The General Convention is the governing body of The Episcopal Church. Every three years it meets as a bicameral legislature that includes the House of Deputies and the House of Bishops, composed of deputies and bishops from each diocese.
The 80th General Convention of The Episcopal Church will meet July 8 - 11, 2022 at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, Maryland. Originally scheduled for July of 2021, the 80th General Convention was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and later shortened from 10 legislative days to four and modifications to the number of attendees and legislative process.
Deputation from the Diocese of South Carolina
Deputies that will represent the Diocese of South Carolina in the House of Deputies at the 80th General Convention were elected at the 229th Diocesan Convention of our diocese in November 2019. Since that time, a few deputies have needed to be replaced by alternates, but the final deputation representing our diocese in July 2022 in Baltimore will be:
The Very Rev. Dr. Adam Shoemaker (St. Stephen's Charleston)
The Rev. Dr. Wilmot Merchant (St. Stephen's, North Myrtle Beach)
The Rev. Roy Tripp (St. Mark's, Port Royal)
The Rev. Bill Coyne (Grace Church Cathedral, Charleston)
Canon Andrea McKellar (Head of the Deputation; St. Stephen's, Charleston)
Mr. Mark Szen (All Saints, Hilton Head Island)
Mr. Thomas Miller (St. Mark's, Port Royal)
Ms. Deb Harris (Holy Cross Faith Memorial, Pawleys Island)
Ms. Christina Donovan - lay alternate (Good Shepherd, Summerville)
Bishop Ruth Woodliff-Stanley will also attend General Convention, but will be part of the House of Bishops.
Changes Due to the Pandemic
Additional changes to the schedule and processes for the meeting were made in light of ongoing concerns with the COVID-19 pandemic. The Presiding Officers, the Most Rev. Michael Curry and the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings, at a special meeting of the Executive Council on May 11, 2022, called for a General Convention design team to evaluate how to hold the meeting in the safest way. Over the course of three weeks, the design team met and the Presiding Officers made their recommendations for modifications to the 80th General Convention. On June 7, 2022, the Joint Staining Committee on Planning and Arrangements approved changes to the schedule and format of the 80th General Convention, including limits on the number of participants. Click here to view the policies passed by the Committee. The Executive Council met later in the day to concur with the changes to the dates of General Convention. Click here to view the resolution passed by the Council.
Learn More About General Convention
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What happens at General Convention?
The legislative process of General Convention is an expression of The Episcopal Church’s belief that, under God, the Church is ordered and governed by its people: laity, deacons, priests, and bishops.
The General Convention is the Church’s highest temporal authority. As such, it has the power to amend the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church; to amend the Book of Common Prayer and to authorize other liturgical texts; to adopt the budget for the Church; to create covenants and official relationships with other branches of the Church; to determine requirements for its clergy and other leaders; to elect its officers, members of the Executive Council, and certain other groups; to delegate responsibilities to the Interim Bodies of The Episcopal Church; and to carry out various other responsibilities and authority.
How is General Convention organized?
There are two legislative Houses of General Convention: the House of Deputies and the House of Bishops. Each of the two Houses has a presiding officer: the Presiding Bishop and the President of the House of Deputies. When there is a joint meeting of the two Houses, the Presiding Bishop has the right to preside.
The Secretary of General Convention has responsibilities to support the work of both Houses. This person must first be elected as Secretary of the House of Deputies, and then, through concurrent action by the House of Bishops, becomes the Secretary of the General Convention. The Treasurer of General Convention is elected by concurrent action of both Houses.
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