January 2022 Newsletter
2021 Parochial Report
Filing Site is Now Open for Congregations
The filing site for the 2021 Parochial Report is now open for congregations to begin reporting their data. The General Convention Office sent an email to parish leaders with instructions on December 10, 2021.

Reports from congregations are due by March 1st and must be submitted on the filing site. Dioceses have until May 1st to review and finalize parochial reports to the General Convention Office. For more information, please see the Parochial Report Information page on the General Convention website. Resources there include the login link, a PDF copy of the 2021 Parochial Report, and step-by-step instructions to help you navigate the online forms.

For the second time in the history of the Parochial Report, qualitative data is being collected through narrative questions along with the quantitative data that has been gathered historically. The Parochial Report is the oldest, continuous gathering of data by The Episcopal Church.

Questions and login assistance
Congregations can contact their diocese or the General Convention Office for assistance with accessing the site and filling out the report. The General Convention Office has a dedicated email and telephone line for the Parochial Report at pr@episcopalchurch.org and 212-716-6159.

View results and data
To see the data collected from the most recently completed Parochial Report, please visit the Parochial Report Results page for summaries of the data and Explore Parochial Report Trends to view statistics for individual congregations and dioceses. A narrative summary of the qualitative data was also included in the 2020 Parochial Report results. 
Moratorium on All DFMS In-Person Meetings and Travel
The Executive Leadership Team of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America (commonly referred to as the DFMS) announced on January 6, 2022 that all DFMS related in-person meetings and travel are suspended through February 28, 2022. This was in response to the rise in COVID-19 cases due to the Omicron variant and the impact it has had on healthcare systems globally.

The General Convention Office is assisting governing bodies that have had meetings scheduled to either move those gatherings entirely online or reschedule them for another date. All in-person meetings for March 2022 and beyond are still being planned as scheduled. If you or your group has a question about meeting or event related to a governing body, please contact the GCO at gcoffice@episcopalchurch.org or 212-716-6200.

DFMS staff may ask for an exemption to travel for urgent matters and that request must be approved by the Executive Leadership Team. As has been the policy of the DFMS, staff are able to make arrangements to work remotely and are to speak with their supervisor if they need to adjust their work situation.

The Executive Leadership Team is the senior management of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society. It consists of the Presiding Bishop, the President of the House of Deputies, the Executive Officer of the General Convention, the Canons to the Presiding Bishop, the Chief Operating Officer, the Chief Financial Officer, and the Chief Legal Officer.
Executive Council to Meet Virtually January 24 – 27, 2022
The Executive Council of The Episcopal Church will be meeting via Zoom from Monday, January 24 though Thursday, January 27, 2022. Sessions that are open to the public will be livestreamed on the General Convention YouTube page.

The plenary sessions which are open to the public via livestream are scheduled as follows:
  • Tuesday, January 25, 2022, between 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. EST
  • Wednesday, January 26, 2022, between 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. EST
  • Thursday, January 27, 2022, between 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. EST

Click here for a copy of the draft agenda with details about the plenary sessions.

The online meeting replaces the planned hybrid meeting of the Executive Council that was scheduled to take place in-person in Cleveland, Ohio and online via Zoom over the same dates cancelled in response to the concern over the rise of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

The Executive Council serves as the governing body of The Episcopal Church between sessions of General Convention, charged specifically with executing the program and policies adopted by Convention (Canon IV.1.a). They also serve as the board for the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society (Canon III, Article II) and the Executive Office of the General Convention (Canon IV.1.a).

The Executive Council is composed of 20 members elected by the General Convention (four bishops, four priests or deacons, and 12 lay persons) and 18 members elected by the Provincial Synods (one clergy and one lay person per province). The Presiding Bishop and the President of the House of Deputies serve ex officio as Chair and Vice-Chair of Executive Council. Also serving, ex officio, but with no vote, are the Secretary and Treasurer of the General Convention, the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society, and the Chief Legal Officer of the Executive Council. (Canon IV.1.d). 
80th General Convention Updates
The 80th General Convention is less than six months away, running form Thursday, July 7 through Thursday, July 14, 2022 at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, Maryland. For the latest updates, please see the News section of the GCO website and subscribe to the General Convention newsletter for announcements.
Registration – coming in February!

Registration for all attendees, be it Deputies, Bishops, visitors, etc., will begin in mid-February. The General Convention Office will send an email and share an announcement with other communicators when registration is open. Housing for bishops and deputies has already been confirmed by the GCO with diocesan staff.
Vaccination and Masking Requirements

A reminder that all attendees at the 80th General Convention will be required to submit proof of vaccination and any required boosters to be able to attend. A medical exemption from the vaccination mandate is allowed and will also be required to be submitted and approved prior to the event. All attendees will be required to wear a mask indoors at meetings and in public spaces. Please see this article about the announcement or click here for a copy of the resolution mandating these policies.
Deputy Changes

If any Deputy from your diocese resigns, an alternate has been elected or appointed to replace a resigned Deputy, and/or a new person has been elected or appointed to fill a vacancy to serve as an alternate, you must report and certify that change to the Secretary of the House of Deputies (Canon I.1.1.a). This process is facilitated by the General Convention Office.
Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg for Episcopal News Service
Typically, the secretary of a diocesan convention and diocesan bishop, or the chair of the standing committee in the absence of a bishop, may authorize changes to your diocese’s Deputation. This provision is outlined in your diocesan canons and varies from diocese to diocese.

To update your Deputation, please use the following link:

Please contact the General Convention Office at gcoffice@episcopalchurch.org or 212-716-6200 with any questions.
Exhibitors at General Convention

Please visit episcopalgc.fernexpo.com/2022 for more information, including pricing and how to register. Discounted rates may be available to groups affiliated with The Episcopal Church and other nonprofit organizations. Space is limited, so please reserve your exhibit area now.

Larger or different configurations may be available, please speak to a Fern Exposition representative if you don't see an exhibit space on the map that exactly fits your needs.

Fern Exposition has been designated to manage registration, logistics, and oversight of the exhibit area. For exhibit-related questions, please contact episcopalexhibits@fernexpo.com.
Legislative News and Committees
for the 80th General Convention
Public Hearings on Proposed Legislation Begin Online in February
All Episcopalians, and all members of the public, are invited to register to attend or testify at online hearings on resolutions being considered for the 80th General Convention of The Episcopal Church.

These open hearings will begin in February and are posted to the General Convention's Virtual Binder as they are scheduled.

This is the first time that all Episcopalians can actively participate in the legislative process of General Convention. Previously, Legislative Committee hearings took place on site in the days prior to the start of General Convention and thus attendance was limited to their diocesan deputation or others who could take the time to travel to the location and testify in-person.
Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg for Episcopal News Service
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, both the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies took the unprecedented steps to open the legislative process to online meetings and hearings months in advance of General Convention. For more on how the President of the House of Deputies was able to grant this provision and how the House’s Rules of Order allow for this, please see this article on the House of Deputies website.

How to register and participate
All participants, whether to testify or to observe a meeting, must register in advance. Please see the Legislative Committee Calendar for a list of all meetings currently scheduled. Additional hearings will continue to be posted as Committees schedule them with the General Convention Office. Some hearings will not yet have resolutions listed, but those will be added to the calendar listing once the Committee makes a final decision and notifies the General Convention Office. When viewing the details for the meeting, please note the Committee name and number along with the date and time of the hearing and then use the following link to register:
There are two types of Legislative Committee meetings, deliberation and hearing. Only the ones listed “Video - Open Hearing” are available for members of the public to testify. Members of the public can opt to attend and observe hearings, but will not have the option of speaking unless they change their registration to testify prior to the meeting. If the meeting is listed as “Video - Ctte Deliberation Only - No Testimony”, members of the public are invited to request to observe the meeting.

Promotion of hearings
Legislative Committees can promote their hearings and are encouraged to use communications channels that would reach people who would have a particular interest in and/or be impacted by the legislation they are considering. This could be anything from getting a listing in a newsletter for a diocese, congregation, or Episcopal organization to putting a personal post on social media – but please note the following:

It is imperative that Committees do not post the Zoom meeting room links when promoting a hearing – all participants must register in advance and agree to a code of conduct. Instead, please share the link to the Legislative Committee Calendar or the page for that particular hearing.

What about in-person legislative hearings in Baltimore?
In-person legislative hearings will still take place in Baltimore to meet the requirements of the House of Deputies Rules of Order (see HOD VIII.B). There is no such requirement for Legislative Committees for the House of Bishops, but they will still have the option of hosting in-person hearings.
All Filed Resolutions and Memorials Now Viewable on the Virtual Binder
All Memorials and Resolutions that have been filed for the 80th General Convention of The Episcopal Church are now viewable online on the Virtual Binder website www.vbinder.net.

Memorials, in the context of General Convention, are comparable to a petition. Memorials do not create binding actions. Examples include, asking for the Church to commend or commemorate a person, event, or other matter which may result in a Courtesy Resolution being drafted; take legislative action on something which may result in a Resolution being drafted or to support a Resolution that is already being considered; or to ask the Church to take a stance on an issue that could result in legislative action being taken.

Resolutions call on General Convention to take specific legislative action, such as amending the Canons, creating/funding/starting a particular initiative, or enacting specific policies and procedures.

All Resolutions to the 80th General Convention will appear whether you select House of Bishops or House of Deputies on the Virtual Binder. There are three ways to view and search for Resolutions:
  • Use the search box to type in the keyword or keywords for the Resolution you want to find.
  • Click on the "Committees" button on the page that will show a complete list of the Legislative Committees - but only for the House that you have selected. Then select a Legislative Committee. All resolutions that have been referred to that Committee will be listed.
  • Click on the "Proposers" button on the page. That will take you to a page that lists the names of the Deputies, Bishops, Dioceses, and governing bodies (such as Executive Council or a Task Force) that have submitted resolutions.

If you do not see a resolution listed, it is likely that the Resolution is still being processed. Submitting a resolution through the online form does not automatically make it appear on the Virtual Binder. It must be vetted first to ensure that it meets the standards outlined in the Canons, formatting by the standards outlined by the Secretary of the House of Deputies, and then referred to a Legislative Committee by the Presiding Officers of both Houses.
Please contact the General Convention Office Secretariat at gc.support@episcopalchurch.org if you have any questions about Resolutions and Memorials at General Convention.
Fun fact for those new to General Convention:
The Virtual Binder replaced what were actual binders filled with paper.
Above: Binders issued to Bishops and Deputies from 2006 in Columbus, Ohio; 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana; and 2009 in Anaheim, California.
Legislative Committee Secretaries Training

Orientation and training for secretaries of Legislative Committees facilitated by the General Convention Office occurred on January 12.

If you were unable to attend and did not receive a copy of the recording and listing of resources, please contact the General Convention Office at gc.support@episcopalchurch.org.
Secretariat Zoom Office Hours

The Secretariat is hosting open office hours via Zoom every Wednesday from 2:00 – 2:30 p.m. EST through May 25. If you have any questions related to Resolutions, Memorials, or other aspects of the life and work of Legislative Committees, please feel free to drop in at any time during the hour. There is no need to register in advance.

On Wednesday, February 9, the Secretariat office hour is being dedicated to resolutions amending the Constitution and Canons. There will be a review of how to correctly format such resolutions and most of the remaining time dedicated to questions and answers around this topic.

If you’re unable to drop-in to the office hours or need to get in touch with someone in the GCO for legislative matters, please email gc.support@episcopalchurch.org.
Diocesan Secretaries of Convention
There are a variety of church-wide canonical duties for a secretary of convention of a diocese. The General Convention Office has complied this outline, Responsibilities of a Diocesan Secretary of Convention, that cites the Canons and Rules of Order that state a responsibility for a diocesan secretary of convention and provides a brief summary of what is required. Additionally, some procedural elements related to the canonical duties are explained to help secretaries know what to expect each year.

Local duties and requirements of a diocesan secretary of convention be in your diocese's canons.

Please contact the General Convention Office at gcoffice@episcopalchurch.org or 212-716-6200 if you have any questions or need assistance.
Staff of the Executive Office of the General Convention
Useful Links

News for Bishops and Deputies

Resources on The Archives of The Episcopal Church
Reports to the General Convention (also known as The Blue Book - for the current edition, click here)
Constitution and Canons (use only for prior editions - to copy/quote the current edition, click here)

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