2019 December E-News
Welcome to the GCO Newsletter!
This newsletter is being created for the purpose of providing information and news about the work of the General Convention Office, as well as links to important documents.

Looking Ahead to
General Convention in 2021
General Convention
Children's Program

Children are welcome at General Convention! The General Convention Children’s program reminds us all that all baptized members are full participants in our common life together. The Children’s Program also helps to ensure that those present at General Convention are a representation of who we are as a Church.
In 2021 the program will be open to children from infants to thirteen years of age, with volunteer opportunities available for older children. The program will be open each day during legislative sessions, committee meetings and worship. The nursery will be staffed by trained and certified caregivers, and children under one are also welcome on the floor of the House of Deputies. Children ages 6 and up will also be able to participate in field trips to local attractions, such as the National Aquarium. The cost of the program is anticipated to be $50 per day, per child, as it was in 2018. Families may drop in for a single day or attend all days. Lunch and snacks are provided. More information will be available in 2020.
New Online Tool for Parochial Report Data
Interactive Online Tool for accessing data from Parochial Reports available in 2020

The information collected by the General Convention Office through Parochial and Diocesan Reports tells us a lot about who we are, and combined with demographic information, it can also be a tremendous tool as we live into the current realities of following Jesus as Episcopalians. In 2020, parishes and dioceses will have access to a new online, interactive tool. Stay tuned for more details!
Important Updates
Changes to Volunteer Mileage Reimbursement for 2020
As of January 1, 2020 the mileage reimbursement rate for volunteers will be $.14 per mile. This is a significant change that is necessary to bring DFMS policy in line with IRS guidelines. Please be mindful of this when making travel arrangements to attend meetings.
Thank you.
Accessible Version of Constitution and Canons Available

As of November 2019, an ADA Accessible version of the Constitution and Canons has been created. It can be downloaded from the Publications page on the General Convention website: https://www.generalconvention.org/publications#CandC
Important Information regarding Court of Review
Please help us get out the word: When the new Court of Review was established by General Convention in 2018, a critical piece of organizational administration was inadvertently overlooked.
In order to facilitate the work of the new churchwide Court of Review, Bishops, Chancellors, and Provincial Presidents are requested to share any notice of an Order from a Hearing Panel they receive with:
Thank you for your assistance in this matter.
New Staff

2019 has been a significant year in terms of new staff in the General Convention Office. In addition to Molly James , Deputy Executive Officer, who joined the GCO back in March, the GCO has welcomed two new colleagues. Fiona Nieman joined the team in July as the Senior Convention and Meeting Planner. Carrie Surbagh, as Associate for Digital Editing and Publications, joined on December 2. Both are valuable additions whose gifts and skills enhance the work of the GCO .
Fiona Nieman

Fiona joined the General Convention Office in July as Senior Convention & Meeting Planner. Fiona brings with her over 20 years of domestic and international meeting planning experience both from the hotel/convention services and the events industry. She has worked in corporate, non-profit and religious sectors, and her strengths lie in her ability to manage multiple complex programs, creating efficiencies in the life cycle of
meetings, while providing an excellent customer experience for her attendees. Fiona’s has joined the team that plans and hosts General Convention, Executive Council meetings, House of Bishops, and Interim Bodies meetings. Born in England, raised in South Africa and living in America since 2001, Fiona also speaks fluent French. She works remotely for the General Convention Office out of her home in Franklin TN, where she lives with her husband Steve, and three children, Chandler, Connor and Emma.

Carrie Surbaugh

Carrie joins us as the Associate for Digital Editing and Publications. Carrie graduated from the University of Texas at Austin and has a Masters in Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction from Seattle Pacific University. Areas of responsibility will include receiving, editing and posting Blue Book reports and other GC publications, surveys and mailings, and assisting with the website and mobile app.
For a complete list and contact information of all the Staff of the General Convention Office, please see:
Information for Diocesan Secretaries

In an effort to assist Diocesan Secretaries in their canonical roles, particularly regarding reporting, a list of requirements has been prepared, and is available here .

As we look ahead to General Convention in 2021, a reminder that Diocesan Secretaries are required to report information on the deputations elected by their diocese. Instructions on reporting are available in English and Spanish here .
Data and Research Updates
New Filing site and logins for Diocesan and Parochial Reports:

Parochial Report filing begins January 2, 2020. Reports are due to your Diocese by March 1, 2020, and to the General Convention Office by May 1, 2020. Please also check with your diocese for additional requirements.

For more information regarding the filing process for Diocesan and Parochial Reports see here .
Supplemental Survey in partnership with Faith Communities Today:

In addition to completing the Parochial Report, we are also inviting you to complete a survey. This survey has been created to provide a comprehensive view of congregations in America as well as a complete understanding of the Episcopal Church life than is possible on the annual Parochial Report.
Your congregation will receive a summary of the research findings when they are complete.
We encourage you to complete the survey by June 1, 2020.
To access the survey, please log into the Parochial Report filing site at https://reports.dfms.org
and click the “FACT survey” tab on the left menu.
General Updates and Information
Coming soon, a new look for the Extranet!
Shortly, users will encounter a new look when they log on to the Extranet. Our developers have been hard at work creating a new interface that will be easier and simpler to navigate. Note the change in colors and that the menu has moved to the side. Don't worry - all the same functionality will be there! Users can expect to see the change sometime later this month.
Resources for Interim Bodies

In an effort to provide helpful information and resources to members of Interim Bodies, particularly those in leadership roles, a microsite has been created here: https://sites.google.com/view/gcointerimbodyresources/home

The goal is to provide tools, forms, information, etc. all in one place. If you have additional resources you would like to see added, please email Molly James at mjames@episcopalchurch.org

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