Whereas the House of Deputies & the House of Bishops are completely concerned with legislation, we ECW members in the Triennial Meeting have the opportunity to learn about a number of Outreach activities and to attend some outstanding workshops (which are giving us many ideas to share at home). On Monday, July 13th, we had a wonderful presentation by Dean David du Plautier, the Dean of the Cathedral in New Orleans. He gave a PowerPoint presentation & told us about his vision of restoring the Central City--the area of New Orleans adjoining the Cathedral--which has evolved into the Jericho Road Episcopal Housing Initiative. He further envisions this as a program which can be duplicated throughout the U.S., wherever there is blight and areas in cities which need restoration. (doesn't this sound like something from which Cleveland could benefit???!!) As of July 13th, the Episcopal Church Women have raised $73,080.55 toward our goal of $110,000. Elizabeth von Trapp also spoke to us this morning, saying that she wants to work with the ECW --- "use me to make a difference" -- saying that Jericho Road has an answer and she has a voice.
The report that we heard from the ECW's Social Justice Committee told us about some of the Outreach gifts we've given: to the Mother's Union in the Diocese of Lui (Sudan) for a poultry farm; a partial scholarship to a handicapped young woman for art school; the Diocese of Kajo Keji (Southern Sudan) for their Tailoring Center; the Diocese of Haiti for their school which is teaching sewing & marketing skills; the Diocese of Puerto Rico for their Cathedral School program for the prevention of violence against women; the Diocese of Navajoland to buy heavy duty sewing machines & materials so the women can continue making blankets to sell as well as teach younger women. During this Triennial Meeting we have brought gifts for a local Outreach program--Project Dignity, which helps & supports families that have been forced to live in motels.
Rob Radtke, of the Episcopal Relief & Development, spoke to us and talked about our own Bishop's marathon bike ride (along with 8 other Ohio bike riders) "Riding for Their Lives" to raise money for Nets for Life. Rob was also able to tell us that the 0.7% line item has been restored in the national church budget!!
The Triennial meetings also hears from such people as Sarah Eagleheart, the Program Officer for Native American Ministry and Susan Johnson, president of the Episcopal Women's History Project.
On Tuesday, July 14th, we heard the United Thank Offering report--explaining their criteria for their granting process and noting some of the 2009 grants. These were then approved by the Triennial Meeting. (we had spent time in a UTO hearing on Sat. learing many details) The Offering at the Eucharist on Sunday totaled $28,168.92; so the total amount granted at this Triennial was $2,065,472.43 for 63 grants!!!
Bonnie Anderson, the President of the House of Deputies, spoke to us yesterday, giving us her vision of keeping her eye on the prize, and pointing out that the Episcopal Church Women keep their eye on the prize! --- Mission!!
We had two more "blocks" of workshops in the afternoon.