March 2022 Newsletter
80th General Convention
Registration for the 80th General Convention of The Episcopal Church is Now Open

The 80th General Convention will take place July 7 - 14, 2022 at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, Maryland.

Registration is open for all Bishops, Deputies, Alternates, ECW Delegates, ECW Alternates, and visitors. All Bishops, Deputies, and Alternates must be registered by their diocesan facilitator and are unable to do this individually.

If you are a volunteer, member of the media, an exhibitor, part of the Official Youth Presence, or have a child for the children’s program, your registration is handled differently.

At prior General Conventions, visitors who only wanted to attend for a day would do a walk-in registration on site. Right now, it is undetermined whether or not this will be available for 2022.

Please see the General Convention website for more information about registration.
2023-2024 Budget Feedback
for the Joint Standing Committee
on Program Budget & Finance
The Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget and Finance (PB&F) welcomes feedback from all Episcopalians on the 2023-2024 Episcopal Church budget as received from Executive Council. Click here for a copy of the budget.

There are currently two opportunities to provide feedback:


  • PB&F is holding an online hearing on Thursday, May 5, 2022 from 7:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. EDT. Please note: The link for the PB&F hearing is different other hearings as PB&F is not a Legislative Committee. Those who want to attend to observe or to testify must register at least two business days in advance.

In July, PB&F will also host one in-person hearing in Baltimore. The Committee will then present its proposed budget to the General Convention on the 5th legislative day, Monday, July 11, 2022.

The Episcopal Church’s budget is for the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America (commonly referred to as the DFMS). This funding structure encompasses the Office of the Presiding Bishop and their staff, the President of the House of Deputies and their staff, and the Executive Office of the General Convention as well as the offices of the DFMS that are shared by all three. (Canon I.1.8)

Budget Process
The process of creating The Episcopal Church budget begins with the Executive Council’s Joint Standing Committee on Finance (DFMS VIII.3.c and Canon I.4.6.a), which conducts its own process of soliciting information and feedback to create a draft budget that is voted on by the Executive Council. This budget is then handed to the Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget and Finance that takes additional steps to solicit feedback and hold legislative hearings before it is officially presented as the proposed budget to the General Convention during a Joint Session and then voted on later in each house. (JR II.10.d and Canon I.4.6.d)

PB&F Membership and Role
The Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget and Finance consists of 27 members, all of whom are appointed. There are nine Bishops, one from each Province, who are appointed by the Presiding Bishop, and 18 Deputies, two from each Province who may be Lay or Clergy, who are appointed by the President of the House of Deputies. The Secretary of General Convention, Treasurer of General Convention, and Chief Financial Officer of the Executive Council are ex officio members, without vote. The Committee may appoint advisors to assist in its work. (JR II.10.a)

Among its duties and functions, the Committee is tasked with providing advice to the officers of the General Convention and Executive Council and to hold hearings on the budget. They may also adjust the budget prior to proposing it to General Convention, and can make adjustments to annual diocesan assessments, within the limit established by General Convention. (JR II.10.c)
Registration is Open
for the General Convention Children’s Program
The General Convention Children’s Program is back!

Since 2006, General Convention has provided programming and childcare for children from newborn through 12 years old during all business meetings. Teens aged 13 and up are invited to join us as junior counselors. Everyone will get lunch, snacks, t-shirts and other exclusive swag.

This year the children will be meeting at the Hilton and going on adventures all around Baltimore Harbor. Those 5 and older will enjoy daily excursions including visits to Fort McHenry, the National Aquarium, the Port Discovery Children’s Museum, the American Visionary Art Museum, and a chance to run the bases at Camden Yards. 

The program costs $50 per day and scholarships are available. 


Parents with children eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19 will be required to show proof of their child’s vaccination and boosters. As with all other attendees at General Convention, the current indoor mask mandate will also be required for children ages 2 and older, teens, and adults who are part of the Children’s Program. Click here for more on COVID-19 safety and procedures at the 80th General Convention. 

For questions or to volunteer for the Children's Program, please contact Caren Miles

We look forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones!
Attention Resolution Writers:
New Editing Procedure for Amendments in Resolutions

In pursuing the General Convention Office’s commitment to be inclusive of all in the legislative process, we have learned that past procedures for submitting edits or amendments in resolutions has created issues for translation and interpretation. The following changes are being implemented for all such amendments, to minimize translation and interpretation difficulties. (This applies to proposing changes to the text of any previously-submitted resolution, and when drafting a resolution that will amend the Constitution, Canons, or Rules of Order.)
 
Previously-submitted resolutions do not have to conform to this new policy, but Legislative Committees are encouraged to edit resolutions they’re putting forward to the 80th General Convention so that they follow these guidelines.

  • When making one or more changes within a sentence – strikeout the entire original sentence and follow that by the new sentence in italics.

  • When making changes to more than one sentence in a paragraph – strikeout the entire original paragraph and follow that by the new paragraph in italics.

Further clarification about the change(s) being made can be stated on the floor when making an amendment. Additionally, the original text of the resolution will be viewable in the Virtual Binder.
 
Why the changes are necessary
 
The General Convention Office provides translations of all resolutions written in English into Spanish and during meetings provides interpretation in Spanish and other languages. Professional translators and automated procedures face difficulties with strikethroughs of part of a word or sentence, because not all words and phrases have an exact translation between languages. Partial strikethroughs have created confusion and errors in translation and interpretation. We believe English readers will also find that it is easier to see text using this procedure.

Any questions or other needs around proposed amendments, editing, resolutions, or other legislative matters can be directed to gc.support@episcopalchurch.com and a member of the General Convention Office will be in touch.
House of Bishops Issues a Pastoral Letter
The House of Bishops issued a Pastoral Letter during their March 15 – 21, 2022 meeting at Camp Allen in Navasota, Texas. This was in response to resolution 2018-B003 which was passed by the 79th General Convention. Click here to download a copy of the letter.

Per Canon III.9.6.b.7, all rectors and priests-in-charge are to convey Pastoral Letters from the House of Bishops to their congregations:

Whenever the House of Bishops shall publish a Pastoral Letter, it shall be the duty of the Rector or Priest-in-Charge to read it to the congregation on some occasion of public worship on a Lord's Day, or to cause copies of the same to be distributed to the members of the congregation, not later than thirty days after receipt.

House of Bishops
The House of Bishops is composed of every bishop of The Episcopal Church with jurisdiction; every bishop coadjutor; every bishop suffragan; every assistant bishop; and every bishop who by reason of advanced age or bodily infirmity, or who, under an election to an office created by the General Convention, or for reasons of mission strategy determined by action of the General Convention or the House of Bishops, has resigned a jurisdiction. (Article I.2)
The Pastoral Letter

In the spirit of our understanding of Jerusalem as the Holy City of Peace, we call on all Episcopalians to hear the words of our Presiding Bishop, “As we pray for the peace of Jerusalem, as the Bible teaches us, we must find ways to work for the peace of Jerusalem, which will be found where there is true equity for all, true justice for all, and true freedom for everyone. Here it is clear that this is not simply an idealistic dream. It is the only hope, and we must not rest until it is realized.”
 
The peace of Jerusalem is a promise not yet attained, but it is proclaimed by the prophets of all three Abrahamic faiths. Their words embody principles of love, humility, forgiveness, putting others first, and a preference for the marginalized.
 
We can have little doubt that Jesus commands us to lift up those who are oppressed, hold accountable any who misuse their power, abhor the use of violence, exhibit penitence and offer accountability for sins that governments have done on our behalf, and act always in the spirit of peace with justice.
 
In this quest for peace and justice full respect must be accorded to the civil rights and religious interests of all persons and all holy places in the city must be equally protected and accessible to faithful Jews, Christians, and Muslims, and to all people of good will.
 
We remind ourselves that Christians have an obligation to devote ourselves to renewed ecumenical and interfaith discernment and collaboration in the spirit of our shared values. Jerusalem should be honored as a community for all Jews, Christians, and Muslims, and serve as a symbol and a focal point for such work as the Holy City continues to exert its theological and spiritual authority as a sacred space of ultimate reconciliation and unity. Now is the time to work towards a unity of perspective on Middle East peace and justice with our Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant siblings, as well as with the Jewish and Muslim communities who share our hope for peace.  Our journey as the children of the Abrahamic traditions is a journey to a future built on shared values and commitments for the common good of all who call Jerusalem and the Holy Land their home.

Deeper communion with those in the region who already work for peace is also vital. Scores of organizations work at the grass roots on behalf of freedom, dignity, and economic opportunity for all, promoting mutual understanding across barriers of cultural and religious difference. Their efforts deserve the Church’s understanding and support.
 
In all this work, our permanent partners are the Christian communities in the Holy Land, especially the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem. As the numbers of Palestinian Christians continue to decline, the region loses more potential bridge-builders and conciliators, as well as an integral part of the diverse landscape. We pray that our Church will encourage them to persevere, learn more about the region’s historical complexities, deepen our ties with its people and peace-building institutions, and promote ecumenical and interfaith peace with justice.
 
We offer this letter for the sake of God’s people, especially those in Israel and Palestine, whose faces are lit by neighborly light from the holy city of God itself.   Why Jews, Christians, and Muslims have been called to live together in Jerusalem and the Holy Land is a mystery known only to God.  But it is our responsibility as those who are part of the family of the children of Abraham to do all in our power to further and to deepen the commitment to peace with justice, and to its realisation.  We ask all to join with us and with the Psalmist:  Pray for the peace of Jerusalem; may they prosper who love you.  Peace be within your walls and quietness within your towers.  For my brethren and companions’ sake, I pray for your prosperity; because of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek to do you good.
 
An Addendum to Pastoral Letter
 
At the 79th General Convention of the Episcopal Church in Austin Texas, The Episcopal Church, as it had over the past four decades continued to address the complexity and contentious difficulties in the Middle East by resolutions. Among the adopted resolutions was B003, affirming the Church’s belief that Israel and Palestine should share Jerusalem as their capital and encouraged the whole church “to engage earnestly in education, advocacy, and prayer for the renewal of a diplomatic and political process for peace in the region, and for the peace of Jerusalem.” The resolution called on the House of Bishops to offer a pastoral letter “supporting Jerusalem’s prophetic identity as the Holy City of Peace”
Executive Council to Meet April 20-23
The next meeting of the Executive Council of The Episcopal Church will be held April 20 – 23, 2022 in a hybrid format of in-person in San Juan, Puerto Rico and online via Zoom.

The public can observe plenary sessions unless Council is an executive session. All plenary sessions will be livestreamed over the General Convention YouTube channel.

Currently, plenary sessions are scheduled as follows:
  • Wednesday, April 20 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. EDT
  • Thursday, April 21 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. EDT
  • Friday, April 22 from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. EDT
  • Saturday, April 23 beginning at 9:00 a.m. EDT with adjournment by 3:00 p.m. EDT

Click here for a copy of the draft agenda.

Executive Council Role and Membership

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). 
Updating Contact Information
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Diocesan Administrators, Secretaries of Diocesan Conventions, and Standing Committee Presidents

The General Convention Office is regularly in communication with diocesan administrators (for parochial and diocesan reports), secretaries of diocesan convention (for GC resolutions, among other things), and standing committee presidents (for bishop consents).

This information is kept separately from the GCO database to ensure data privacy. Please email the GCO at pr@episcopalchurch.org with any contact information updates for these roles. While a current user who has access can use the diocesan profile page on the filing site is able to update this information, please still email the GCO with your update to ensure we get these filed as quickly as possible.

All diocesan administrators, secretaries of diocesan convention, and standing committee presidents are welcome to subscribe to receive the GCO newsletter and other announcements at the following link:

Bishops, Deputies, and others on the GCO mailing list

Bishops, Deputies, other leaders, and those who wish to be on the GCO mailing list can contact the General Convention Office at gcoffice@episcopalchurch.org to let us know about updating your contact information. Please note, if you have submitted a Testimonial of Change in Deputation, the GCO has updated any new contact information provided in the form.
GC80 Reminders
GC80 Reminders

Starting this month, the GCO newsletter will be featuring a “Reminders” section at the end of our monthly newsletter. Our goal is to ensure that relevant items are not lost in the shuffle of new announcements and to keep clutter to a minimum. We welcome your questions and feedback about GCO communications, please contact Brendon Hunter at bhunter@episcopalchurch.org or 212-716-6096.
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COVID-19 Policies

The Joint Standing Committee on Planning and Arrangements requires all attendees to be vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19 or to have submitted a medical exemption and the wearing of masks in all meetings and indoor spaces. All attendees must pre-register first and then, starting in May, emails will be sent to pre-registered individuals to submit their proof of vaccination or medical exemption.
Deputy Changes

If a Deputy resigns and is being replaced by an alternate and/or an alternate Deputy is being appointed, you must certify this with the Secretary of the House of Deputies (Canon I.1.1.a) which is facilitated by the General Convention Office by using this form. In most cases, this process is done by the diocesan bishop or secretary of your diocesan convention, but please check your diocesan canons first as the rules vary across The Episcopal Church.
Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg for Episcopal News Service
Resolutions and Memorials for the 80th General Convention

All currently filed Resolutions and Memorials are posted on the Virtual Binder. Click here for more information about General Convention Resolutions, Memorials, and how to search for either on the Virtual Binder.

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.
Legislative Committee Hearings

Legislative Hearings, which allow anyone to register in advance to testify on resolutions being considered for the 80th General Convention of The Episcopal Church, began on February 17. All Episcopalians and members of the public are welcome to register to observe or testify at any of these meetings.

Note that requests to observe or testify must be received at least 2-business days in advance in order to be processed.
Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg for Episcopal News Service
Please see the Legislative Committee Calendar on the Virtual Binder for a list of all currently scheduled meetings. New hearings are being added as they are scheduled.

There are two types of meetings:
  • Deliberations are committee meetings that members of the public may register to observe but not speak.
  • Hearings are committee meetings to hear testimony about resolutions being considered that members of the public may register to observe or to testify.
Secretariat Office Hours

Questions about Resolutions, Memorials, or something else related to the life and work of your Legislative Committee? The Secretariat is hosting open office hours via Zoom every Wednesday from 2:00 – 2:30 p.m. EST through May 25. Drop-in at any time – there is no need to register in advance.


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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