By Elizabeth Blondia
Diocesan Convention Delegate
The Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan (EDWM) held its 141st Convention in Grand Rapids on November 6 and 7. This year’s theme was “Starting a Movement” and after hearing inspiring words from our own Bishop Whayne Hougland and Bishop Stacy Sauls, Chief Operating Officer of the Episcopal Church, as well as watching a video of Bishop Michael Curry, the new Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, everyone in the room was ready to do just that.
Bishop Curry said “Now is our time to go. To go into the world, let the world know that there is a God who loves us, a God who will not let us go, and that that love can set us all free.”
We heard reports from people around our diocese who are going out into the world and living the Gospel: directors of reading camps; members of the Steering Committee for the Michigan Good Food Charter; representatives from the Lower Peninsula Diversity Task Force; a young adult missioner; Deacon Beth Drew, the EDWM representative for the Church of San Simon in the Dominican Republic; and a member of the Order of Naucratius, an organization of hunters and fishers who share their harvests with those who are hungry.
Of course, there was a budget to pass, Standing Committee members to elect, and resolutions to discuss, but for most people in attendance, the real business at hand was clear. It’s not enough to focus on our individual parishes – we are called to go out into the streets to share the good news.
“This is the Jesus Movement, and we are the Episcopal Church, the Episcopal branch of Jesus’ movement in this world.” – Bishop Curry