Today’s must-reads from General Convention

Kathy Staudt on generational tension at General Convention and in the Church (she’s commenting on a post by Steve Pankey):

But for boomers there will probably always be more inclusivity to pursue: The way to this is through our struggles to be a community in diversity. I also grew up assuming that the Church, as instsitution, would be a voice for change in the public square. This has been the heritage of mainline denominations at their best, often, in my experience, allied with a progressive political agenda that focuses on the needs of the poor and the marginalized. This is the positive ideal that I was rasied with, and reflects perhaps, assumptions that the boomer generation operates with that are not necessarily the assumptions of a younger generation.

It is interesting to me that Steve, speaking from a generation that came of age in the “bubble” economic years of the 80s and 90s, hears what I have thought of as language about the church’s mission as language that can become laden with “shame,” “guilt” and “partisanship” — and I think it is true that we can get hung up on the work that remains to be done. In his post I hear a longing for the reclaiming of a sense of common mission centered in Christ. I’m not sure whether there is a “fundamental” generational divide here or just a difference of context that we need to process more thoughtfully. This of course would mean including multiple generations in our common conversation The more that that happens, I think, the more exciting the future of the Church will be.

Here’s a presentation on the demographics of the House of Deputies. It’s very interesting on a number of levels. There are only 46 deputies under 40 years of age (almost 20% of deputies failed to give their age, so this isn’t precise). The lay deputies skew much older than clergy. For example, of those in their 50s, 78 are lay, 137 clergy, while of those in their sixties, 152 are lay, 89 are clergy.

Tom Ehrich on the sale of “815:”

Rather, I see this as an important opportunity to do two things that badly need doing: liberating church life from its obsession with physical facilities, and opening the doors for insiders to look outward.

And a roundtable on the “Acts 8 Moment

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