Clergy and lay deputies have departed for the General Convention of the Episcopal Church in Salt Lake City for two weeks of important discussions and voting on the future of the Episcopal Church. Please use the links below to keep up-to-date about the happenings in Salt Lake City.
Article originally printed in the Eastern Shore Episcopalian:
A unique characteristic of Episcopal Church governance is General Convention, a bicameral legislative body meeting every three years. Each of the Episcopal Church’s one hundred ten dioceses send their bishops (diocesan & suffragan) and their deputies & alternates (laity & clergy). There are two legislative houses, the House of Bishops and House of Deputies. The Rev. Gay Clark Jennings, Diocese of Ohio, is President of the House of Deputies, and the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop, is President of the House of Bishops.
Resolutions are assigned to cognate legislative committees, on which serve bishops and deputies–cognate committees are two committees serving as one. Every cognate committee has a bishop Chair & Vice Chair, a deputy Chair & Vice Chair, a secretary, and a legislative aide. Committees hold hearings, perfect resolutions, and then forward them to a legislative house.
The originating house debates, amends, and passes their perfected resolutions to the other legislative house, where resolutions must pass verbatim, as received, or they are returned to the previous house, and the legislative process continues.
Hundreds of resolutions are passed in sixteen legislative sessions over nine days, which include three evenings of legislative committee hearings, thirteen legislative committee meetings, several joint House sessions, nine community Eucharists, and other, one-time, evening gatherings & convention-related, special events.
Those serving from the Diocese of Easton are Bishop Parsley, four lay deputies & one lay alternate, and four clergy deputies & one clergy alternate; four of Easton’s deputies will serve on legislative committees, as well.
Easton’s deputation is as follows: Lay – Mr. Eddie Vance (deputation Chair; legislative committee), Ms. Jane Morgan, Ms. Nancy Dick (legislative committee; Senior Deputy), Mr. Howard Snyder, and Ms. Heather Calloway Kissam (alternate), and clergy – the Very Rev. Charlie Osberger (legislative committee Vice Chair), the Very Rev. Greg Powell (deputation Vice Chair), the Rev. David Michaud (member of the General Convention Secretariat),the Rev. Kevin Cross (legislative committee), Very Rev. Dr. Frieda Malcolm (alternate).
General Convention will elect the next Presiding Bishop, will pass a 3-year budget, and will consider the Reports of the Taskforce to Reimagine the Church (“TREC”) and the Task Force on the Study of Marriage. Final Blue Book Reports are available online, as are the two, Task Force Reports, and Program, Budget & Finance’s Draft Budget.
Easton’s deputation and Bishop Parsley met in February and April, and they will attend the Province 3 Synod, Sunday, 4/26 – Tuesday, 4/28. The Rev. Nathaniel Pierce will also be attending Province 3 Synod and General Convention as Province 3’s Executive Council Clergy Representative.
Visit episcopalchurch.org, generalconvention.org, dioceseofeaston.org, province3.org, and Episcopal News Service to learn more about the convention and what is happening in Salt Lake City.
Pray for the church.
Eddie Vance is a lay deputy for General Convention and worships at Christ Church, Denton.