The following article by Katy Dickinson is the second in a series of posts about this summer’s General Convention in Salt Lake City. For the full post, visit Katy’s blog here.
We’re looking forward to attending the 78th General Convention (“GC”) from June 25 to July 3 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The delegation members from our Diocese of El Camino Real and Bishop Mary Gray-Reeves have been preparing for this two-week-long event for a long time, some since the last GC three years ago. The Rev. Tom Sramek (Co-Rector, Good Samaritan Episcopal Church, San Jose) and I (a parishioner at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Saratoga) have been asked to serve as lead social media communicators to keep the diocese informed.
There will be several major discussions at GC, the election of a new Presiding Bishop to a 10-year term being foremost. Another topic almost as important as the election is the “Task Force for Reimagining the Episcopal Church” (TREC). At the 2012 GC, the Task Force was charged to create a plan for reforming the Church’s structures, governance, and administration. Bishop Mary was a member of the Task Force. TREC’s charter and other documents are on their web site. TREC was discussed in a church-wide meeting held in the National Cathedral in Washington DC in October 2014, including a video broadcast for those who could not join in person.
About 2,000 people participated in 2012-2014 TREC discussions, plus about 4,000 who participated in-person or remotely in the meeting at National Cathedral. The 74-page TREC Final Report was published in December 2014. The Task Force has put forth three resolutions for consideration at GC next week (the full text of each can be viewed and downloaded at the TREC Final Report):
A001: Restructure for Spiritual Encounter – more: p.7 and following
A002: Reimagine Dioceses, Bishops, and General Convention – more: p.8 and following
A003: Restructure Assets in Service of God’s Mission in the Future – more: p.10 and following
These are major shifts proposed for how the Church will do its work in the world going forward. Between June 25 and July 3, GC will discuss its own restructuring – including the possibility of merging the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies in a unicameral model. The TREC resolutions have already proven to be controversial, generating passionate and thoughtful discussion as well as prayerful consideration. The GC will surely be energetic and very interesting!
Photo: Deputies & alternates meeting at Sargent House (thanks to Katy Dickinson)