General Convention

What values and priorities will guide the Episcopal Church in the days and years ahead?

Up to four elected lay deputies and up to four elected clerical deputies from each of the more than 100 dioceses in the U.S. and overseas, along with our bishops will meet in Baltimore, MD, June 30 through July 9, 2021 to shape the policies, practices, and budget of the Episcopal Church through voting on resolutions and through elections. Their work is done in the context of prayer and worship. Passionately held values meet Rules of Order. How Episcopalian!

Reporting from General Convention

Deputies, several Episcopalians from Colorado attending in various capacities, and the Communications Department from the Episcopal Church in Colorado will be sharing:

Why should I care about General Convention?

The basic reason is that we’re all in this together. We’re a hierarchical church that together makes a common witness to the world. Local is essential, and, it’s part of something bigger. Decisions will likely have an impact on local parish staff, priests and deacons, and bishops. It will have an impact on the way The Episcopal Church engages the world.

There are a lot of internal issues of the institutional church that General Convention addresses. That’s because this is the time and place, and these are the people, to do that. Who are we as Episcopalians? What do we care about? What should we be doing, and how, when, and with whom?

For example in 2018, we approached the following topics and questions:

  • We’re going to revise the Prayer Book sometime. Not yet. This General Convention will consider resolutions for how we’ll go about that work. Two very different approaches are offered.
  • Should we add a new commitment to the Baptismal Covenant about caring for creation, on a trial basis, or will this suggestion go on hold during any revision process? What about marriage rites? Liturgies for racial reconciliation? Care for creation? More saints for the calendar?
  • If you’re a parish leader, General Convention will be considering several changes to the parochial reports that parishes must submit annually. Which ones will be approved? When will they go into effect?
  • If you’re involved with Title IV (clergy misconduct) matters, you’ll definitely want to follow the proposed changes in the canons. There are a lot of changes to the canons (which function like an operating system).
  • Church planters have asked for $6.8 million. Will General Convention say yes?
  • What should the Church’s investment portfolio include and exclude?
  • Should we set up a Task Force on the Theology of Money or any of the other proposed task forces?
  • What kind of support, including funding, will there be for ethnic ministries? Youth ministry? Young adult ministry?
  • How can we address the opioid epidemic?
  • And so many more.

Who are our deputies & alternates?

At our annual convention in 2021, we will elect members to the deputation. They will be joining Bishop Lucas in Baltimore as voting members of General Convention.

Information about serving on the General Convention Deputation

How will our deputation be serving at this General Convention?

All bishops and some deputies are appointed to serve on the 26 legislative committees. These committees hold hearings on their respective resolutions, inviting testimonies to understand various perspectives, and fine tune the resolutions before the matter comes before the Houses for deliberation. Unassigned deputies volunteer to follow committees, so as the deputation caucuses throughout convention, the team can stay informed of the whole.

How do resolutions move through General Convention?

When our bishops and deputies (elected lay persons, priests, and deacons) gather at General Convention, they pray, worship, and take counsel together through a legislative process. This process begins when resolutions are proposed by authorized committees, commissions, and task forces that meet between sessions of General Convention, and by Deputies, Bishops, Provinces, or Dioceses of the Episcopal Church.

(Courtesy of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut)

Participate from Colorado!

  • Follow along on Twitter with hashtags #GC80 and tag @EpiscopalCO
  • Follow The Episcopal Church in Colorado on Facebook for updates from our General Convention Deputation!
  • General Convention website with legislative info, worship material, schedules, and more.
  • Virtual Binder of all resolutions to date (both English and Spanish).
  • Blue Book – two volume PDF with reports from all of the official committees, commissions, and task forces that have been at work since the last General Convention in 2015, with all 173 proposed resolutions (“A” resolutions).

Prayer for General Convention

Almighty and everliving God, source of all wisdom and understanding, be present with those who take counsel in the 80th General Convention of the Episcopal Church gathered in Baltimore, MD, for the renewal and mission of your Church. Teach us in all things to seek first your honor and glory. Guide us to perceive what is right, and grant us both the courage to pursue it and the grace to accomplish it; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

*Special thanks to Karin Hamilton and the Episcopal Church in Connecticut for their contributions to this content.