I returned from Evening Prayer and a lovely reception a little while ago. So far, the diocesan convention seems well-planned and well-executed. Unfortunately, the weather was not particularly coöperative tonight, and a light snowfall and slippery roads no doubt kept attendance down. The crowd was not embarrassing, however.
A number of special guests made people feel like others cared for us in the diocese and were cheering us on. Bishop Paul Marshall attended from the Diocese of Bethlehem, as did Nathan Baxter from the Diocese of Central Pennsylvania, and Bishop Sean Rowe of the Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania, my previous diocese before I came to Pittsburgh. Bishop Bob Ihloff, Province III president, was unable to be present, but he sent a letter and communicated greetings from all the Province III bishops. (The Rev. Barbara Saras, coördinator of Province III was on hand and had set up a table with materials about the province.) Of course our consultant, Bishop David Jones was present from the Diocese of Virginia, as was the Ven. Richard Cluett, who was recently named by the Presiding Bishop as pastoral assistant for reorganizing dioceses. On the eccumenical front, the Rev. Kurt Kusserow, ELCA bishop of Southwestern Pennylvania Synod was there, as was the Rev. Don Green, executive director of Christian Assoicates of Southwest Pennsylvania.
The business part of the convention starts early tomorrow. Time for bed … .