Looking ahead to Convention and another opportunity to gather.
August 17, 2018

Hello!

Thank you to those that joined us in June - both in person and online, those that submitted a transition reflection survey, those that have gathered groups within the congregation for discernment around the transition scenarios, and to those that have taken the time to speak one-on-one with members of our Standing Committee.

We have heard from many members of our community and we are grateful for your engagement and discernment as we look to the future. If you haven't already taken the Transition Reflection Survey, please consider doing so.
 
As we head into October's Diocesan Convention, we want to share what you can expect to be presented from your Standing Committee and invite you to further conversation ahead of the legislative gathering on Sunday, September 16th. That information is below.

As much as is possible, please participate and invite others in your congregation to participate in these discussions and gatherings, whether in person or online. We truly feel God's presence in these conversations across the diocese and as we listen for what God is calling us to be. Your voice is important as our diocesan community continues to listen and act.

Peace,

The Standing Committee & Diocesan Council
The Rev. Dan Scheid*, President
St. Paul's, Flint

The Rev. Sue Rich*
Trinity, Bay City

The Rev. Phil Seitz*
St. Mark's, Atlanta

The Rev. Barb Cavin
Trinity, Flushing

The Rev. Elizabeth Chace
St. Francis, Grayling

The Rev. Ken Hitch
St. John's, Midland

*Denotes Standing Committee
Ms. Stephanie King*, Vice-President
St. Alban's, Bay City

Ms. Beth Barkley*
Trinity, Lexington

Mr. Bill Thewalt*
St. Christopher's, Grand Blanc

Ms. Amy Ellis
Christ Church, East Tawas

Mr. Jerry Rucker
St. Jude's, Fenton

Ms. Audrey Stephens
St. Paul's, Flint
September 16th - Transition Gathering
Please join us on Sunday, September 16th from 3-6PM at St. John's, Midland for additional conversation around the three transition scenarios. We invite all members of the diocese to join us, especially those that will be voting at the diocesan convention.

The Standing Committee will present a report including the responses from the Transition Reflection Survey - a summary of participant responses and votes, some answers to frequently asked questions, and more.
The Rt. Rev. Sean Rowe will be with us to discuss and answer questions about the discernment process underway in the Dioceses of Northwest Pennsylvania and Western New York, where, respectively, Bishop Rowe serves as Bishop Diocesan and is nominated to serve as Bishop Provisional. Their process, termed " Rust Belt Episcopal", is comparable to our Transition Scenario #3.
Please RSVP to help us plan for space and snacks. There is no cost to attend.

This gathering will be live-streamed on our diocesan Facebook Page and archived on the transition section of our website for those unable to attend in-person.
What to Expect at Convention
At the Diocesan Convention, delegates and clergy will be presented with three resolutions representing the three scenarios .

Resolution #1 will call for the election of a Bishop Diocesan, calling the Standing Committee to appoint Search and Transition Committees using the data from our self-study gatherings to build our diocesan profile. We would expect an diocesan election next October 2019.

Resolution #2 will call for the search and election of a long-term bishop provisional. With the assistance of the Office of Pastoral Development of the Episcopal Church, the Standing Committee would identify and interview candidates to serve 3-5 years as a full-time bishop provisional to enter into a period of deep discernment of diocesan sustainability and deeper relationship with the Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan. As in the election of Bishop Waynick, the Standing Committee would put forth one name to the Convention for election, either in October 2019 or in a Special Convention in Spring 2019.

Resolution #3 will elect, or call for the election of the Rt. Rev. Whayne Hougland, Bishop of the Diocese of Western Michigan, to serve as Bishop Provisional for a period of 3-5 years, beginning with the October 2019 Diocesan Convention (this delay accounts for a scheduled sabbatical next Spring and Summer). In this 3-5 year period, the dioceses would enter into a period of study and intentional discernment around deeper relationship.

The exact text of these resolutions is in the drafting process and will be available ahead of the three regional Pre-Convention Meetings.
Pre-Convention Meetings
There are three scheduled Pre-convention Meetings ahead of the Diocesan Convention. The purpose of these meetings are to review the budget, elections, and resolutions, including the three transition resolutions, ahead of the business meeting in October.

Those meetings are here:
  • Wednesday, September 26 at St. Andrew's, Gaylord at 6pm
  • Sunday, September 30 at Grace, Lapeer at 3pm
  • Wednesday, October 3 at St. John's, Saginaw at 6pm

There is no RSVP required for the Pre-Convention Meetings.

The Saginaw Pre-Convention Meeting will be live-streamed on the diocesan Facebook Page and archived on the Convention section of the website for those unable to attend in-person.