“Hello to the Episcopal Church in Maine. It’s the last day of General Convention. It’s Monday the 11th of July. We’ve just finished our work. We finished before noon. This is a historic General Convention: four legislative days and we got it all done! I wanted to say a couple of words to you about what it’s been like for me the last few days to be in the House of Bishops and a particular piece of work that we did, that I’m really looking forward to sharing more with all of you about, regarding a way to begin so that we can have Prayer Book reform. I want to first say that I’ve been coming to General Convention for almost thirty years but this was all new – not only because we were four days – but because I’ve been used to being in the House of Deputies and in the exhibit hall and that wasn’t the case. There was one joint session. The bishops had to sit in the back of the House of Deputies for the budget presentation, usually we get to sit next to the deputation table. I want to say something about what it is like to be in the House of Bishops. It’s a very different way to do legislative work because we’re at tables and those tables, for some bishops, they’ve been with those same tables for three years at every House of Bishops meeting, whether on Zoom or in person. And that’s been true for me. So my table mates are all bishops that I have been communicating with in some way, shape, or form for three years and that makes conversation and decision-making a real different thing from the way that it is in the House of Deputies. I felt welcome. I felt like I was a welcomer as there were a lot of new people. There were 38 women in the House of Bishops and there are two Bishops-elect who are women. There is a photograph I hope to share with you. All the women bishops were photographed at the end of the convention.I want to say something about A059, which is a piece of legislation that we passed in both houses, that really provides the structural framework so that we can begin to define what it means to have a Book of Common Prayer, understanding that in 2022 what happens in a book is now just as much about what happens digitally. That work of creating a constitutional amendment which requires two General Conventions and then beginning in 2024 to create canonical changes so that we can look forward, I hope,  to a new prayer book in maybe as soon as 9 years. There’s a lot more that I want to unpack with all of you theologically about why this careful work is important and why we don’t rush into it, but I want to say today that not every Episcopal diocese is like Maine. There are some dioceses in which very little experimental authorized expression of liturgical change is permitted. That’s not the case in Maine. We’re blessed with a community of experimenters and a spirit of innovation that means that we’re ready, maybe more ready than some of our siblings throughout the Church. I think that this is an exciting, compromise-way to move forward. I was struck by how bishops who weren’t on the same page came together. You can see in some other videos how the spirit of the House of Bishops is really good. People love each other and they respect each other and they don’t always agree with each other. So A059 is, I think, a really big piece. We’re going to share with the rest of the Church and take to Lambeth an important statement about climate change, and we are excited, too, about the election of Julia Harris as the next president of the House of Deputies. I look forward to welcoming President Harris to Maine. I hope that will happen very soon. Anyway, I send my love to all of you. The deputation and I are going to have supper tonight, and then we’ll be flying our way back to the Jetport tomorrow. We’ll see you very soon!

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