This is generally my favorite time of year. I love the beginning of the academic year and the opportunity to welcome new students to campus here. I love the autumn colors and the smell of bonfires. I love the brightly decorated pumpkins. And, I love attending Diocesan Convention! Now, you might be a bit surprised about that last entry because we all know that the business – passing resolutions and approving the budget – of the diocese might fall a bit short of spell-binding. Yet, for me, there are two main reasons that I get psyched when it’s convention time: first, well-written resolutions can express the call and passion that some of our household feel toward issues that we all should consider and, second, I love the opportunity to spend time with all of you – my brothers and sisters in Christ. You’re family to me!
Clearly, this year is going to be different. COVID has eliminated the chance for us to meet together in-person and has required the diocese to create new ways to get our important work done. I will miss seeing you all as 3-dimesional people, indeed. But, I am looking forward to Convention just the same! We may only be together on Zoom but we will be together as the Household of God in the Diocese of Michigan. We are still going to do the work that our diocese needs us to do even in this format. Our Convention Planning Committee has worked very hard to make sure this new approach to convention does the job we need.
Hopefully, you all have received the emails announcing our convention which begins officially next Friday, October 23, with Pre-Convention workshops open to everyone in the diocese. I am really excited about these opportunities:
11:00am to 12:00pm – What Does Truth & Reconciliation Looks Like?
1:00pm to 2:00pm – Sparking Engagement On Zoom: Deepen Your Adult Formation Experiences Online
2:30pm to 3:30pm – Keeping Team Leadership Strong
4:00pm to 5:00pm – An Old-Fashioned Hymn Sing! Only Newly-Fashioned on Zoom!
These workshop are open to everyone, but registration is required. To learn more about each workshop and to register, click here.
The Opening Business Session will begin at 6:00 pm. If you are a delegate to Convention, you will log-in through Zoom but all of our Household are invited to join us through a link that will be on the Diocesan Webpage. This time together will include Bishop Perry’s Convention Address so plan to be with us for this.
Following the Business Session, we all have been invited to join Bishop Perry at a Zoom Happy Hour and Reception. The Zoom link will be available later this week. This promises to be a fun time of fellowship – and maybe even a dance or two – so please plan to join us!!
The business of Convention will continue on Saturday morning with a Committee on Reference meeting at 8:00 am, if needed, followed by a virtual breakfast for spouses and partners of our diocesan clergy hosted by the Rev. Dr. Susan Harlow. Please register with Beth Rowley if you are able to attend the breakfast at firstname.lastname@example.org
At 10:00 am, the Second Business Session begins and will include:
- Opening Prayer led by Youth and Young Adults (YAYA)
- Overview of the Budget Process for 2021/2022
- Introduction of New Clergy and Bishop’s Staff
- Blessing and Installation of Deans
- Report of the Committee on Reference (if necessary)
- Announcement of Election Results(Second ballot if necessary)
- Call to the 187thConvention of the Diocese of Michigan
- Committee on Reference Resolutions of Courtesy
- Closing Worship Service
Now, some of you may be thinking, “I’m a delegate, but I don’t know how to work Zoom. Will it work on my device? What am I going to do?” The Planning Committee has also addressed these concerns:
Zoom Practice Sessions
Are you a Lay Delegate or Voting clergy who is new to the Zoom conference platform? Join us for a Zoom practice session! Join us:
Wednesday, October 21, at 6:00 p.m.
To join the practice meeting, please click the link below at the start of the meeting time.
And, behind the scenes during Convention, there will be a group of tech-savvy people ready to help as needed.
Please plan to join us. The work of Convention is truly about all of us in the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan. As we have all learned during this time of pandemic, the Church is not about a particular building but about all of us as the Body of Christ! I am looking forward to seeing you all!
Let us pray –
Almighty and everliving God, source of all wisdom and understanding,
be present with those who take counsel in the
Episcopal Diocese of Michigan for the renewal and mission
of your Church. Teach us in all things to seek first your honor and glory.
Guide us to perceive what is right, and grant us both the courage to
pursue it and the grace to accomplish it; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
~ The Rev. Judith Schellhammer, chair, Resolution Review Committee, Diocesan Council