The Church doing Church
Take your own parish and that which can get stirred up in a relatively small pot. Now multiply that by..... a lot. That is convention.
I'd never been to one and was thrown headlong into the life of it.
There is spectacle. The exhibit area alone has plenty to show between goods, wares (and wears), services, organizations, companies, individual artisans, obligatory food line. There is plenty to see and hear. There are plenty to meet!
One moves from there to any number of rooms dedicated to Eucharist or snacks or debates (if you have the proper credentials, of course). Clusters of people populate the large hallway constructing strategies or plans of action. You meet people you haven't seen for years in this new context.
I was lucky enough to meet so many women in leadership positions for the national ECW (Episcopal Church Women). What a lovely bunch.
It was an enriching experience being able to be present in the Prayer Garden at convention, presented through the good graces of many chapters of the Daughters of the King - a group I had only heard about prior to an e-mail which arrived in February. What a remarkable, loyal, diligent, prayerful group of women.
There was room at the table for everyone at convention: youth, the disabled, relief organizations, the aged, native and central American ministries, women, religious orders, lesbians & gays, traditionalists. We had conversation - not a battle or a screaming match or the cold shoulder. We had conversation with God and conversation with one another.
There can be something very radical about being moderate. Making the center a larger place gives us all space to stand and breathe.
The Spirit of the living God was in us and among us and lives in us still, invigorating us to be the body of Christ in the world. Through the Spirit we make connections, develop relationships. In this atmosphere the Church does Church the best way it can: reasonably, responsibly, reverently.