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From Columbus: Griswold, Werner offer focus for Convention and reflection on tenure

By Daphne Mack

The Very Rev. George Werner, president of the House of Deputies and the Most Rev. Frank T. Griswold, Presiding Bishop.  

ENS photo by Jim DeLa
The Very Rev. George Werner, president of the House of Deputies, addresses bishops and deputies before orientation sessions Monday, June 12, at the 75th General Convention of the Episcopal Church in Columbus, Ohio    (ENS photo by Jim DeLa)

[Episcopal News Service]  Hundreds gathered in the daily Eucharist space at General Convention on June 12 to hear Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold and House of Deputies President George Werner.
In his remarks, Griswold thanked the Diocese of Southern Ohio "on behalf of all of us" for its "warm welcome."  He expressed gratitude to the guests and visitors of the Anglican Communion along with "other communities of faith for being here with us."

"You are a precious gift to us all," he said. "In particular, the presence of our Anglican brothers and sisters is a reminder to us that we are part of a global Communion and that, though we seek to embody the gospel in very different places, and in response to very different challenges, we are called to be one in mission for the sake of the world."

Work of this Convention

Calling the work of reconciliation costly and demanding, Griswold said, "It cost Jesus his life." However, through the outstretched arms of Jesus on the cross, "humanity in all its variations and singularities is drawn together in a fierce and tenacious embrace of reconciling love."

In gearing up for the work of this convention, Griswold said he prays "that our responses to what we have been asked to consider will be conformed to the image of Christ, and that we will emerge from this 75th General Convention with a renewed awareness of what it means to be given by God through Christ the ministry of reconciliation for the sake of the world."

God's light

Reflecting on his tenure, Werner said it has been his "singular privilege to have been able to spend the last six years as president of the House of Deputies."
"The stories of this church are phenomenal," he said. "This church is about Jesus Christ."

He mentioned the work of the Rt. Rev. George E. Packard, the Episcopal Church's bishop suffragan for chaplaincies, and of Camp Coast Care, a hurricane-relief ministry of Lutheran Episcopal Services in Mississippi, located on the grounds of Coast Episcopal School in Long Beach, Mississippi.

The text of Griswold's remarks are available at: 

Werner did not speak from a prepared text and a transcript is not available.