I think they should have new ribbon to go on the badges. The deputies who have been apart of seven or more General Conventions get gold ribbons on their badges which read "Senior Deputy." The idea is that if we have a question that is not neccesarily covered in the Deputies Handbook and other material, we can learn the ropes from these vets.
The new ribbon should be for people like me, and should read "newbie" or "baby deputy" or something to account for the dazed and bewildered look I am sure I was wearing today. Actually it was not that bad. There was a certain "first day of class" to be sure, but it really is like what someone else (Bishop Robinson, I think?) described as "family reunion." I met many people I've known from other dioceses where I have served, or have met in various classes and conferences over the years. That's the reunion quality.
The family part came from some of the group work today. After hearing an orientation and introductory remarks from Bishop Griswold and Dean Werner, we gathered in small table groups to reflect on the following questions: what are we each most passionate about in the Christian faith? What do we each value most about the Episcopal Church? and How would each of us describe a "successful" convention to others who were not here?
While my small table reflected a variety of backgrounds and experiences, I found a uniform desire to find a way to continue to live in communion and a real consciousness of the hard work of living in communion. Everyone at my table spoke about their love of the Lord, about how Jesus has touched their lives and made a difference in both their lives and in the communities where they live. I also appreciate the real sacrifice that some at my table have made to be here.
As we were reminded by the Rev. Rob Voyle, people have given up ten days and more to be here because we all share something we value. I think that this is a real heart for mission.