The Rev. Meredyth Wessman Ward
I have been a priest of this diocese since 2001, serving Christ Church Rochdale, Epiphany Wilbraham and St. Michael's on the Heights in Worcester. I am currently serving as Urban Missioner for our diocese, working in the Main South neighborhood of Worcester.
I am one of the clergy deputies to General Convention this year. This will be my fourth time at General Convention. I was the first alternate in Columbus Ohio, and served as deputy in Anaheim and Indianapolis. I served on the Prayerbook, Liturgy and Music committee in Indianapolis, and with Rich Simpson, will be serving on the Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations committee in Salt Lake City.
Mark Beckwith described General Convention as "one part state fair, one part legislature, and one part family reunion." We spend most of our time in committee work and debating on the floor, but we also explore the exhibits area, and spend time with friends. Some of our meals are shared as a deputation, some with fellow committee members, and some with friends from other dioceses.
General Convention is hard work. Those of us who serve on committees begin our work by 7:30 most mornings (earlier, if the committee has a large number of resolutions to deal with), and we often don't end our days until after 10 at night. Good conversations, wonderful liturgy, and a suitable amount of silliness sustains us. Most deputations bring something to mark their tables--we usually bring a large Dr. Seuss hat for ours.
I am delighted to be serving on the committee charged with ecumenism. Like Rich Simpson, my family background prepares me for this work. My mother was Roman Catholic, my father a deacon in the Congregational Church (a predecessor of the UCC), my nephew is a Lutheran, and my grandparents added even more denominations to the list. Part of my work in Main South involves serving as a bridge between various parishes and organizations in the neighborhood, and I have been involved in committee work with the Massachusetts Council of Churches.
I am grateful for the opportunity to serve our diocese and the wider church in Salt Lake City this June.