A General Convention as Diverse as the Church

A General Convention as Diverse as the Church

Northern California deputies and alternates, from left: Myles Clarke, the Rev. Lewis Powell, the Rev. James Richardson, the Very Rev. Sara Potter, Jim Jordan, Charis Hill, John Miller, Canon Charles Mack, the Very Rev. Cliff Haggenjos and the Rev. Andrea McMillin, Canon to the Ordinary.

By Lori Korleski Richardson, Interim Communications Director

For many faithful Episcopalians who attend services every Sunday come rain or shine, the General Convention is something far away that happens every three years. But for deputies, alternates, bishops, and 300 or so volunteers who handle everything from checking badges, data entry, worship setup and take down, language services, greeters, gofers, and community awareness, the convention center they share with the Episcopal Church Women Triennial will become their island home for nearly every waking hour almost two weeks.

This year the 79th General Convention will be in Austin, Texas, which is also home to 14 Episcopal Churches and the Seminary of the Southwest.

Major topics to be discussed include racial reconciliation; revision of the Book of Common Prayer; evangelism; rites for the marriage of all persons and blessings of relationships; and how to support peace in Israel and the dignity of every human being in that country. Bishop Barry Beisner is sponsoring at least one resolution, On the Status of Jerusalem, which asks that the 79th General Convention strongly re-affirm its long-established position calling for the city of Jerusalem to be the shared capital of both the State of Israel and of a future Palestinian state.

The Rev. Andrea McMillin, Canon to the Ordinary and chair of the Northern California deputation, said, "General Convention is where the Church as a body talks, and it informs and affects how we respond and act on important issues down the road."

An overview of how General Convention is structured and how to prepare for it is available here

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