Nov 1, 2016

In the Running

Inspired by our civil and high-minded national election, I decided to throw my hat into the ring to stand as Deputy to General Convention from the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts. If you're not familiar with it, General Convention is the governing body of the national Episcopal Church that meets every three years. Four clerical and four lay deputies are elected by each diocesan convention and ours is coming up this weekend, November 4-5.

If elected, I would serve at the 2018 General Convention in Austin, Texas. If I go down in a blaze of ecclesiastical glory, well, I'll still be in Austin for the third Lent Madness Day at General Convention. 

Am I electable? I have my doubts. In many dioceses the same folks get elected like clockwork every three years. All four clerical "incumbents" are running for re-election in Massachusetts so my odds aren't great. But I'm willing to put my name on the ballot and risk public humiliation (okay that's overstating it), because I think it's too important not to get some fresh voices into the conversation.

I care too much about the Episcopal Church, believe that Jesus' message of love must be communicated to the world in fresh and bold ways, and cherish our uniquely Anglican identity and expression of faith. In other words, I think the church is at a critical juncture, a place of hope and opportunity, and I believe I have some gifts to offer to help lead us into the future.

I guess this makes me the outsider in this election -- the Gary Johnson of diocesan convention (though I have heard of Aleppo). 

Of course, if you know me, you'll recognize that the idea of ten straight days of church meetings chills my very soul. But I do think the Holy Spirit can work even within the often mind-numbing structures of church administration and I'm willing to put in the hard work of preparation to be a part of this ecclesiastical and legislative community.

It's interesting to note how different dioceses invite nominees to run. Here in DioMass, you need six signatures of those eligible to vote at Diocesan Convention and you must submit a 75-word statement. Now 75 words is not a lot! It doesn't give you much space to say anything substantial but, for what it's worth, here's what I wrote.
A digital evangelist, author, blogger and Lent Madness creator who has served in our diocese for seven years, I am passionate about communicating the Gospel in fun, fresh, exciting and creative ways. I cherish our Anglican heritage, while knowing we must respond to a changing culture in desperate need of Jesus Christ. I would be honored to represent our diocese while helping the Episcopal Church more effectively communicate its message of love to the world.
What I won't do is actively seek votes and schmooze people at our convention. I've seen people do this and I just can't stomach it. But if you're a voting member of the convention, I'd certainly be more than willing to chat. And I will humbly ask for your vote.

We need some fresh voices in the conversation. We're at an important place as a denomination, as followers of Jesus, and it's just too important to me to stand idly by.

And anyway, if I lose, it will just mean that the election was rigged. That's how it works, right?


Nancy said...

Tim, I think voices like yours are critically important for the future of the Episcopal Church. TBTG that you care enough to stand for election! I'm not eligible to vote in the DioMass election, but I hope those who can are wise enough to elect you!

bettyC said...

Good luck to you
Our Episcopal Church

Gale Grey said...

good luck comrade!