By the Right Rev. Robert H. Johnson

July 7 – 17, 2009
Anaheim, California

Our triennial General Convention of the Episcopal Church takes place [this] month. Bishops, clergy and lay deputies, purveyors of church supplies, and others who are interested will be together to do the business of the Church and to celebrate our common life and ministry in our Church. It will resemble a great big family reunion.

We will worship, legislate, socialize and just rejoice in catching up with old friends, as well as meeting new ones. It’s a busy but special time for the Episcopal Church and for those of us who love the Episcopal Church.

Among the issues we will consider are the following:

  1. Full Communion with the Moravian Church;
  2. Our Church’s response to the Millennium Development Goals;
  3. The Mission and Ministry of the Episcopal Church and its funding;
  4. Mandatory medical insurance for the clergy and lay employees; and
  5. Mandatory retirement plan for lay employees who work more than 30 hours a week.

There will also be elections, caucuses, and lobbying groups at work around different issues. It’s a regular good old family get-together.

The theme of this year’s General Convention is UBUNTU. Ubuntu is an African word which reminds us that we’re all inter-connected in God’s family and that we get to understand ourselves better when we understand each other in this wonderful kaleidoscope of God’s people that we know as the Episcopal Church. Ubuntu helps us to realize the importance of compassion and reminds us that “I am, because we are.” It’s a way of looking for God in others as they seek God in us.

The Diocese of Pittsburgh will be ably represented by the following clergy and lay deputies:

♦ The Rev. Dr. James Simons
♦ The Rev. Scott Quinn
♦ The Rev. Dr. Harold T. Lewis
♦ The Rev. Dr. Bruce Robison
♦ The Rev. Lou Hays (Alternate)
♦ Mr. Stephen Stagnitta
♦ Mr. David Laughlin, Ph.D.
♦ Ms. Joan Gundersen, Ph.D.
♦ Ms. Mary Roehrich
♦ Ms. Gwen Santiago (Alternate)

I will also be attending as your Assisting Bishop.

I invite you to keep up with what’s going on by checking our diocesan web site and to keep all of us, the General Convention and our Episcopal Church in your prayers.

Almighty and everliving God, source of all wisdom and understanding, be present with those who take counsel for the renewal and mission of your Church at our General Convention. Teach them in all things to seek first your honor and glory. Guide them to perceive what is right, and grant them both the courage to pursue it and the grace to accomplish it; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.




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