The Episcopal News Service has announced that “The 80th General Convention will proceed in person this July in Baltimore, Maryland, but it likely will be shorter and smaller, with enhanced safety protocols to further minimize the risk of COVID-19 infections, according to an outline of potential changes presented May 11 by The Episcopal Church’s presiding officers.”
While details are still to be worked out, this decision to continue with General Convention this summer matters to our diocese because we are in the process of reunifying with the Episcopal Diocese of Texas. Both our diocese and the Diocese of Texas will vote on reunion at meetings of their respective Convention/Council that are within 90 days of General Convention. By canon law, this timing puts the vote to consent at General Convention, which means that both the House of Deputies and the House of Bishops must vote on consent to the reunion at General Convention. If General Convention had been postponed, the votes to consent would have come from bishops and Standing Committees in a process similar to the consent to the election of bishops.
The decision to continue with General Convention means the vote to consent to the reunion will happen within a much shorter timeline than if it had gone to bishops and Standing Committees.