General Convention Blog

TEConversations at #GC79 offer way to participate in building a community of love

Dr. Catherine Meeks speaks with vigor about the important work to be done through the Racial Healing Center in Atlanta.

On July 6, the first joint session TEConversation, that on racial reconciliation, took place on in the House of Deputies space at the Austin Convention Center. Truth and reconciliation is a priority in the Diocese of Maryland. The goal of these conversations is to further the work of the Church, deepen relationships and provide resources to help communicants across the Church have conversation in their parishes and communities.

[July 6, 2018] [The Episcopal Church] One of the unique offerings at this triennium’s General Convention are TEConversations (The Episcopal Church Conversations), which will be held during three joint sessions of the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies over the coming week. Each conversation offers multiple speakers, video presentations and engaging interludes around three priorities of this gathering: racial reconciliation, evangelism and care of creation.  Speakers represent international leaders, well-known Episcopalians, and rising voices in the Church.

Each TEConversation are available live so communicants can participate concurrently with deputies and bishops. Each will also be available online, with support materials, for local use in churches at a later date.

Arno Michaelis speaks passionately about his turn to forgiveness and love.

Speakers for the first TEConversation include: a reformed, former leader of a worldwide racist skinhead organization, Arno Michaelis; director of the Absalom Jones Episcopal Center for Racial Healing in Atlanta, Georgia, Dr. Catherine Meeks; and the Rev. Nancy Frausto, a native of Zacatecas, Mexico and DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) beneficiary priest. The Racial Reconciliation Conversation will take place July 6 from 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Central. A discussion guide may be found here.

A second TEConversation focuses on Evangelism. Featured speakers include: the Rev. Dr. Lauren Winner, prolific author, vicar and associate professor of Christian Spirituality at Duke Divinity School; the Rt. Rev. Alan Scarfe, Bishop of Iowa, whose deep commitment to spiritual renewal and creative thinking has inspired a year of revivals across the state and energized his constituency; and the Rev. Daniel Vélez-Rivera, whose ministry has been one of planting new Latino ministries and creating sustainable dual-language congregations. The Evangelism Conversation is from 2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Central on Saturday, July 7. A discussion guide is here.

The third and final TEConversation will consider our Care of Creation as committed Christians. As we safeguard the integrity of creation, how do we embrace responsible use, and encourage more conversation around climate and faith? Speakers include the Archbishop of Cape Town, the Most Rev. Dr. Thabo Cecil Makgoba, who has a deep resume around ethical leadership and stewardship; Bernadette Demientieff, an Alaskan native and firm protector of Indigenous sacred lands and waters; and the Rev. Stephanie McDyre Johnson, an environmental planner and educator and co-chair of the Episcopal Church’s Advisory Council on the Care of Creation. The Care of Creation Conversation will take place Tuesday, July 10 beginning at 10:30 a.m. and concluding at noon Central. The discussion guide may be found here.

Follow the TEConversations from home, gather friends at church to participate or visit General Convention as a visitor for the day. Visitor passes are available for $50 a day onsite at the Austin Convention Center.


Prayer Service Set at Detention Center During General Convention

Posted by the House of Deputies of The Episcopal Church

Responding to calls from Episcopalians across the church to act on behalf of families seeking asylum at the southern U. S. border, a team of concerned leaders heading to General Convention has planned a prayer service outside the T. Don Hutto Residential Detention Center in Taylor, Texas, at about noon on Sunday, July 8.

The planning team, led by alternate Deputy Megan Castellan, rector of St. John’s Church in Ithaca, New York, is working with Grassroots Leadership—a local community organizing group in Texas that has held numerous gatherings at the Hutto Residential Center. Deputy Winnie Varghese, director of justice and reconciliation at Trinity Church Wall Street, is helping to arrange buses to the event. Read more

Announcement of Legislative Committee Officers

The Rev. Gay Clark Jennings, President of the House of Deputies, has announced legislative committee officers for the 79th General Convention. We are pleased to announce that a large portion of our deputation will be serving on committees. As mentioned in a previous post, both of our bishops are co-chairing committees. In addition, our deputies will serve on the following committees:


Committee 01 Rules of Order-The Rev. Canon Scott G. Slater
Committee 06 The Episcopal Church in Cuba– The Rev. Dina van Klaveren
Committee 07 Social Justice & International Policy-Mr. David G. Mallery
Committee 11 Evangelism & Church Planting-The Rev. Ramelle L. McCall
Committee 22 Dispatch of Business– Mr. Mark Garcia
Task Force on the Presiding Bishop-Ms. Alma Bell

Diocese of Maryland adopts important leadership roles at General Convention

We are pleased to announce that both of our bishops are co-chairing legislative committees at the 79th General Convention.


The Right Rev. Eugene Taylor Sutton chairs committee 19 – on Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations, whose mandate is as follows: Receives and proposes Resolutions on relations between this Church and other Churches, this Church and other religions, interchurch cooperation and unity, and interreligious dialogue and action. Items to be addressed include resolution 2018-Ao12 – On the Importance of Ecumenical and Interfaith Relationships for the Stewardship of Creation.


The Right Rev. Chilton R. Knudsen chairs committee 16 – Churchwide Leadership, whose mandate is as follows: Receives and proposes Resolutions on relations between this Church and other Churches, this Church and other religions, interchurch cooperation and unity, and interreligious dialogue and action. Among the items this committee has taken up are the question of compensation for the president of the House of Deputies (2018-A028), the Task Force on the Episcopacy and the resolution from the report from the Commission on Impairment and Leadership.

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.

Read more