AdventWord 2019: 16. Learn
We learn through information and through experience. The work of the General Convention Office involves creating information and resources for the Church as well as planning and staffing experiences for the whole Church. The GCO is responsible for or has oversight of much of the information – Constitution and Canons, historical records (e.g. Journal of Convention), policies and procedures for Interim Bodies, etc. – that govern our common life together. The GCO also provides the mechanisms, structure, and support that allow thousands of Episcopalians to come together to do the work of the Church in small groups and in the fullness of General Convention.
It is in those gatherings, large and small, through conversation, deliberation, worship, and fellowship that each person learns more about themselves, the Church, and God. Without the information (which spans the spectrum from where to pick up your nametag to the foundational information in our Constitution and the Prayer Book), the gatherings would not be possible. Without the gatherings, we would not fully understand the richness of the information, the traditions, the resources that we share. We understand our Church and ourselves better when we are engaging all the information in the context of the rich breadth and diversity of our Church.
Blessedly, we also have marvelous technological tools from videoconferencing to message boards (we call it the Extranet) and filesharing which means that our experiences of engagement with friends and colleagues are not limited to the halls of General Convention or even the occasional in-person meetings of various Interim Bodies. We span 18 time zones, so the Extranet is rarely quiet. We can always be learning with and from each other.