Well, the cheerfully obliging Episcopalians of the Wingfield Deanery showed up en masse today, while the clergy and congregants of the Deanery of the West had a rather more tepid showing at the first convocation for the two new deaneries.
Whether the difference was due to difficult geography, negligent leadership (mine), or the possibility that members of the Deanery of the West have better things to do on a brilliant Saturday morning than wade through the arcana of rules of order and by-laws, the outcomes of which had been pre-determined by last Diocesan Convention, our attendance barely moved the meter above zero (5 congregations were unable to send anyone; only 3 clergy came, including me). Fortunately, there was no minimum requirement for a quorum, and the impressive turn-out among the Wingfield Wing-Nuts made up for the absence of Western Woo-Woos. (No one dares defy Jeanne Forte!)
The one thing we did that made the trip worthwhile, in my opinion, was the wonderful half-hour we spent at the end of our time, when we broke into groups according to our interests and connected with other Episcopalians across congregational lines. We tapped into the expertise in the room as people with experience in local ministries connected with other people genuinely excited by what they were doing. Health ministries, small groups, breakfast programs, youth in worship: these and many other small groups were spontaneously created. It was exciting to feel energy as we organized around our competence and lived faith.
Anyway, thanks to all 15 folks who made the trip, and I promise that in the future, you will have adequate notice, and maybe even a reason to attend!