April 24, 2008
Now that most dioceses have elected their deputations, House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson said she will increasingly dedicate her time to preparing for the 76th General Convention, which will be held July 8-17, 2009, in Anaheim, Calif.
“I will work on educating the church specifically about General Convention, our bicameral system, and our theology of governance,” she said in an address to the annual Episcopal Communicators’ Conference in Seattle recently. “The circular model of ministry – clergy, laity, bishops working together, using their gifts to be the ministers of the church that attracted me to The Episcopal Church over 35 years ago – has somewhat morphed itself into a pyramidal structure with the largest order, the laity, being at the bottom of a top-down approach to ministry.”
Mrs. Anderson, who is also chairwoman of the 17-member Joint Standing Committee on Planning and Arrangements, said the theme of the 76th General Convention will be Ubuntu, a Zulu word that describes humaneness encompassing a sense of caring, sharing and being in harmony with all of creation, according to an article in Episcopal Life, which noted that finding an exact translation for the word in English is difficult.
Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori told Episcopal Life that she suggested Ubuntu as the convention theme for a variety of reasons.
“Because it is unfamiliar, it may be able to invite us into a larger and more expansive way of understanding identity in community,” she said.
In comments to Episcopal Life, Mrs. Anderson said Episcopalians often struggle to describe the identity of The Episcopal Church and relationships within it. She and other planners envision a deeper understanding of the church’s identity and relationships by having convention engage in a process known as public narrative.
Marshall Ganz, lecturer in public policy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School and consultant to the planning and arrangements committee, described public narrative as the art of using stories to translate articulated values into action. Mrs. Anderson has invited Prof. Ganz to explain the use of public narrative on June 16 during a meeting of Executive Council in Albuquerque, N.M. Planning and arrangements committee members, members of Executive Council, as well as other invited deputies and bishops will learn the technique during the workshop. The skills learned could have future application at the pre-convention provincial synod meetings, as well as during General Convention, according to organizers.The transforming power of public narrative
is something people have to experience, Mrs. Anderson said. “They have to get involved. They have to use it. This is a skill that needs to be developed and in developing that skill, relationships are built. The ultimate goal is to truly become a people of mission,” she added. linkCan anyone find any reference to God or Jesus or the power of the Gospel in this? The transforming power of public narrative!!!??? Arrrgh!!! -PD
Ubuntu (philosophy) - Wikipedia Ubuntu
, pronounced [ùbúntú]
, is an ethic
or humanist philosophy
focusing on people's allegiances and relations with each other. The word has its origin in the Bantu languages
of Southern Africa. Ubuntu is seen as a traditional African concept.
An attempt at a longer definition has been made byArchbishop Desmond Tutu
(1999):“ A person with ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, for he or she has a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed."