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Welcome To Minneapolis...

Issue 1, July 30

Issue 2, July 31

Issue 3, August 1

Issue 4, August 2

Issue 5, August 4

Issue 6, August 5

Issue 7, August 6

Issue 8, August 7

Issue 9, August 8 (Final)

Articles
Church sees future with 20/20 vision
A whole world in our hands
Griswold gladdened by Convention’s prayer, ‘mission energy’
How are you implementing the 20/20 vision for the church’s future?
Deputies concur: Same-sex rites in use, but common liturgies must wait
Budget decisions favor youth, cultural services
Committee elected to nominate candidates for next Presiding Bishop
For the living of these days
For the facing of this hour
Wrap-up of legislation
Media and mission
U.N.’s Jeffrey Sachs calls Church to moral challenge of reconciliation
World Mission statement calls for new focus on evangelism, service
Anglican Observer takes Convention as opportunity to connect with U.S. Episcopalians
Well, yes, we made it after all!
Churchwide action on same-gender blessings must wait, bishops say
Three cheers for volunteers
Consent decision sparks widespread reaction
In unity, diversity, ecumenical visitors share insights
What are you and your congregation doing to improve the environment?
Earth to Convention…protect our food
Those who opposed Robinson’s consent determined to go forward
Saints of God photo
Deputies elect Anderson VP; Werner re-elected president
Venezuela joins ECUSA
Venezuela nueva diócesis de ECUSA
Robinson ratified; Bishops vote 62-43
Interfaith voices strong in support, but church members fear divisions
Native American singers and drummers photo
Title III debate moves forward, sans dramatic changes
What can individuals do to further world peace?
Transfiguration: bomb tests spark lessons in peace
Nazi treatment of gays recalled
Signs and Wonders
Committee expedites 97 late-breaking resolutions
Accusations put Robinson consent on hold
Hiroshima and Healing
Bishop recalls Hiroshima blast: ‘I felt like the room…was dyed purple’
Unawareness is root of all racism, PB tells forum
Youth, young adults lead budget priorities
How should the church invest in youth?
Young adult voices replace rhetoric, command respect
Title III revision favors standing committees’ referral of candidates
Cultural competence essential for seminarians, advocates say
Culturally diverse rites vital to 20/20, bishops affirm
Saints come marching in
Gold: the color of our church
Deputies OK Robinson election
I will raise them up!
'One people reconciled'
Why must the church continue to confront racism?
Once deacons themselves?
Puerto Rico diocese joins ECUSA
Puerto Rico miembro pleno de ECUSA
Francis and Solheim honored
Bishops reject direct ordination to priesthood
Bishops to mull local option for same-sex rites
What is your opinion of capital punishment?
Robinson hearing sets stage for Deputies
Gap widens to chasm says Cape Town archbishop
Sunday Eucharist set for 10 a.m.; Nigerian Archbishop to preach
Witnesses debate blessings’ potential for mission
Ryan reiterates why he could not throw the switch
To the Pointillism
My Lord! What a morning of prayer
Miscellaneous Photo
Chapel's stations update Way of Cross
Art is muse for meditation
What is your prayer for Convention?
For all the saints: Bishops recommend names to calendar
20/20 energy surges through Convention
We're one big, happy Abrahamic family
Christian hope grew in Ground Zero's grief
Being a peace church in the world of war
Church's mission starts with inclusion
No more conversation on women’s ordination, committee decides
Briefly Noted…
Shop now in marketplace of faith
Miscellaneous Photos
Ethnic communities launch new caucus
Sexuality issues spark ‘teachable moments’across Convention
Dioceses encouraged to take up mission of reconciliation
This Family Robinson: New granddaughter delights bishop-elect
How does reconciliation occur in your diocese?
‘We need the gift of one another…,’ PB tells Convention
Nightly ‘General Convention News’ broadcast makes debut
Church’s youngest members find Convention home
Baptismal covenant forms foundation for Title III revisions
Comunidades étnicas se organizan para la Convención General
Catch cues from Cape Town
Middle East, 9/11, Bridging Cultures, 20/20... Can We Talk?
How is the General Convention reflecting the diversity of the Church?
Consent votes for bishops-elect
Visitors, guests emphasize our global connections
Experienced news teams working this convention
Enjoy Minneapolis – but not too much!
Young people add their voices to mix at convention
Budget seeks to reconcile abundance of faith in time of scarcity
Worship to embrace diversity of languages, cultures, music
Morning aims to help participants ground decisions in prayer
Peace group to mark Hiroshima anniversary, host workshops
The Witness magazine to honor peace and justice advocates
American Anglican Council offers ‘Place to Stand’ for traditional views
Collaborative of ministry groups share in ‘Claiming the Blessing’
Video showcases women’s ministries
Be sure to find “The Great Minnesota Welcome”
Committee members ponder issues of faith and genetics, food safety




‹‹ Return
Enjoy Minneapolis – but not too much!

7/30/2003

Garrison Keillor
  

 

We Minnesotans realize that we were not your first choice for a convention site and that probably you would’ve preferred going to a more Catholic area such as Tuscany or Provence, and, of course, so would we if we were attending a convention.

The food here is about as good as you’d expect and cultural life is mostly imported and the scenery is nothing you’d travel great distances to see and the people aren’t particularly friendly. We tend to be polite (not on the freeway, but elsewhere) and seldom raise our voices in anger, except, of course, to loved ones.
We can be helpful if your car should get stuck in a snowdrift, but this has less to do with charity and more to do with demonstrating a command of the situation. And snowfall is so rare in July, almost unknown. I can only recall two or three summer snowstorms — I mean, real storms, not just flurries — and I am older than most of you.
And yet we care very much what you think of us, and if you were to go home and talk about Minnesota as a dreary and inhospitable place, we would be heartbroken, and we would never forgive you.
This makes it hard to live here and be a satirist, but I’m not complaining. Complaining is another thing you don’t do here. Here, self-pity is one of the Seven Deadly Sins, replacing gluttony.

The Cathedral of St. Mark is a handsome and lovely edifice, full of light on a Sunday morning, the church of choice for Episcopalians and social-climbing Lutherans. It has better coffee and shorter sermons.
The Lutheran Vatican is in south Minneapolis, Mount Olivet Lutheran, which does five or six Sunday services during the High Holy Days, like vaudeville, emptying and refilling the big parking lot with real Lutheran discipline. You never saw better traffic control.

The big Catholic church is the Basilica of St. Mary, which, along with the Cathedral of St. Paul, were built by Archbishop John Ireland almost a century ago and designed by a French architect named Emmanuel Masqueray. The archbishop loved marble, and some of us walk into these churches today and immediately remember why we are Protestants. It’s because we like wood.   

The Twin Cities are an island in a sea of corn and beans and dairy farms, Minneapolis the wealthier and sexier city, St. Paul slower and more blue-collar. St. Paul thinks of itself as a small town, whereas Minneapolis imagines that it is one of the major American cities — New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis — and a cultural mecca and a hotbed of hipness. This amuses us St. Paulites. We feel that if you really are hip, you would never bother to talk about it or show it. So we don’t. 

 We are a smug, self-righteous people in the Midwest, and this is not an attractive trait, so you should be careful not to have too good a time here, lest your frivolity be an occasion for gloating by the dark Lutherans watching you from the shadows.

On the other hand, we do sing well together, especially Lutherans do. Lutherans learn to sing in four-part harmony before they can read, and it can be terribly moving to stand in their midst as they sing “Children of the Heavenly Father” or some other hymn they all know by heart.

It makes you feel the Spirit as the apostles felt at Pentecost. It brings tears to your eyes. Of course there is usually an organist on hand who is happy to ruin the whole thing by opening up all of his trumpet and chainsaw stops and then plunging us into the key of D minor for a set of ingenious variations that make us all want to get out of there and worship God in the woods and fields where there are no organs, just an occasional harmonica.

That’s the Midwest for you. It can break your heart and be a stone in your shoe, but there is a spirit here that can move you, a love of the common good, a kind of generosity, even a willingness to serve on committees. I hope you meet up with some good people while you’re here.

Of course, there are good people in Tuscany and Provence, too. There are good people in Los Angeles and on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. There even are good people in Texas, or so I’ve been told.

Garrison Keillor is the host of “A Prairie Home Companion” and a resident of St. Paul, along with his wife and daughter, both Episcopalians. He is still searching for a church home, one where the organ is broken, where the rector reads the prayers and does not perform them, and where the homily is one you remember the next day.


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Full General Convention 2003 Schedule


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