A Holy Convocation

by The Rev. Dina van Klaveren
There are many different ways in which the deputies elected to General Convention have been preparing for this particular ministry:
-we have made travel arrangements and covered responsibilities at home/work to be away for ten days in Austin, Texas;
-we have gathered as a diocesan deputation, along with bishops, a few members of diocesan staff, and the Episcopal Church Women participants to plan our time in Austin and to build community before we depart;
-we have begun reading legislative materials pertinent to our varied committee assignments, as well as kept tabs on particular issues and actions that interest us; and,
-we have gathered with the twelve other dioceses in Province III to become better oriented to the schedule, business and resources related to General Convention.

This gathering of folks throughout Province III occurred in Martinsburg, WV in May, and featured presentations by: The Rev. Michael Barlowe, Executive Officer of General Convention; The Rev. Gay Clark-Jennings, President of the House of Deputies; and, The Most Rev. Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop.
In his usual dynamic storytelling style, the Presiding Bishop described a conversation with a TSA agent as he traveled to one of these pre-convention province gatherings. After telling the curious TSA agent where he was going and why, the TSA agent wished the Presiding Bishop “a holy convocation.” A gathering that exemplified the roots of the word convocation would be holy indeed- a place where voices and vocations come together to reveal the work of the Body of Christ.
The many voices and vocations of those who gather at General Convention, and the dignified and respectful process through which they are expressed, is the reason I stood for election for a second time for General Convention. The process in 2015 as we gathered in Salt Lake City was transparent, filled with integrity, and inclusive. The legislative work was meaningful and relevant. Hearing every voice was such a high value that the legislative work was put on hold one time as it became clear that it had not been translated for non-English speakers. (The General Convention of the Episcopal Church includes the fifty states and territories of the United States of America and several other nations, such as Honduras, Colombia and Venezuela.)
Those who have been elected to serve as deputies will share their voices on a wide range of issues, which can be found here: link. The deputies include 4 clergy deputies, 2 clergy alternate deputies, 4 lay deputies, and 2 Lay alternate deputies:

Lay Deputies

      1. Ms. Kate Riley
      2. Ms. Alma Thompson Bell
      3. Mr. Mark Garcia
      4. Mr. David Mallery
      5. Mr. Russell Reno
      6. Ms. Dian Nelson
      7. Ms. Victoria Willard
      8. Ms. Margo Landon

Clergy Deputies

      1. The Rev. Dina van Klaveren
      2. The Rev. Ramelle McCall
      3. The Rev. Stewart Lucas
      4. The Rev. Canon Scott Slater
      5. The Rev. Dion Thompson
      6. The Rev. Canon Dr. Angela Shepherd
      7. The Rev. Travis Smith
      8. The Rev. Ken Saunders

Episcopal Church Women Triennial

    • Ms. Dorothy Arthur
    • Ms. Bernice Turner
    • Ms. Sharon Tillman
The bishops will attend the House of Bishops will the deputies attend House of Deputies proceedings. Additionally, Carrie Graves, Director of Communications; Lisa Marie and James Ryder, Co Executive Director’s of the Claggett Center; Episcopal Church Women representatives Dorothy Arthur and Beatrice Turner; and several others will participate in various functions and programs at General Convention. While much legislative work is conducted, we also participate in daily worship services and events hosted by seminaries, dioceses, provinces, and particular ministries.

General Convention begins on July 5 and runs through July 13 at the Convention Center in Austin, TX. Please pray for our Maryland deputation, and watch this space for reports on our efforts to hear the many voices of this holy convocation.