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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Spring Training for Deputies

Did you know that the Episcopal Church organizes itself into nine Provinces?  It sure does. TEC’s provinces are analogous to Missouri’s convocations.  We in Missouri belong to Province V of The Episcopal Church – along with 14 dioceses in the upper Midwest.  You can see the map here. Like our convocations, Province V meets to share information and do business for The Episcopal Church.

The Province V Synod met in Chicago on April 24-25.  General Convention Deputies Kathyrn Dyer, Lisa Fox, and Doris Westfall attended, along with our Bishop Wayne Smith (who also serves as Vice-President of Province V) and Beth Felice (Director of Communications).  About half the meeting was devoted to Province business and half to preparing for the 2012 General Convention. 

This was good preparation for me.  I had heard that documents and resolutions fly “fast and furious” at General Convention.  That was the case in the provincial meeting, too.  When we arrived Tuesday morning, we had a pile of new documents in front of us.  Speed-reading was the order of the day.  The materials included nominations for important Episcopal Church offices and resolutions that Province V wanted to advance to the General Convention. 

Very little of the Province V meeting was “business.”  There were only a couple of items that required votes.  One was to approve a bylaws change. The other was to suggest a change to the Canons of the Episcopal Church, to define the role of Provinces.  Both passed with wide majorities.

The Province selected a member to serve on the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church.  The. Rev. Marion Luckey (of Munising, MI)  was elected. 

A new Presiding Bishop will be elected in 2015, and Provinces can nominate people to serve on the Joint Nominating Committee for Presiding Bishop.  The following were elected from Province V as candidates for the Joint Nominating Committee: 

Clergy Nominees: 
  • Martha Berger
  • Susan Haynes
  • Gay Jennings

Lay Nominees
  • Pam Chapman
  • William Fleener, Jr.
  • Carlynn Higbee

I enjoyed hearing reports from various bodies of the Episcopal Church.  The Province did much as we do in our diocese – highlighting various ministries and organizations. We heard from groups such as the Church Periodical Club, Episcopal Communicators, campus ministry, Ministry Development, United Thank Offering, ECW, Congregational Development, Health Ministry, Companions in Ministry, ERD, and others.

When the Province V Synod adjourned on Tuesday afternoon, I was grateful that I had learned more about our neighboring dioceses and about some of the ministries that are church-wide. 

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