jQuery Slider

You are here


What if they held a General Convention and nobody came?

By Mary Ann Mueller
VOL Special Correspondent
July 14, 2022

COVID had decimated the Episcopal General Convention and threw it into chaos.

The 80th General Convention initially slated for June 30 to July 9, 2021, was kicked to July 7-14, 2022, then trimmed to July 8-11, lopping off one day in the beginning and three days on the tail end.

The 10-day 2021 confab was sliced to seven days when it got booted to 2022. Then eventually it was cut down to four days as the latest COVID omicron variant has become a part of life impacting the way people gather.

Now General Convention is over. Convention-goers have scattered to the winds. They are returning to their home dioceses.

But there is something missing in the wake of this General Convention -- headlines.

The 80th Episcopal General Convention did not generate the attention-grabbing headlines it had in the past.

Other than the expected coverage from the Episcopal News Service and The Living Church Foundation, Convention was largely ignored by other church-based press and the secular media. Basically, there's nothing to see there.

The current presiding bishop, Michael Curry, is black; the previous presiding bishop, Katherine Jefferts Schori, is a woman, so all color barriers and stained-glass ceilings have been breached. The fact that the House of Deputies elected a Latino, Julia Ayala Harris, for its new president and an indigenous woman from the Shackan Indian Band, Rachel Taber-Hamilton, as vice president generated no attention-grabbing headlines. The news was just taking in stride, nothing new to see there.

The Episcopal Church is so tied to the culture that the House of Bishops will soon be home to seven gay and lesbian bishops and bishopettes, including: Thomas Brown (X Maine); Bonnie Perry (XI Michigan); Mary Glasspool (New York-assisting); Deon Johnson (XI Missouri); Thomas Shaw (XV Massachusetts-RIP); Vicky Gene Robinson (IX New Hampshire-retired); and soon Jeffrey Mello (XVI Connecticut-elect).

However, there are several transgender priests and priestesses within the Episcopal ranks, including: Gwen Fry, Cameron Partridge, Carla Robinson, Rowan Larson, and Christopher Fike. (Carolyn Woodall is a vocational deacon.) None of whom have made it into the House of Bishops -- as of yet. When that happens, headlines will be generated -- at least temporarily.

Most of the big controversial national issues have been settled -- same-sex marriage is the law of the land, Roe v Wade has been overturned, and Bishop William Love (IX Albany) has been drummed out of The Episcopal Church for his biblically based conservative stances.

The 80th Episcopal General Convention only generated one small headline and that was from The Christian Post: "Episcopal Church rejects proposal to relocate 2024 General Convention over abortion ban."

For the first time in years, the Episcopal General Convention has not been a headline generator.

Mary Ann Mueller is a journalist living in Texas. She is a regular contributor to VirtueOnline

Get a bi-weekly summary of Anglican news from around the world.
comments powered by Disqus
Trinity School for Ministry
Go To Top