From the Province VIII website [boldface mine]:
Province VIII representatives, who gathered Sept. 10-11 for their regular business meeting near San Francisco, also prepared for next July's General Convention by sharing the stories of their lives.
About 75 bishops, clergy and laity elected officers, approved a $560,000 triennial budget and celebrated the establishment of new ministries. They were also the first provincial leaders to participate in the public narrative project, expected to frame a mission conversation at the national governing convention in Anaheim, California.
The Rev. John "Jack" Eastwood, re-elected for a second term as provincial president, encouraged attendees also to "go back to their dioceses and tell the story of the province … of sharing a Pentecost vision of unity by doing together in faith what we cannot do alone."
Since the last triennium, provincial leaders have reduced administrative expenses significantly, while increasing program costs nearly two-fold to about $100,000, Eastwood told the gathering. . .
The Rev. Gregory Straub, Secretary of Convention and Bonnie Anderson, President of the House of Deputies, joined the gathering for a General Convention orientation session and public narrative training workshop.
Public narrative is a leadership art that can be used by members of the Episcopal Church to articulate individual and collective stories as well as the call to action emerging from those stories and communities, according to Anderson. It connects with the convention theme, "ubuntu … I am because you are" which recognizes interdependence with one another.
"Today we are the place where the pebble is thrown into the pond. Today we begin a journey to General Convention; we will learn a technique for having that conversation," Anderson told the gathering.
She described public narrative as a "tool to build bridges to relationships, relationships to each other" which grew out of a General Convention 2006 resolution (D043). The training will be offered to all provincial synods prior to July 8, when the 76th General Convention convenes.
Well-known musician Fran McKendree offered music and the gathering warmly greeted participants from the continuing Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin, all of whom were "first-time" deputies to General Convention, according to the Rev. Mark Hall, diocesan canon to the ordinary.
"We represent about 1,500 people and 19 parishes and missions," he said, amid applause and a standing ovation. . .
Elected to the provincial court of review were: Bishop Barry Beisner of Northern California; the Rev. Ernest Cockrell (El Camino Real); and the Rev. Canon Kent McNair (Northern California) and the Rev. John Scannell (Oregon). Laity elected to the board of review were: Michael Dotten (Oregon); Donald Mullins (Olympia) and Miles Snyder (Northern California).
The dioceses included in Province VIII are: Alaska, Arizona, California, Eastern Oregon, El Camino Real (California), Hawaii, Idaho, Los Angeles, Navajoland Area Mission, Nevada, Northern California, Olympia, Oregon, San Diego, San Joaquin, Spokane, Taiwan and Utah.
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