Every three years, lay and clergy deputies from throughout the Episcopal Church gather for an event known as General Convention. General Convention is the Episcopal Church’s legislative body, a bi-cameral system which holds elections, approves resolutions, policies, budgets, and oversees the workings of the church.
This summer, both Sarah Braik and I will be part of a team from Maine. In addition, both Bishop Brown and I will be serving on the Legislative Committee of Church Leadership and Governance. The Maine Deputation has already been meeting once a month. The Legislative Committees are meeting every other week, with hearings on resolutions (on zoom and open to the public) beginning in February.
The Committee on Church Governance will be responsible for legislation on a wide variety of issues, including topics such as a church-wide policy on Family Medical Leave, establishing a church-wide office for Women’s ministries, and revised anti-racism training requirements for clergy and lay staff. The most interesting part of the committee – and of the General Convention itself — are the people: a wonderful mix of gender, age, and experience. My committee includes Tribal council members from New Mexico and North Dakota, a seminary professor who specializes in Hispanic ministry, and clergy and lay people from Washington State to Texas, Minnesota, Maine, and points in between, each of whom bring enthusiasm, energy, and a deep sense of faith and calling to this work. The committee is a microcosm – a representation of a church that is very much alive and striving to proclaim and live the Good News of Jesus Christ, today and for future years to come.
A multitude of committees will be working on a multitude of issues and areas of interest. Is youth your concern? Evangelism? Social justice? Outreach? Global mission? Climate? Worship, Music, and Prayer book revision?
I encourage you to go to the General Convention new website to look through the “blue book” of reports and resolutions. I will let you know when hearings start coming up. If you have any questions or thoughts, please share them with Sarah (Sarahsbraik642@gmail.com) or myself ( firstname.lastname@example.org).
Thank you for your prayers for us, for the Maine deputation, and for the General Convention, as we begin our work for you.