when Bishop Jennifer visits, however, engaging with The Episcopal Church in central and southern Indiana as a gathered household is an experience that is inspiring, eye-opening, and fun! I am grateful for the many opportunities I have had to participate and I encourage everyone to spread your wings and be part of the wider church.