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Home again, Home again

I have now returned from my month-long string of conferences.  First CREDO in north-central Florida, then General Convention in Salt Lake City.  Both amazing, both exhausting in their own ways.

(Though–a protip–there’s really no better way to head into the onslaught of stress that is General Convention than a good CREDO.  But the bliss from your massage will disappear by day 3.)

I tweeted a lot, as you may have noticed.  Unlike last Convention, the House of Twitter was quite full this year, and we had a great time together watching the livestream from home, or commenting on legislation from the floor from the Alternates Paddock.  This was especially helpful on days when we waded into the parliamentary weeds for 45 minutes at a time.

I also wrote some things, though not for the blog.  I mentioned in the last post that I would be writing for Deputy News, and indeed I did.  Here is what I wrote (in reverse chronological order, to keep you on your toes!):

I believe: On how the Episcopal Church is overcoming its crisis of confidence.  And also about the Book of Mormon.

Hanging out in #gc78: On how the Twitter community formed during Convention. Also the likelihood of a robot takeover.

Then I’ll Sing, ‘Cause I’ll know : On witnessing a history-making week, and why everyone should listen to Nina Simone

A day in the life: Praying to lose control: On the Acts8 evening prayer service, and listening to the WeMo teens talk about resurrection

General Convention and Episcopal Jeopardy!: On the process of hearing from the Presiding Bishop candidates, and the whimsical nature of gameshows (NB: a deputy came up to me after this was published and critiqued my Jeopardy metaphor, with great seriousness.  He argued that it should be Bingo, as any game aficionado would know.  So, kindly consider the Jeopardy metaphor redacted.)

A Day in the Life: Megan is a Guinea Pig:  On the triumphs of being a legislative aide, and how we should all respect the spirituality of Hermes from Futurama.

Avengers, Pandas descend on Salt Lake City: On the resemblance of Episcopalians to both the Avengers and pandas.


I wrote a lot during Convention (I’m just now realizing) and one of the weirdest and best parts of the experience for me was having person after person approach me, shake my hand, and say that they read my tweets, or read my articles.

I forget that people read this, or that anyone outside of my parents and one or two very dedicated sermon fans read this.

So, thank you again for reading.  You are amazing and wonderful and a delight to write for!


Red Shoes’ Guide to General Convention

It’s that time again:  the ComicCon of Ecclesiastical Polity, the Family Reunion of church geeks, the Carnival of Pious Delights.

It’s time for General Convention 2015!  (Motto: Someone’s got to teach the LDS about scotch and Starbucks.)

Numerous tips and tricks have been flying about the interwebz on how best to attend to this EpiscoFest.  The esteemed HoB/D listserv has many recommendations, for example.  These include such gems as 1.) wash your undies in the sink 2.) bring high energy bars 3.) be sure to wear shoes best appropriate for mountain hiking, since the conference center may become mountainous at ANY MOMENT. 4.) Convention involves many of the following things for which one should be prepared: walking uphill many miles in the snow/rain/deadly heat/swarms of locusts, etc,  endurance trials the likes of which many lesser beings do not survive, lengthy tales of How Things Were in Ye Olden Days When All Was Sunshine and Joy. 

They are not entirely correct—though far be it from me to discount the word of an Episcopal listserv (the Wave of the Future!!)  However, there are several more pressing concerns that might be of interest to you, if by chance, you don’t buy the theory that General Convention is a slightly more polite gladiator contest.  Thus, I give unto you:  The Red Shoes’ Guide to General Convention!

1.) Portable power packs are your friend. 

You will, of course, need your smart phone and your laptop.  You will therefore never be able to find an outlet when you need it.  Invest, therefore, in a solid portable power source. 

If you’re very industrious, charge others for the service.  Or, if you’re running for something, this is a great way to build goodwill.  “Vote for me, and I’ll give EVERYONE POWER!!!!”

2.) It’s not the Exhibit Hall—it’s the EpiscoMall.

Want a new clergy collar?  Want all the buttons to be found outside the Summer Olympics?  Head to the Exhibit Hall, where every blessed group in the Church has come to set up a booth.  EVERYONE.  No matter your political, theological, or culinary leanings, you’ll find someone to hang out with in there.  And they will probably give you free swag. 

For that, you should be leaving extra space in your suitcase, otherwise that new crocheted fair trade stole from Guatemala is getting shipped home,

3.) This is not the Hunger Games.

I mean—it’s not.  Though at times, you will be so busy that you forget what day it is, and whether you believe in the Real Presence or not, much less whether you’ve eaten in the last day.

Therefore, please do take meal breaks.  If not those, take coffee breaks (I’m assuming that like a good Episcopalian, you’ve staked out all the good coffee shops already). 

4.) This is important

While General Convention does frequently feel like a giant summer camp, we do have an important job to do.  It is General Convention that is tasked with running the church—not the bishops, not the PB, excellent though they may be.  It is us.  This matters.

As a side, this is why, when you see me, I’ll be wearing nice shoes and somewhat nice clothes.  Because this is important, and, for me, when I want to take things seriously, I wear nicer shoes and nicer clothes. 

But, you do you.

5.)  This is fun.

Lots of people hate experiencing the councils of the church.  All the Roberts Rules of Order, all the arguing, the arcane debates, the endless politics and vote-getting.

Me, I love it.  Because one of the charisms of our church is that we enjoy each other.  We have conga lines of the floor of the House of Deputies, we establish running jokes, we initiate Bingo games to liven things up. 

The work of God in the world is serious—nothing is more so.  But neither is anything more joyous. 

So, if you’re here in Salt Lake City, and you see me, come over and see me.  But most of all, have fun in our wild little carnival.  We’re lucky to do this.