Democratic Process, Church Edition | The Rev. Dr. Anna S. Pearson, Rector

06.28.24 | Celebration, Community, International, Pulpit Posts, World

As I write this, bishops and delegates from Episcopal churches across the nation (and from area missions and the Convocation of American Churches in Europe) are meeting in Louisville, KY for our 81st General Convention. Every three years our church gathers and makes decisions that impact our common life. The structure through which this happens is bicameral: there is a House of Bishops, which includes all active and retired bishops, and a House of Deputies, which includes four lay people and four clergy elected from each diocese.

These houses meet and act separately, but legislation is only adopted if both concur. The Convention has the power to change the Book of Common Prayer and amend the Constitution and canons of the church. It passes a budget and makes programmatic decisions. It adopts resolutions on a wide range of issues: from human resources to creation care; from addressing economic inequality in our nation to addressing violence and injustice around the world.

At every third gathering, the Convention elects a new Presiding Bishop. Bishop Michael Curry has served ably and faithfully as our leader for the past nine years, and this year a search committee has put forward four candidates for the position (a fifth candidate who was nominated by petition is on the slate as well). Every election of every Presiding Bishop is important, but so much is so fraught in our world right now that this election feels particularly significant.

By the time you are reading this, all will have been accomplished. Bishops and delegates will be packing up and heading home. A new person to lead us for the next nine years will have been elected, and decisions made on behalf of the Episcopal church will have been approved. I plan to offer some highlights during the announcements on Sunday, but until then you can access information and content here (insert link to website).

We are deeply blessed to be part of a denomination that makes decisions democratically, with input from many different voices. Please pray for the Episcopal Church as we forward, together.

Rev. Dr. Anna S. Pearson

Rev. Dr. Anna S. Pearson


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