So at this General Convention, for the first time, I am a legislative aide. When I signed up, this sounded exciting. I had visions of emulating the characters from the West Wing—all fast talking and quicker walking, because my job was so very urgent.
From my two orientation sessions yesterday, I realized that this job was more along the lines of Hermes from Futurama. I push paper, and I push it for the betterment of all of us.
Basically, a legislative aide keeps track of the physical needs of the meeting, and makes sure they’re met. Additionally, I fill out several forms to ensure that hearings are publicized with enough time so that people can actually come, and that our fancy new electronic legislating system doesn’t lose stuff.
Tonight, my committee met for the first time. Because we are a speedy committee, who had done our homework, we could expedite and pass two resolutions. We duly voted, and submitted them electronically, and I copied down their information on my form. Then, I had to turn the form into the Secretariat.
When I handed it over, you’d have thought I had brought them an astonishing piece of alien technology that could save the world. The excitement in that office at finally having something to file was incredible to witness. Everyone gathered around my single piece of paper to stare.
“You’re the first person to bring us anything! We don’t have a system worked out yet.”
Conferring amongst themselves, the Secretariat volunteers recalled that I was to get a copy of my paper, and then, one of them had the breakthrough.
“OH! We have to look online! We have to look and see if the resolutions came through ONLINE! WE MUST SEE IF THE SYSTEM WORKS.”
Thus established, we all raced to a computer, and crowded around, myself included. Sure enough, there appeared our two humble resolutions, amended and everything, ready to be accepted. The volunteer working at the computer talked himself through the process: “Now I type in the date, and here is the House of initial action, and yes, that’s all right. I am READY TO SUBMIT.”
With these portentous words, he clicked the File button and we all held our breath. And like magic (only more like the internet, so not like magic at all), the first resolution of General Convention 78 was sent to the House of Bishops for a vote.
We broke into cheers. Success!!! We had triumphed! Human will had triumphed over the forces of gadgets and tricky computers!
Behold, the Holy Spirit is all around at General Convention—spreading joy even in the most bureaucratic of ways.