As some of you readers already know, AOC will be at the 78th General Convention of the Episcopal Church in June. Some of you have asked, “Well, why are you going to General Convention?” Below, Director, Lallie Lloyd tackles that very question!
Every three years General Convention, the governing body of The Episcopal Church, gathers to decide how we will be church together.
The bishops and eight deputies from each diocese – over 1100 people in total — meet in separate ‘houses’ (bishops and deputies) for about 10 days of worship, deliberation and decision-making. General Convention first met in 1785 so Episcopalians in the former British colonies could decide how to govern ourselves once independence from England severed our ties with the Church of England.
This year, from June 24 to July 3, the 78th General Convention will meet in Salt Lake City. Bishops and lay and clergy deputies will be called on to make some big decisions. What is the meaning of marriage? How will we re-structure our historic church for the 21st Century? Who will serve as our next presiding bishop?
All Our Children is going to Salt Lake City, too. We’re bringing fourteen people from North Carolina, Virginia, Massachusetts, Texas, and Ohio. We’re bringing teen-agers and grandmothers; clergy and lay people; leaders of mature partnerships and those just getting started.
Why would these busy leaders of local grassroots church-school partnerships spend the time away from friends, family and work to attend an event that is part legislative assembly, part marketplace, and part family reunion? Especially when none of us is a deputy (so we cannot vote), we have a vision – not a product – to sell, and it might feel like a reunion of someone else’s family?
We’re going to General Convention because we’ve seen glimpses of the Kingdom (great schools for great kids in great neighborhoods), and we think those glimpses should inform those big decisions.
We’re going to General Convention because we believe in partnerships – your partnerships. We’ve seen the difference you make in the lives of students, volunteers, and cities. We’ve seen local partnerships nourish city-wide coalitions that change state-wide policies to rectify historical injustices. We’ve seen schools improved, neighborhoods strengthened, and congregations revitalized.
We’re going to General Convention to invite the wider church to re-commit to God’s vision of a just society in which every child gets a great publicly funded education regardless of her parents’ zip code, education, or native language.
We’re going to General Convention because we are passionate that the church bear witness to the scandal that is public education in America.
We’re going to General Convention to make All Our Children’s National Network visible, so your bishops and deputies will come home eager to promote new partnerships, and to strengthen and support existing ones.
We believe there are hundreds – if not thousands — of active church-school partnerships across the country and we want to know you all, learn with you, and hear from you how we can support you.
So, we’re going to General Convention to meet you.
If you’ll be there, and want to connect with us, let us know by filling out the quick form below!