Monday, June 12, 2006

Message from Bishop Price

The picture below appeared in my morning update e-mail from the Diocese of Southern Ohio.

In front of a large crowd, Bishop Kenneth Price Jr. cut the ribbon of the exhibit booth of the Diocese of Southern Ohio along with committee members Ariel Miller and Celeste Parsons. Cutting of the ribbon -- Episcopal Church shields linked together -- marked the opening of both Southern Ohio's booth and the exhibit hall.

And in a separate e-mail, a message from Bishop Price...

Brothers and Sisters

General Convention's opening session isn't until Tuesday, but already the Greater Columbus Convention Center is a beehive of activity. Celeste Parsons, Ariel Miller and Paul Rank and a whole host of volunteers have been working for two days, readying the Southern Ohio display in the Exhibit Hall. Promptly at 1 p.m. Sunday, after the cutting of a ribbon made up of Episcopal Church decals, the Praise Dancers from St. Simon of Cyrene kicked off the opening of the exhibit hall, where every possible organization related to the Episcopal Church is represented.

Southern Ohio's booth rotates between four themes: diversity, delight, direction and devotion. Quilts made especially for General Convention reflect these themes, as well as rotating displays of different ministries and programs in the diocese. In addition, performances from different groups will be offered during midday breaks.

Serving in my capacity of Secretary of the House of Bishops (HOB), most of my attention thus far has been in helping to ready the HOB Secretariat for business. At the center of our operations is the Rev. Steve Muncie -- a former priest of this diocese -- who serves as legislative secretary. Assisting me as my righthand assistant is Julie Murray, my assistant in Cincinnati. Every bit of legislation flows through our office before it reaches the floor of the House of Bishops. We are also in constant contact with the Deputies Secretariat to coordinate the work of the two houses. Fortunately almost our whole staff of 12 are veterans of several conventions.

Richelle Thompson, the diocese's communications director, has been hard at work coordinating communication and media matters, updating the website and covering the convention for Interchange and regular reports. Already I have been interviewed several times by various media representatives.

On Saturday, Mariann and I attended a dinner sponsored by the Church Periodical Club (CPC) at which the Rev. Abby Flemister of Trinity, Capitol Square, was a speaker. It was my privilege to present a check of almost $1,700 on behalf of the congregation of Christ Church, Springfield, to the CPC Board. Christ Church raised seven miles of pennies in support of buying literature for the poor. This is a remarkable accomplishment, and I am very proud of them. Tonight, we will gather with this group again along with the Rev. Becky Michelfelder as they host all of our overseas guests. More than 400 are expected to attend.

On Saturday, I celebrated communion for all of our coordinators and supervisors of volunteers. As you know, my executive secretary, Jane Dupke Curry, spearheaded the assembling of almost 1,500 volunteers who are the working force of this convention. (One side note: today, almost 20% of the assigned volunteers failed to show up. This necessitated some double duty for others. IF YOU HAVE SIGNED UP, MAKE SURE TO SHOW UP!)

Although there is no official action from Convention to report yet, hopefully this will give you a flavor of some of the hundreds of events, happenings and gatherings that surround the Convention. Trinity Church is booked almost solid during the next week and a half and is ready and waiting to welcome our visitors.

Guests are always welcome, especially to the gala UTO (United Thank Offering) Ingathering Service at 10 a.m. on Saturday. Please plan on joining us for the action. When we really get going, my reports will be more focused on the resolutions, elections and decision of the Convention. Until then, keep us in your prayers.


Bishop Ken Price
Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio

Bit of trivia to personalize this post. As I mentioned here, I officially joined the Episcopal Church shortly after the last General Convention. It was on Ash Wednesday, and there were a number of other people either being confirmed or received into the church. It was Ken Price who performed the ceremony. He looked a lot more bishop-y that day than in the picture you see of him above. He even had his Bo Peep hook. What *is* that called?

Crozier--that's the word. Anyway, I didn't *have* to do anything official in order to be a member of my local Episcopal congregation, but it's a statement I *wanted* to make as the Church was being attacked for elevating Gene Robinson as bishop in 2003.

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