Today I got to vote on a piece of legislation officially thanking my mother.
The Episcopal Church is broken up into provinces, and the Diocese of Olympia (i.e. western Washington) is in Province VIII. Just like at the congregational, diocesan, and denominational levels, the provinces all need to have the occasional meeting of a governing body. Seeing as budgets are tight, Province VIII decided to hold it’s legislative session (called the synod) in the days before General Convention, with the idea that many of the people who would need to attend would be there already anyway.
With just under 50 voting members, it was like a mini-convention right before the main event. It had all the same trappings (Rules of Order, elections, resolutions, reports, speakers), but was over in under three hours. Plus there were ripe figs wrapped in prosciutto, a flavor combo I would have never imagined could be so delicious.
I was coming straight from another event, so I happened to arrive early to the synod reception. I shook hands with the people in charge, ALL of whom apparently know my mother. For those of you who don’t know my mom, well, she’s kind of a big deal. She’s the director of Faith Formation in the Diocese of Olympia and until very recently was involved with youth and young adult ministries at the provincial level as well. Over the years I’ve had many conversations start with “I’ve worked with your mother” or “You’re Kathy Hamilton’s daughter?” I’m very proud of my mom so I take it as a compliment to be associated with her, but more important than that is my mom’s reaction when I first told her how often I got these reactions from people: “Tell them, ‘I’m not Kathy Hamilton’s daughter. I’m Katrina Hamilton.’ ”
So it was with great pride that I cast my vote at synod on a resolution formally thanking several groups and individuals for their work with the province, including listing my mother by name. She’s helped me so much over the years, and given me a lot of good advice along the way. She even cooked diner for all of our deputation meetings in the year and a half leading up to convention. Some people can’t imagine volunteering to cook and clean up after 15-20 people for free, but if you ask my mother she’d tell you she can’t imagine spending eight days at General Convention. We all have our own gifts to bring to the table. What makes people like my mother extraordinary is how well they know their gifts, and how freely they give them.
I am not my mother. But I strive to match her level of service. It’s service worthy of formal gratitude.