Diocesan leaders are about to begin a series of regional meetings to discuss the important work to be taken up at next month's Diocesan Convention.
A complete set of convention plans, proposals and reports is now available on the diocesan website at http://www.episcopalpgh.org/2010-diocesan-convention/. Convention deputies are encouraged to download the document, rather than requesting a printed copy through the mail.
The pre-convention meetings, like the October 15-16 Convention itself, are not just for the elected deputies. All members of the diocese are invited to take part. This year, several Convention events have been planned and timed for a wider audience. These include a diocesan Eucharist and open workshops, all taking place on the morning of Saturday the 16th.
Among the pressing business to be discussed is the adoption of a plan for electing a new bishop for the diocese. A resolution authorized by the Standing Committee calls for the formation of a nomination committee and a transition committee, the hiring of a diocesan consultant and preparation of a budget. It will be the work of the nomination committee to produce a diocesan profile and to present a slate of candidates that can be drawn up through two complementary means: those recruited by a search which the nomination committee will conduct, and those placed on the ballot by petition from groups of diocesan clergy and lay deputies.
The resolution and explanation of the search process can be viewed, along with other action actions, by clicking here.
Convention will also consider recommendations of the Committee on Canons which concern the restructuring of diocesan districts, the membership of various leadership groups, the authority of rectors, and new procedures for ecclesiastical discipline.
A proposed $1.4 million budget for 2011 will be presented at the pre-convention hearings and voted on at Convention.
One of the first items of business when Convention convenes will be the admission of All Saints, Bridgeville, as the diocese's 29th and newest active parish. In anticipation, the congregation elected its inaugural vestry on September 18. It is already considering expanding its worship space in South Fayette Township. "This is the growth area of the South Hills," says the Rev. Dick Pollard of All Saints.
Statistics published in the convention packet for the existing active parishes show a total membership of 8,644. Eleven parishes reported growth in 2009, while many others held about even.
Two sections of the packet describe the recent work of canonical bodies and dozens of diocesan committees and organizations. Bishop Price sums up these reports in his own detailed report: "All of this adds up to normal life in a healthy diocese… we are blessed by this moment, for we have been given the opportunity to create new ways of being a diocese that fit a new day."
Other useful information about Convention, workshop descriptions, and registration information can be found here.
Convention business will be previewed at three public hearings:
* Monday, September 27, 7:00 p.m., St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Mt. Lebanon
* Wednesday, September 29, 7:00 p.m., St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Johnstown
* Thursday, September 30, 7:00 p.m., St. Thomas Memorial Episcopal Church, Oakmont