On October 17, the Diocese of California held its 171st annual convention. Because of the CoV2 pandemic, the convention was held online for the first time. In recent years, Diocesan conventions have spanned two days, but this year’s event was condensed to a single Zoom meeting lasting 8 hours. Nearly 300 participants were on the call, plus observers watching on a companion livestream.
There were technical challenges from gathering so many Zoom participants, but the meeting seemed successful overall. Each participating St. Mark’s delegate was able to connect for at least part of the meeting. Though not a member of the delegation, Randy Smith garnered significant brownie points for helping Carla Bliss make her technology work on short notice.
The Diocesan conventions combine essential business of budget and governance, plus aspirational elements that express who we wish to be in the world at large. The meeting also recognizes contributions made by outstanding members of the Diocese. The official summary of this year’s meeting can be found here:
While many religious organizations reserve their leadership to ordained ministers, the governance of the Episcopal Church includes both clergy and lay members, going from local congregations all the way to national leadership. The St. Mark’s delegation includes Matt McDermott, Nikky Wood, and Liz Milner in the clergy order, plus Margalynne Armstrong, Carla Bliss, Teresa Downing, Michael Fitzpatrick, Jonathan Harvey, Romain Kang, and Terry Moore in the lay order. All other Episcopal church members are welcome to observe meetings at both the diocesan and the more local deanery levels. The next deanery Zoom takes place November 14. Reach out to any one of us if you would like to know more.