The 146th annual convention of the Diocese of Southern Ohio will take place November 7, 2020, via a Zoom webinar. (See announcement of virtual convention)

The convention is the official Annual Meeting of the legislative body of the diocese, convened to adopt the budget for the coming year, initiate and/or approve recommended programs and policies of the diocese, and elect people to leadership positions. Many tasks need to be completed before the convention convenes and there are set deadlines for each of them. Here is a primer of what needs to happen, and when.

REPRESENTATION

All clergy who are canonically resident in the diocese are entitled to seat, voice and vote at convention. Clergy who are new to the diocese must have their Letters Dimissory accepted by the bishop before the start of convention to be considered canonically resident. Ministers of other denominations who serve as pastors in congregations are also entitled to seat, voice and vote. Clergy who are licensed to officiate in the diocese but are not canonically resident are entitled to seat and voice, but no vote. 

Lay delegates from each congregation must be elected and certified to vote at the convention. Each congregation that has fulfilled its annual requirements (payment of Mission Share, submitting Parochial Report, completing annual audit) is entitled to seat, voice and vote of lay delegates. Mission congregations are entitled to two lay delegates and parishes are entitled to four lay delegates, and each are entitled to an equal number of alternate delegates.

Congregations are canonically required (see Canon III, Section 5) to report the election of lay delegates immediately after they have been chosen at their annual meeting. This reporting is done on the Annual Reporting Form, which was due April 1. Congregations that did not submit their Annual Reporting Form before the deadline can find the link here and are asked to submit the form as soon as possible. The link can also be found in the Forms section on the Resources page of the diocesan website.

ANNUAL REPORTS OF COMMITTEES/COMMISSIONS/TASK FORCES

Committees, commissions and task forces of the diocese that receive funding from the Mission Share budget are required to file an annual report of their activities and a list of committee members prior to convention. These reports are made available for review by the convention and are included in the Journal of convention. The deadline for submitting reports is October 23.

CONSTITUTION AND CANONICAL CHANGES

The Constitution and Canons guide the governance of the diocese. A committee reviews the Constitution and Canons each year and considers whether to propose changes. Proposed amendments may come from any member of the diocese, although the committee requests an opportunity to review the proposal to make sure it abides by wider-church rules. 

Proposed amendments should be submitted in writing by August 10 (90 days prior) to convention@diosohio.org. The absolute deadline to submit a proposed change is September 8 (60 days prior). Contact diocesan chancellor Joseph J. Dehner at 513.651.6949 or jdehner@fbtlaw.com with any questions.

NOMINATION FOR DIOCESAN-WIDE OFFICES

Check our convention website dsoConvention.org for a description of each office and a link to the online nomination form. The deadline for nominations that will be posted online prior to the preconvention meetings is October 23. Direct any questions to nominations chair Jon B. Boss at jbboss@fuse.net.

Budget Committee 

  • Elect one layperson for a three-year term (Class of 2023)
  • Elect one layperson for a one-year  unexpired term (Class of 2021)

Diocesan Council

  • Elect two clergy for a three-year term (Class of 2023)
  • Elect three laypersons for a three-year term (Class of 2023)

Disciplinary Board 

  • Elect one layperson for a three-year term (Class of 2023)

Standing Committee 

  • Elect one clergy for a three-year term (Class of 2023)
  • Elect one layperson for a three-year term (Class of 2023)

Trustees of the Church Foundation

  • Elect one layperson OR clergy for a five-year term (Class of 2025)

Trustees of the Diocese

  • Elect one layperson OR clergy for a five-year term (Class of 2025)

Procter Center Board of Directors 

  • Elect one layperson or clergy for a three-year term (Class of 2023)

PROPOSING RESOLUTIONS

Proposing resolutions is a key way for the people of the diocese to discuss and reflect upon issues in the church and beyond. There are a variety of types of resolutions, ranging from those that ask the diocese to take a stand on a particular issue to special observances to calls for commitment to certain ministries. 

Resolutions can be submitted here or at dsoConvention.org. All proposed resolutions must be submitted by September 23 (45 days prior). The Resolutions Committee will meet that following week to review the resolutions. 

Those submitting resolutions are expected to attend (or have a representative present) at the pre-convention meeting on October 27 at 7 p.m. Contact resolutions chair Jim Heathcote at 937.446.2108 or jheathcote@earthlink.net with questions.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

If you are a delegate you will need the following to participate in a virtual convention:

  • Access to reliable internet service
  • A reliable computer
  • An up to date web browser
  • Zoom downloaded on your machine
  • Ideally, a second device, such as a smartphone or tablet to vote. You can vote with your computer, but that means switching back and forth from Zoom to the voting software.

Church delegations should begin talking now about which of their members may have trouble with participating in the Zoom pre-convention meeting and convention due to access to equipment or high speed internet. If any of your members have any challenges to full participation that you cannot work together to address, contact the bishop’s staff by clicking on the big red HELP button on the convention home page. Staff members will work one on one with any individual delegate to ensure their ability to participate.

QUICK LIST: Convention dates and deadlines
August 10 (90 days prior): Proposed Constitution/canonical changes requested
September 8 (60 days prior): Deadline for proposed Constitution/canonical changes
September 23 (45 days prior): Deadline for proposed resolutions Nominations for office requested
October 23 (15 days prior): Nominations deadline; Deadline for Commission/Committee/Task Force annual reports. No nominations will be accepted from the floor.
October 27 (11 days prior) Pre-convention meeting and Nominee Forum, 7 p.m. via Zoom
November 7: 146th Annual Convention, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. via Zoom

Find all convention information on our convention website: dsoconvention.org.