The Episcopal Church Welcomes You
by Nkiruka Okeke
Outside of the Anaheim Convention Center, where the 76th Episcopal General Convention was held, a banner that read “The Episcopal Church Welcomes You” was hung. When I first arrived, I felt like I didn’t know anyone and I got lost (as usual) but the friendly smiles and the helpful directions of those I met made me feel welcome.
- The discussion of a variety of issues such as the environment, missions, human rights, communications and giving voice to youth and young adults in the church.
- The attendance at the conference. I don’t know the exact number of people that attended the conference but to see an 800,000 square foot room filled with people during the Eucharist and in the exhibit hall was amazing.
- Feeling welcome. The theme of the conference “Ubuntu” which means community. Ubuntu is a type of community that inextricably links us all together, encourages our uniqueness and strengthens us as a group. The warmness and openness of the people at the conference didn’t feel like a gimmick or a ploy, it seemed genuine and I really do feel that it a part of who we are as Episcopalians.
The agenda of the conference included Legislative meetings, daily Eucharist, visits to the exhibit hall and for those who participated in the Young Adult Festival, afternoon workshops and evening Compline. At the Legislative sessions, decisions on how we could full our mission as a church were made. At daily Eucharist, we got to share in communion with people from all over the nation and all over the world and hear different chorus perform. I thought the children’s chorus was especially moving.
The Young Adult workshops included information about discernment, meditation, music and community involvement. There is so many more meaningful experiences that I would like to share but I’ll leave you with links about the General Convention and a quote from the General Convention orientation video below, which I believe embodies the purpose of the Convention.
“What we learn at the conference can help us to live out our baptismal promise to seek and serve Christ, love our neighbors as ourselves and respect the dignity of every human being.”
Posted in Young Adult Festival