Saturday, July 14, 2012

The completely truthy account of what REALLY happened at General Convention

Hard-hitting journalism hurts, doesn't it, Episcopalians? Oh, you're denying it, I know, but the real problem with Jay Akasie's op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal is that you're afraid the real truth will come out. Carnival atmosphere? Bah! It was a bacchanalia! We all know it. I mean, I left early, so I wasn't there for it, but why else would you send the Official Youth Presence home a day early?

Hey, Episcopalians. Jay Akasie is watching.
Oh, yes, I know. I have my sources. And the truth must come out. Scott Gunn and Bishop Smith can say whatever they want, claiming, you know, that they were actually there and stuff. I smell a cover-up. Either that or they never got invited to the secret lavish cocktail parties.

But I have information, a source who asked to remain anonymous, who has written me an account of that terrible final day at General Convention when (forgive my French) all heck broke loose. With her permission, I print it below. Names have been redacted out of fear of retribution.

"It all started when I saw him being fitted for a purple shirt at the Almy booth. His pectoral cross glistened as he caught my eye. I returned to reading Forward Day by Day, searching for some guidance. I was still vulnerable after the death of my miniature Schnauzer, Rodrigo, and needed comfort. I know that's no excuse, but it's the only thing I have to explain what happened next.

"He walked over to me and said, 'Which shade of purple do you like best?' Shocked at his brazen approach, I cast down my eyes demurely. Perhaps he sensed he went too far because he changed course. He must have seen the cameo of Rodrigo because his next words to me were, 'Want to check out a trial liturgy? I know a quiet place where we can...pray together.'

My unimpeachable source.
"Like a fool, I went, up--up to the penthouse with its wrap-around porch. It was a quiet room, full of deputies murmuring about amendments. He introduced me to the group. 'Welcome to the Upper Lower Authoritarian Chamber of Secrets,' he said, pulling on a mask and drawing me in.

"Given the crowd, I couldn't understand the lethargy until someone passed around the myrrh. It got real mellow. Some tall guy in the corner with what looked like binder rings in his forehead kept muttering to himself, 'Call the question. Somebody call the question.'

"Waitresses wearing CleriCool II collars and very little else circulated among the crowd, dispensing drinks and gluten-free communion wafers topped with Gruyere, gold leaf and foie gras. I took a drink, hoping to counter the sweetly sickening effect of the myrrh and asked the waitress what it was. She called it a Dusty Vicar, 'very dry,' she said. The deputies around me laughed. A terrible, bitter laugh.

"'Wait a second,' I called after the waitress, but she had moved on to another knot of stoned deputies who seemed to be reading from the book of Acts. Or maybe they were just dreaming. So I turned to him and said, 'These wafers aren't...consecrated, are they?'

"'Why? Do you want them to be?' he purred. 'Go ahead. Consecrate them,' he said, forcing my hands in the orans position.

"'You're not Episcopalians!' I cried. 'You're not going to turn me into some lay presider!'

"As I ran from the room, I heard an ominous voice whisper, 'If a word of this reaches Jim Naughton, you're dead. I'll see to it that you'll never be able to serve on a respectable vestry anywhere in the Anglican Communion. Even confirmation won't help you now.'

"I fled, heart pounding, back to the safety and warmth of the casual brewpub gatherings below. But I knew I would never forget that terrible night at General Convention when the penthouse of the Indianapolis Marriott became the very pit of hell."

So there you have it. Disbelieve if you want, but the truth is out there. Let those who have ears to hear, and all that.


piman said...

Same thing always happens to me when I call the A/C repairman!

Lisa Fox said...

Cracked me up! Especially the Jim Naughton reference. LMAO!

Anonymous said...

Do you think you might also write a generally truthful account of what actually happened at General Convention? Because I have tried to navigate the GC homepage, and I have tried mousing my way across the internet, and I have found many, many passionate opinions, but I still can't seem to find out what actually happened.

In particular, do you know what the Convention decided about whether to allow people to take communion regardless of being baptized? and, on a completely different note, do you know if it's true that the whole organization is going to be moving from a two-house to a one-house structure?

I find myself praying for the church every day - which is probably a good thing! - but while I am usually pretty good about living with ambiguity, I am getting to the point where I would really love to have a few hard facts about what has happened and a few thoughtful suggestions about what might happen next.

LKT said...

My perspective on GC was limited to a view from the Exhibit Hall, so my information will be just as second-hand as almost anyone (who wasn't actually a delegate). But I think the Episcopal Cafe's debriefing will at least get you started.

In brief to answer your questions: Communion Without Baptism is still non-canonical. As far as the unicameral structure: what happened was that there will be a task force to consider the structure of the church as a whole. Although moving to a unicameral body may be on the table, there's certainly no imminent plans to do so. (Someone correct me if I misunderstood.)

Anonymous said...

Thank you so, so much for the update and the link!