It’s impossible to tally the hours that national, district and local planning teams contributed in order to create the best convention experience possible for delegates and visitors.
The national team consisted of some old hands (this was Linda Macqueen’s sixth General Convention), but there were some new faces, too. This was the first time Bishop John Henderson had chaired General Convention, and he received much commendation for his professionalism and even-handedness. In a break with tradition, the chair was assisted, officially, by a consultant with experience and expertise in constitutions and meeting procedures. The onthe- spot advice of Fred Kleinschmidt (pictured centre right), a lawyer, allowed Bishop Henderson to pay attention not only to the business, but also to the people and the spirit of Convention.
Also supporting Synod, out of the limelight, was Geraldine Hawkes (top right), Executive Officer of South Australian Council of Churches. Prior to Convention and during it, Geraldine offered insightful guidance to the church’s leaders and the ordination dialogue team for the conduct of the dialogue and debate sessions. For example, the daily journey of the Christ candle from the chapel into the business sessions was Geraldine’s idea, as were some of the symbolic candle-lighting and extinguishing rituals.
The planning team is indebted to Geraldine and Fred for their fresh approach and innovative contributions.
Working hard behind the scenes—for two years prior to Convention, and during it—was LCA Business Manager Debbie Venz (above) and her support crew, including the ever-attentive minute secretaries. Debbie played the leading role in operational and logistics management across all of Convention, including the agenda of the business sessions.