The General Convention of the Episcopal Church

     Pastor Sonia will be working with the Office of the Presiding Bishop as a “shepherd” for our Anglican visitors to General Convention. It will be a wonderful opportunity to learn so much more about our broader Church and our friends abroad, and bring those stories and witnesses back to our community.

She will also be spreading the word about All God’s Children and our church, hoping to encourage other dioceses and churches to offer ministries for special needs kids.

If you are unfamiliar with how the Episcopal Church governs, here’s some background from the national church:

PROVINCES: There are 109 dioceses of the Episcopal Church and three regional areas organized into nine provinces, each governed by a synod consisting of a House of Bishops and a House of Deputies. The Episcopal Church is a part of the Anglican Communion.
An assembly of the American Church met in Philadelphia in 1789 to unify all Episcopalians in the United States into a single national church. A constitution was adopted along with a set of canon laws. The English Book of Common Prayer  was revised (principally in removing the prayer for the English monarch).
The new constitution provided for annual diocesan conventions with the bishop of the diocese as presiding officer. A national General Convention was established, composed of two legislative houses, modeled after the United States Congress. A system of checks and balances similar to that of the new federal system was incorporated into the Church’s constitution.

GENERAL CONVENTION: The dioceses and missionary districts in the United States meet triennially in General Convention. All bishops are members of the House of Bishops, and the House of Deputies is made up of equal numbers of clergy and laity. The Executive Council, the administrative agency of the General Convention, is headed by the Presiding Bishop (elected by the House of Bishops and confirmed by the House of Deputies). The Presiding Bishop also presides over the House of Bishops. Decisions at General Convention are made by joint-concurrence of the House of Deputies and the House of Bishops.