October 2021 Newsletter
2020 Parochial Report data now available
Episcopalians can now access analysis of the 2020 Parochial Report data including multi-year attendance and finance trends for individual churches and dioceses, as well as learn how COVID-19 impacted congregations from a special narrative report of qualitative data.

Data from the Parochial Report—the oldest, continuous gathering of data by The Episcopal Church—has been compiled and published on the General Convention website.

“I am so grateful to our congregational leaders for their careful attention to the Parochial Report,” said the Rev. Canon Michael Barlowe, executive officer of the General Convention. “Information in the data can be a tremendous resource to leaders in congregations, dioceses, and churchwide organizations as we envision and plan for the years ahead.”

Episcopalians can view a variety of metrics on the Research and Statistics pages, including a graph that shows trends over the past 10 years in Sunday worship attendance, finances, and baptized membership for any congregation in the church; data trends across the denomination, provinces, and dioceses; and demographic information of the neighborhood around any church.

While the report is often known for the quantitative metrics of average Sunday attendance (ASA) and “pledge and plate,” the 2020 Parochial Report was changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic to include qualitative data. Congregations were asked narrative questions related to how their mission and ministry were impacted by the pandemic.

“Clergy and lay leaders showed great diligence in responding to the narrative questions,” said Iris DiLeonardo, research and language specialist. “Over 4,000 pages of text were received in response to the narrative questions.”

Responses to the narrative questions were incorporated into the summary of the 2020 Parochial Report Data and an in-depth analysis, “The Church is Not a Building: Observations and Insights from Narrative Responses to the 2020 Parochial Report.”

“Our 2020 data tells us much about the adaptability and creativity of our congregations, as well as helping to highlight areas of ongoing challenge and opportunities for growth,” said the Rev. Molly James, deputy executive officer of the Generation Convention.

In addition to congregational data, denominational, provincial, and diocesan trends are compiled in these nine reports:
  • Fast Facts and Trends 2016-2020
  • Baptized Members by Province and Diocese 2011-2020
  • Average Sunday Attendance (ASA) by Province and Diocese 2011-2020
  • Statistical Totals for The Episcopal Church by Province 2019-2020
  • Statistical Totals for The Episcopal Church by Diocese 2019-2020
  • USA Plate and Pledge Income Trends 2016-2020
  • Average Pledge by Province and Diocese 2016-2020
  • Financial and ASA Totals by Diocese 2020
  • The Episcopal Church Plate and Pledge Income for 2020

The Parochial Report, in accordance with Canon I.6, is developed by the House of Deputies Committee on the State of the Church, authorized by Executive Council, and overseen by the Executive Officer of the General Convention.

For questions about the Parochial Report, please contact pr@episcopalchurch.org.
Meetings & trainings
Executive Council to meet in hybrid format

The Executive Council of The Episcopal Church will be meeting October 25 - 28, 2021 at the Maritime Conference Center in Linthicum Heights, MD. The meeting will be a hybrid format of in-person and online participation. While all in-person attendees are required to show proof of full vaccination for COVID-19, the number of people being invited to be physically present has been limited to ensure social distancing in all meeting spaces. Masks are required to be worn by all in-person attendees while in public areas and meeting rooms unless they are presenting or speaking at a microphone. Online streaming is being utilized for all sessions for members to have the option to attend remotely, and for guest presenters and attendees to participate.

The plenary sessions will be available to the public via livestream on the General Convention YouTube channel.

Legislative Committee trainings

Orientation for all members of Legislative Committees took place on Wednesday, October 20 via Zoom.

If you were appointed to a Legislative Committee and unable to attend the orientation, please contact the General Convention Office at gc.support@episcopalchurch.org for a recording.

Orientation for Legislative Committee Officers occurred on Tuesday, September 28 via Zoom. If you were unable to attend and need to watch a recording, please contact us at gc.support@episcopalchurch.org.

If you have any questions about Legislative Committees and the training sessions, please contact us at gc.support@episcopalchurch.org
2021 Blue Book is now available
Reports to the 80th General Convention of The Episcopal Church,” commonly referred to as “The Blue Book,” is now available online and in print. The Spanish translation of this publication, “El Libro Azul,” is also available in both formats.

“I encourage all Episcopalians to read through the research, findings, actions, and summaries contained in the 2021 Blue Book reports,” said the Rev. Canon Michael Barlowe, executive officer of the General Convention. “They provide great insight into the myriad work taking place in all facets of The Episcopal Church as we navigate the pressing issues around us and envision our future.”
The Blue Book has come in many different shades of blue and several other colors too.
For 2021, the color is “St. Giles Blue.”
The 2021 Blue Book totals 1,160 pages and was divided into three volumes to keep printing costs as economical as possible.

Each volume is available to download from the General Convention website, as are separate copies of every individual report that was published in the 2021 Blue Book. Print copies are available for $13 through Amazon.

The 80th General Convention is scheduled to take place in person July 7-14, 2022, in Baltimore, Maryland. For the first time, legislative hearings will be held online and prior to gathering in person, providing opportunity for broad participation from across the church. The hearings are set to begin in February 2022; specific dates and information on how to register to attend or participate will be announced when available and posted on the General Convention website.

The Blue Book is a compilation of reports from the groups overseeing the governance or carrying out mandated work of The Episcopal Church between General Conventions and from other organizations that report to the General Convention. The General Convention is the name of both the bicameral governing body of The Episcopal Church and its gathering, which usually conducts business every three years.

Normally, The Blue Book and General Convention years match. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 80th General Convention was rescheduled from 2021 to 2022.

For questions about The Blue Book, please contact Brendon Hunter at bhunter@episcopalchurch.org or 212-716-6096.
Joint Nominating Committee
for the Election of the Presiding Bishop
The Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop is made up of 20 members, of which 15 are elected and five are appointed (Canon I.2.1.a). Typically, the elections and appointments are conducted in-person during General Convention. However, due to the rescheduling of the 80th General Convention for July 2022 and the time needed for this committee’s work, the election and appointment process still had to occur this year and was done electronically.

Elections results
This past June, elections were held for the committee.

The House of Bishops elects five bishops and the House of Deputies elects five clergy, of which one must be a deacon, and five lay people (Canon I.2.1.a). The elected members are:

Thomas Alexander (Lay, VII, Arkansas)
Jennifer Lynn Baskerville-Burrows (Bishop, V, Indianapolis)
Lydia Kelsey Bucklin (Priest, V, Northern Michigan)
Thomas Diaz (Lay, VII, Los Angeles)
Antonio Gallardo (Priest, VIII, Los Angeles)
Maureen-Elizabeth Hagen (Deacon, VIII, Oregon)
Deborah Harmon Hines (Lay, IV, West Tennessee)
Deborah M. Jackson (Priest, IV, Florida)
Mark Andrew Lattime (Bishop, VIII, Alaska)
Steven Nishibayashi (Lay, VIII, Los Angeles)
Phoebe Alison Roaf (Bishop, IV, West Tennessee)
Audrey C. Scanlan (Bishop, III, Central Pennsylvania)
Mary Frances Schjonberg (Priest, II, Newark)
Rose H. Sconiers (Lay, II, Western New York)
Robert C. Wright (Bishop, IV, Atlanta)

The ballot results are posted on the General Convention website. Information about the elected committee members can be found in their nominee profiles within the 2021 Blue Book report of the Joint Standing Committee on Nominations.

Appointments
The other five members of the committee are appointed.

Two people between the ages of 16-21 are appointed by the President of the House of Deputies (Canon I.2.1.a). These appointed members are:

Maria Gonzalez (Lay, VIII, Olympia)
Eric V. LeBron (Lay, IV, Central Florida)

The Presiding Bishop and the President of the House of Deputies jointly appoint three members to ensure the cultural and geographic diversity of the Church and skill sets needed for effective service on the Nominating Committee (Canon I.2.1.c). These appointed members are:

Diego Chingua (Priest, IX, Central Ecuador)
Warren Hawk (Lay, VI, South Dakota)
Kit Wang (Priest, I, Maine)
Register now to exhibit at the 80th General Convention
Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael Curry leads a revival service during the 79th General Convention in Austin, Texas, in 2018.
Photo: Mike Patterson/Episcopal News Service
Registration for exhibit space at the 80th General Convention of The Episcopal Church is now open to all organizations and vendors. This triennial event is scheduled for July 7–14, 2022, at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, Maryland. Space is limited, and over half of the floorplan has been reserved.
The General Convention is the largest gathering of Episcopalians from across the church, domestically and abroad. With hundreds of bishops and elected lay and ordained deputies, plus many volunteers, guests, and other visitors also participating, exhibitors can expect thousands of people to pass through the exhibit area.

Exhibits will open at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, July 6, and run daily through 2 p.m. on Tuesday, July 12.

As of September, demand for reserving housing space during the event already has reached a record high, leading organizers to anticipate that 2022 will be one of the largest convention gatherings to date.

For more information and to register, please visit episcopalgc.fernexpo.com/2022. Discounted rates may be available to groups affiliated with The Episcopal Church and for other nonprofit organizations.

Fern Exposition has been designated to manage registration, logistics, and oversight of the exhibit area. For exhibit-related questions, please contact episcopalexhibits@fernexpo.com.
FACT Survey Analysis
"The Episcopal Church Opportunities for Learning and Experimentation in the Midst of Challenging Demographics" by the Rev. Molly F. James, Ph.D., deputy executive officer of the General Convention, was published in the October 2021 issue of Theology Today. In it, Dr. James provides an analysis of the data on Episcopal congregations gathered in the 2020 Faith Communities Today (FACT) survey. She notes that despite numbers indicating further decline, the data also contains trends that are significant opportunities for Episcopalians.

Looking at the qualitative data in particular, she breaks down the dissonance in priorities and values identified by congregations, the resulting implications of identifying where true urgency lies, and the types of change needed in response. Episcopal congregations have historically tracked church school enrollment, "a model that does not fit with the current realities of most families," yet congregations continue to skew older and have a need and desire for younger members.

"When this age imbalance is considered alongside the responses to the qualitative questions about what the sources of pride and concern are for congregations, it raises important theological questions about our identity and our future in the Episcopal Church."

Since the article was published in an academic journal, the availability is limited to subscribers. However, if you are interested in reading the full article, please contact us at gc.support@episcopalchurch.org to obtain access.

Nearly 10% of US-based Episcopal congregations participated in the FACT Survey in 2020, representing a broad demographic spread. For more information about the survey, please visit the Faith Communities Today website.
GCO Staff News
In July, the GCO welcomed Brendon Hunter as our Specialist for Digital Editing and Publications. Brendon has previously worked in administration roles at the parish level and the Episcopal Church Foundation. He brings abundant technological and editorial gifts. We are blessed to have him join us. His primary areas of responsibility will be publications including The Blue Book, Journal of General Convention, and the Constitution & Canons. He will also be working on the website and other digital communications.

Contact information for Brendon and all General Convention Office staff can be found at: www.generalconvention.org/gcocontacts.

Staff of the Executive Office of the General Convention
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