General Convention (GC) 2015 has come and gone, leaving a lot of us in the pews wondering “what was accomplished” and “why do we do GC”? This article is a bullet point description of what was accomplished at this GC.
Bishop Johnston gave his recap of GC 2015, click here to read it.
Electing a new Presiding Bishop
First, we elected a new Presiding Bishop (PB), Micheal Curry. This is a historic event, because Michael Curry is the first African-American PB. To learn more about Michael Curry and his vision for the Episcopal Church watch this interview with the Episcopal News Network. To learn more about the role of the PB, click here.
In the wake of the June 26 U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage for all Americans, General Convention followed suit on July 1 with canonical and liturgical changes to provide marriage equality for Episcopalians.
The House of Deputies concurred with the House of Bishops’ approval the day before of a canonical change eliminating language defining marriage as between a man and a woman (Resolution A036) and authorizing two new marriage rites with language allowing them to be used by same-sex or opposite-sex couples (Resolution A054).
Re-imagining the Episcopal Church
The General Convention approved two resolutions making major changes to the structure of The Episcopal Church.
Substitute Resolution A004 slightly expands Executive Council’s appointment power concerning three members of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society’s executive staff, including the chief operating officer, chief financial officer and chief legal officer (a position created in the resolution).
Substitute Resolution A006 reduces the number of the church’s standing commissions from 14 to two. The two would be the Standing Commission on Structure, Governance, Constitution and Canons, and the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music. The presiding bishop and House of Deputies president would appoint study committees and task forces to complete the work called for by a meeting of General Convention, with council’s approval. All of those bodies would expire at the start of the next General Convention unless they are renewed.
There was much more discussed and decided at GC 2015. To learn more about what was accomplished click here