GC77: Arrivals, preparations, celebrations (and Spiderman?)

On Tuesday at 8:30am, Joshua and I, both Alternate Deputies for the Diocese of Chicago, began our journey down to Indianapolis, IN to participate in the 77th General Convention of the Episcopal Church. This convention is Joshua's first and my fourth.

The drive down was pretty simple, with only one major construction-related traffic jam to contend with on I-65 South. We had breakfast along the way at an 'oasis' over I-294, where we ate at Panda Express . Yeah, not exactly breakfast food but it was tasty nonetheless. The drive only took us about 5 hours, including our stopover at Panda. Not bad!

We parked the car, got checked into the Marriott hotel, and immediately ran into Shawn Schreiner from Chicago and letting her know that we were here. Then we headed over the Convention Center (right across the street!) to get our badges and take a quick tour of the Exhibitor Hall, where we picked up a few packets and some cool 'Episco Swag'. We met up with several friends along the way, Jed Holdorph, Mallory Holding, Ted Main, Richard Hogue, and friends from the Episcopal Conference of the Deaf. We also spent some time in the Episcopal Service Corps booth as well as the National Cursillo booth (whose next conference is in Chicago in 2013!).

Then we walked over to the White River State Park, which is only a couple of blocks from the Downtown Indianapolis Marriott hotel, to check out the start of the White River Wapahani Trail where we planned to run on Wednesday morning. Man, is it hot! It was 98F as we walked to the trail.

Once satisfied that we knew how to get to the trail tomorrow morning, we decided to head back to the hotel. I needed to change into nicer attire because I was heading to the Dinner/Gala of the Union of Black Episcopalians at 5:30pm with my Mom. There were celebrating the 35th Anniversary of Women's Ordination in the Episcopal Church. That was an awesome celebration, and I was honored to meet one of the honorees: Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas. What an amazing person! And my mother was the person who spoke about Kelly's accomplishments and made the award presentation (how cool was that!). They also honored Canon Bonnie Anderson who is the President of the House of Deputies.

Later that evening, I had some fun with Joshua and another running buddy Kipp. We decided to go see the new Spiderman movie since there was a theater within walking distance of the hotel. Great movie! Of course, that meant our first day at General Convention ended at 1245AM! (And of course, that means little rest before we get up at 5AM to go on a 3-4 mile run to start the next day)

Tomorrow will be the first day of the Convention. For those on legislative committees, they have an all morning meeting to kick off their process for conducting themselves during the Convetion. For the rest of the Deputies and Bishops here, we get started with a presentation by the Program on Budget and Finance (PB&F) of the proposed budget for national church. The budget is going to be a critical business issue facing this Convention so it is fitting that this will be the first item to hear about formally (we have already received the budget proposal online).

After that will be presentations by the Presiding Bishop, Rt. Rev. Katharine Schori, and Bonnie Anderson, President of the House of Deputies. Then we have Deputy Orientation sessions. After dinner will be Legislative Committee meetings, followed by a gathering of the Chicago Deputation to conver and discuss the plans for the following day.

Location:Indianapolis, IN