Diocesan Convention to be a Remote "Virtual" Event This Year
At the June 16th scheduled meeting of the Standing Committee, the Bishop and Standing Committee resolved that Diocesan Convention this year will be an online/telephonic event instead of an in-person gathering.
While Diocesan Convention is typically scheduled for the first weekend of October, the decision to meet in-person or remotely had to be made to allow for planning and preparing. Details will develop over the next weeks and months, but for now it is anticipated that the business of Convention will be structured to take place in blocks of time October 3rd and October 11th.
Despite the easing of Public Health Mandates in Alaska and a general relaxing of many people's concerns for the spread of the disease, the virus is still active, still highly contagious, and still a significant risk to health--especially the health of elders and those with compromised immune systems. As a gathering of individuals from communities throughout Alaska, a Diocesan Convention does represent a significant risk of exposure to SARS-COV 2 and spread of the disease across communities when potentially exposed delegates return home.
The Bishop put it this way: "I would rather be on the 'right' side of wrong with this decision. I would rather have a remote Convention only to find out that we were wrong and could have had an in-person event, than to have an in-person Convention only to find out that we were wrong and should have had a remote event. The stakes are much higher being wrong about an in-person gathering."
Recognizing that a significant number of our communities do not have ready access to the same technologies and internet resources as others, the Standing Committee and the Diocesan Office is committed to plan and prepare for ways that EVERY community will be able to participate.
This is "new" territory for all of us. With everyone's good spirits, positive outlook, patience, and flexibility, this first (and let us hope once in a lifetime) Convention will be a success.