What is General Convention?

The General Convention is the governing body of the Episcopal Church. The Convention is a bicameral legislature that includes the House of Deputies, which has more than 800 members, and the House of Bishops, which is comprised of nearly 300 active and retired bishops. The Convention meets every three years.

You can learn more about the make-up and processes of the General Convention from this informative graphic booklet created by the Diocese of Texas

How is Southern Ohio represented at General Convention?

At our diocesan convention in 2016, we elected four clergy and four lay deputies who, along with Bishops Breidenthal, Price and Rivera will travel to Austin as voting members of the General Convention. One lay and two clergy deputies will also accompany the deputation and be available to take our deputies’ place on the floor of the House if they need a break from the grueling schedule. You can learn more about the members of our deputation here.

Why should I care about General Convention? How does the actions of the Convention affect my church?

The General Convention has the authority to amend the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church; adopt the budget for the church for the next three years; authorize liturgical texts and amend the Book of Common Prayer; adopt communions and covenants with other churches; set qualifications for orders of ministry and office-holders; elect officers of the General Convention, the Executive Council, and members of boards; and delegate responsibilities to the interim bodies of the Episcopal Church.

Here are some of the “hot” topics that will come before this General Convention:

  • Salary for the President of the House of Deputies (currently a volunteer position)
  • Episcopal Church-United Methodist Dialogue
  • The Episcopal Church in Cuba
  • Designing a New Parochial Report
  • Revision of the Book of Common Prayer
  • Trial Use of Marriage Liturgies
  • Authorizing Rites to Bless Relationships

How can I follow along with what is happening at General Convention?

All deputies and bishops are issued a “virtual binder” on an electronic tablet when they arrive at the Convention. This virtual binder replaces the hundreds of pages of resolutions, agendas, committee reports and communications that voting members are responsible for tracking. Since all the information is now online, you can follow along with legislation (including resolutions proposed by our diocese) updated in real time at www.vbinder.net.

You can also watch live streaming of the legislative sessions at the General Convention Media Hub: https://www.episcopalchurch.org/general-convention-2018-media-hub

Watch your inbox – We will send regular e-mail communication from General Convention, with summaries of the daily proceedings, videos, reflections from the bishop and deputies and more. You will also be able to find all of this information on our General Convention page.