General Convention, the Episcopal Church’s bicameral governing body, meets once every three years to set the direction of the church’s mission and ministry, worship and liturgy, policies and budget. Each diocese elects and sends four clergy and four lay persons to the House of Deputies--comprising more than 800 members total. The House of Bishops comprises the church’s approximately 300 active and resigned bishops.
Visit the General Convention site for more information, including the schedule and materials.
Let us pray:
Eternal God, who by the Holy Spirit presided at the council of the apostles to guide them in all knowledge and truth: Be present with those soon to be assembled in General Convention. In the passions of debate give them a quiet spirit, in the complexities of the issues give them clear minds, and in the moments of decision give them courageous hearts. Guide them in all things to seek only your glory and the good of your Church; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (From The Book of Occasional Services, p. 179)
Learn and follow:
#GC79: This is the 79th General Convention of the Episcopal Church. Use social media hashtag #GC79. Find information about the General Convention mobile app here.
Multimedia and news: The General Convention Media Hub will live-stream legislative sessions, daily worship and more at www.episcopalchurch.org/general-convention-2018-media-hub, including two daily 30-minute magazine-format shows offering news and highlights, beginning on July 4: “Inside General Convention” at 5:30 p.m. Eastern and “Adentro de la convencion general” at 7:30 p.m. Eastern.
Resolutions: Browse the topics coming before the convention, and track specific resolutions as they make their way through the legislative process here.
The Rt. Rev. Alan M. Gates, Bishop
Serves on the Legislative Committee on Safeguarding and Title IV
The Rt. Rev. Gayle E. Harris, Bishop Suffragan
Serves on the Legislative Committee on Environmental Stewardship and Care of Creation
The Rt. Rev. Barbara C. Harris, Bishop Suffragan, Retired
This will be the 19th consecutive General Convention that Bishop Harris has attended.
Byron Rushing, St. John St. James Church, Roxbury
• First lay deputy
• Byron has been a deputy to General Convention since 1973. He was the chaplain to the House of Deputies at the 1994 General Convention—the first lay person to hold this position. At the 2012 General Convention he was elected vice president of the House of Deputies; re-elected in 2015, he is serving his second term. He is chair of the Rules Committee and will serve on the Joint Committee on Cuba.
"I look forward to an exciting convention which will be responding as a whole to the challenging direction that the presiding bishop has laid out for the Episcopal Church during the past three years."
Fredrica Harris Thompsett, St. Barnabas's Church, Falmouth
• Second lay deputy
• Serves on the Legislative Committee on Governance and Structure
"I just completed an extended term on Executive Council in which (for the past three years) as chair of Governance and Administration I and my colleagues have worked to provide structural and legal support to three goals affirmed by Presiding Bishop Curry and President of the House of Deputies Jennings: racial justice and reconciliation, creation care, and the Jesus Movement. As a member of Governance and Structure at this General Convention, I will work to continue to support these three goals and continue to pursue ways that we in the Diocese of Massachusetts can affirm them in our lives of service. I will also continue to recommend learning from the prophetic wisdom of Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and Bishop Barbara Harris stated many places including my new book: On Conversation: Michael Curry and Barbara Harris."
William Boyce, Grace Church, New Bedford
• Third lay deputy
• Serves on the Legislative Committee on Evangelism and Church Planting
"I am so excited to see all that General Convention will take on this summer. I am most excited for our work with evangelism and imagining how to be a better church today. Convention is a time to share our own experience of being church in eastern Massachusetts and learn from the experience of Episcopalians around the world. Austin, here we come!"
Betsy Ridge Madsen
• Fourth lay deputy *
• Serves as legislative aide to Committee on Social Justice and U.S. Policy
"I am honored to be your deputy and greatly looking forward to our time in Austin. Social justice and education have been at the center of my life as a Christian, so I am especially grateful for my legislative committee assignment. I am excited about coming together with others from around the world to build relationships, network and formulate policy around the issues of today, sharing our journeys, praying together and inspiring one another as we walk together in Christ."
* Elected first alternate lay deputy and replaces former fourth lay deputy Sam Gould who no longer resides in the diocese.
The Rev. Edwin D. Johnson, St. Mary's Church, Dorchester
• First clerical deputy *
• Chair of Legislative Committee on Racial Justice and Reconciliation
"Of all the wonderful things happening at convention I'm most excited about the work/resolutions around mission/evangelism and racial justice and reconciliation. For me, it comes down to being drawn to how we can grow our churches and our diocese and how we can give everyone in our communities an opportunity to thrive regardless of where they come from. It's time we stopped being the best-kept secret and lived into our potential as a church to bring the Kingdom right now."
* Elected second clerical deputy and replaces former first clerical deputy the Rev. Mally Ewing Lloyd who is unable to attend.
The Rev. Thomas J. Brown, Parish of the Epiphany, Winchester
• Second clerical deputy *
• Member of the Dispatch of Business Committee, assigned to support the Prayer Book, Liturgy, and Church Music Committee expedite its legislative work.
• Chair, Board of Trustees of the Church Pension Fund, effective after the conclusion of General Convention.
"I love being part of a church in which any member can testify about any subject. Granted, you have to travel to Austin, Texas, to do so, but isn’t it incredible that an Episcopalian, from any parish, can walk into a convention center, sign up outside of a meeting room, and tell her or his story about why a particular matter or resolution will make our church stronger, and more faithful?"
* Elected third clerical deputy and becomes second clerical deputy with the withdrawal of former first clerical deputy the Rev. Mally Ewing Lloyd who is unable to attend.
The Rev. Karen B. Montagno
• Third clerical deputy *
• Member of the Legislative Committee on Racial Justice and Reconciliation
• Member of the House of Deputies Special Committee - Title IV and Training
“I find General Convention to be an exciting time. I am inspired when the church gathers from all over in all of its vibrant diversity. Many people who are not able to gather in person watch from home supporting us with their prayers. Convention is also a time of possibility and hopefulness as we pray, deliberate and worship together over the shaping and reconciling of our common life. I hope that we will allow ourselves to be challenged and stretched by the vision of beloved community in the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement.”
* Elected fourth clerical deputy and becomes third clerical deputy with the withdrawal of former first clerical deputy the Rev. Mally Ewing Lloyd who is unable to attend.
The Rev. Canon William Parnell, Canon to the Ordinary, Diocese of Massachusetts
• Fourth clerical deputy *
“General Convention is an important time for Episcopalians to gather to listen to and learn from one another, and to speak and act in ways that enrich our common life and aid our witness for justice and peace. I look forward to being a part of the Massachusetts deputation, having attended the past four General Conventions while serving in the dioceses of Newark and New York.”
* Elected second alternate clerical deputy and becomes fourth clerical deputy with withdrawals of former first clerical deputy the Rev. Mally Ewing Lloyd and former first alternate clerical deputy the Rev. Karen Coleman who are unable to attend.
Susannah Perkinson, Church of St. John the Evangelist, Duxbury
• First alternate lay deputy *
* Elected second alternate lay deputy and becomes first alternate lay deputy with withdrawal of former fourth lay deputy Sam Gould.
• Second alternate lay deputy *
* Elected third alternate lay deputy and becomes second alternate lay deputy with withdrawal of former fourth lay deputy Sam Gould.
Spencer Alphonso Felder, St. Peter's Church, Salem
• Third alternate lay deputy *
• Will follow the work of the social justice and reconciliation and committees
"This is an opportunity to be an instrument in the music of brave conversation. We all have chances to show each other grace let's not give it up when that door opens."
* Elected fourth alternate lay deputy and becomes third alternate lay deputy with withdrawal of former fourth lay deputy Sam Gould.
The Rev. Deborah Phillips, Grace Church, Salem
• First alternate clerical deputy *
* Elected third alternate clerical deputy and becomes first alternate clerical deputy with the withdrawals of former first clerical deputy the Rev. Mally Ewing Lloyd and former first alternate clerical deputy the Rev. Karen Coleman who are unable to attend.
The Rev. Robert Windsor
• Second alternate clerical deputy *
* Elected fourth alternate clerical deputy and becomes second alternate clerical deputy with withdrawals of former first clerical deputy the Rev. Mally Ewing Lloyd and former first alternate clerical deputy the Rev. Karen Coleman who are unable to attend.