Sometimes, the journey is the point--as well as the destination. Laura and I left PA for MI in order to take some time off, as well as to make our way to Columbus, OH for some of General Convention. It was a bit of a whirlwind, but I did get a chance to literally put my feet up and unwind before we had to put on pretty clothes and go embrace the wider Church. Our first days away were spent enjoying family and friends that we had not seen for a couple of years, truly. Most of our trips home have been in order to observe some pastoral passage of time. My cousin's wedding, a family medical emergency, that sort of thing. Actually being able to visit Laura's side of the family, something we have not done really since we were married, was a blessing. We started off in Ann Arbor, staying with the family of her matron of honor. Then, after dinner in the Detroit area with L's family, we took off for the Michigan coast to see one of her sisters and some nieces (and their friend from school), as well as their new, and not so new, homes. Let me tell you, if there is a slice of heaven on earth, it is the west coast of Michigan in the early summer. Glorious. The day we were able to spend up there was just the ticket. Walks along the beach collecting beachglass, games around the table in the late afternoon, brats off the grill for dinner and then a campfire to ease us to our rest. Their home is RIGHT on the shore, with only 88 steps between backyard and beach. Our nieces did a great job of chopping wood for Uncle Marshall's Boy Scout conflagration. We got time to sit with Karen in the quiet night. The bugs left us along, mostly and the dogs protected us from all the shadows of the night.
After a quick trip back through Ann Arbor for some food, conversation and more food, we headed off for Ohio. We spent the night at my mother's house and then made our way down to Columbus for the Convention. Before we hit the exhibit hall and the floor we stopped off at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church to say hello to the parish in which I was ordained a priest. Only one day after my anniversary of ordination, I walked into a place that I had not seen in nearly a decade...But for one brief visit just about six years ago. It was like old home week. Folks of great heart I remembered only faintly, and some whom I had hoped to see but feared had moved on, were there. Only one person had passed away that I had not known. Cause for tears of both sorrow and joy.
From there, we headed down to the Convention Center. We ran into friends and relatives: both my mom and dad were volunteering as pages to the Convention. Mom was working the floor of the House of Deputies that day, and she was actually the one who "broke the story" to me about +Katharine's election (she got the scoop from a guy who knew a guy with the Living Church).
Once the election was announced, the space where the House of Deputies was meeting quickly began to fill with people anticipating the results being tendered to the House, their debate and acceptance of the election and finally the entrance of the new PB-elect. We ran into a number of friends, and I got the chance to introduce Laura to some that she had never met, including Clayton, pictured below in the seersucker suit. Add to that the jovial atmosphere and all we needed were some noise makers to let the party get out of hand. That being, said, the president of the House was stern with regard to adjuring us to maintain our decorum and prayerful posture. Electing a new primate is NOT so simple a thing. The decision has global, as well as local, implications. +Katharine's election heralds the advent of the presence of women in ordained ministry within the Anglican Communion AT ALL LEVELS OF LEADERSHIP. No small thing, and it has already precipitated the Diocese of Fort Worth to petition for alternative primatial oversight. Interesting concept, in that the idea of alternative primatial oversight does not exist (only Diocesan at this point), at least to my knowledge.
Still the moment of the announcement of election was something. If you want details, the you can go to the National Church's website and check out the news and reports.