The 80th General Convention of the Episcopal Church was like no other. I missed the joint worship services with Bishops and visitors. I missed the singing together as a family of Episcopalians from all over. Yet we performed the task for which we were elected as Deputies from The Diocese of San Diego. Our Deputation of Lay and Clergy members worked as a team to pass over 400 resolutions and elect members of the Episcopal Church to vacant positions, including the President and Vice President of the House of Deputies. We also elected members to Executive Council, which is important because, between General Convention meetings, the Executive Council continues to take care of the business of the Episcopal Church and resolutions which were passed.
Of the 400 resolutions, many were placed on the Consent Calendar, yet we still had to vote on them. In order to perform the legislative tasks in this abbreviated Convention, we worked three nights until 9:30 pm. Because this was a four-day General Convention, we adjusted the schedule. Our Alternate Deputies were on the House floor the first day, which is also unusual. Generally, it takes three or four days before an Alternate can get on the floor.
One of the big concerns of today is gun violence. While we were in Baltimore, there was a shooting close to the Hyatt Hotel, where some of the Deputies and Bishops were staying. The Bishops and Deputies marched to draw attention to the gun violence that is so pervasive in our society today.
Now for the Budget… in the future, the budget process will be different as there will no longer be what we call PB&F, Program Budget, and Finance Committee. Now there will be something different that will give the Executive Council more direct involvement throughout the entire budget process. Under the new process, if a resolution is passed after the budget is passed, the resolution could still be funded (which was not the case before).
A new task force will be formed of Executive Council members from the Finance Committee and others selected by the Presiding Officers (the President of the House of Deputies and the Presiding Bishop). As always, the budget was presented at the joint meeting of both houses (House of Deputies and the House of Bishops). After questions were asked and answered, the meeting was adjourned. Each House voted independently of the other. The House of Deputies adopted the Budget, as did the House of Bishops. You can review the budget if you go to the Episcopal Church Web page and select Finance.
I thank God for the opportunity to serve as a Deputy with our Deputation. We conducted important work for the Episcopal Church and worked together as a team when voting on important matters.
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