By Bonnie Anderson, part of the Vestry Papers issue on Governance (May 2012) for the Episcopal Church Foundation Vital Practices
Our revolutionary form of governance does not stop on the parish, mission, or diocesan level. Once every three years the Episcopal Church gathers together in a General Convention, which, as a “unitary” form of governance, holds all authority for the Episcopal Church. Laity, clergy and bishops each have had equal voice and vote since the first General Convention in 1785.
Dr. Pamela Chinnis, 29th president of the House of Deputies, summarized the authority of General Convention in this way:
"General Convention has the authority to change the documents that define us as Episcopalians: the constitution and canons and the Book of Common Prayer, along with its accompanying Hymnal and supplemental music and worship texts.
It must also authorize use of national resources and staff who coordinate various missionary, educational and social-justice ministries and adopt a budget to support them.
…. Historically, the convention has also considered resolutions addressing a broad range of ecclesiastical and social policy issues."
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Sat, June 23, 2012
by Thea Mangels filed under