Since convention delegates and visitors can’t walk into a convention center hall this year to visit exhibits from ministries, services, institutions, spirituality and education providers and the wider church, convention coordinator Samantha Wylie is bringing the exhibits to them online.
The Virtual Exhibit Hall, according to Wylie, will allow not only convention-goers, but the entire diocese to explore offerings from a wide range of exhibitors through a dedicated section of the convention website with photos, links, descriptions and catalogs to allow participants to place orders and learn about ministries. The virtual exhibit hall is already online here, and is updated weekly.
Programs of the Diocese of Los Angeles represented in the virtual exhibit hall include:
- The Kaleidoscope Institute, offering tools and processes to empower churches and community organizations to do personal reflection, small group work, and community transformation.
- The One Body & One Spirit Covid-19 Emergency Appeal, assisting Southland congregations and individuals hardest hit by the COVID-19 crisis.
- St. Paul’s Commons Retreat & Conference Center, which will be ready upon reopening post-pandemic with convenient, city-centered event and meeting spaces with off-street parking, warm hospitality and all the modern presentation technology.
- Seeds of Hope, which connects hungry communities with free, healthy produce and provides garden-based nutrition education and practical cooking instruction to help friends and neighbors live healthier.
- Neighborhood Youth Association. Founded in 1906 and the diocese’s oldest affiliated institution, NYA empowers under-resourced students to achieve 100% college placement and on-time high school graduation through mentoring, tutoring, and a holistic family approach.
- Jubilee Year Los Angeles, a year-of-service program that recruits young adults from all over the world to come to Los Angeles to learn, live, and serve.
- Sacred Resistance, which honors a commitment to sanctuary and to peaceful action towards ensuring recognition of the dignity of all people.
- Episcopal Communities & Services (ECS) serves people of all faiths and economic means through our three Life Plan communities, three affordable housing communities, and a Residential Care Facility for the Elderly (RCFE) serving mid- to moderate-income seniors.
- The Jerusalem Committee, Program Group on Global Partnerships. The Jerusalem Committee coordinates resources for education and action supporting the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem. It is also your source for Zatoun Extra Virgin Olive Oil and other products from the Holy Land.
Also present in the virtual exhibit hall are resources for Episcopalians seeking spiritual guidance and Christian community. Among these are:
- Camp Stevens. Located in Julian, Calif., and serving the dioceses of Los Angeles and San Diego, Camp Stevens currently is opening its facilities to individual households for personal retreats, family getaways, and work/school from camp.
- Stillpoint: The Center for Christian Spirituality, an institution of the diocese, is an open, inclusive community that exists to form deeply grounded spiritual directors, and to live together in a contemplative life of faith, spiritual practice, and action.
- The Gathering is a ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles that provides opportunities for Asian Pacific Americans (APAs) to gather together to tell our stories, learn from one another, engage in initiatives for peace and social justice, and talk about spirituality in the APA context.
- Anamchara Fellowship, an inclusive religious community in the Episcopal Church with a Celtic Christian spirit, engaging in pastoral care, spiritual direction, and teaching the faith.
- God Speaks in the Little Things offers a daily inspiration along with reflections, meditations, poems, and observations on life. Inspirational photography is available for sale through Dawn Switzer Photography.
- Desert Spirit Press creates books on desert spirituality and culture by the Rev. Brad Karelius, retired rector of Church of the Messiah, Santa Ana and professor of world religions at Saddleback College; and general spirituality by Dr. James Prothero, author, artist, director of the Southern California C.S. Lewis Society and professor of English at Vanguard University and Santa Ana College.
- Pilgrim Place is a senior community in Claremont committed to justice, peace, and care of the Earth.
Other organizations offer support, inspiration and action for special groups of Episcopalians:
- The Girls’ Friendly Society in the Diocese of Los Angeles is a branch of GFS in the United States of America, an international, faith-based organization for girls and women affiliated with the Episcopal Church.
- Union of Black Episcopalians – the H. Belfield Hannibal Chapter advocates for diversity, inclusion, and social justice in Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, The Episcopal Church, the nation, and the world.
Time to go shopping? Special and unusual goods are available through these vendors:
- Bethlehem Handcrafts. From the city of Bethlehem where Jesus was born, Bethlehem Handcrafts brings you handcrafted olive wood religious souvenirs carved by local Christian families in the Holy Land.
- Clifford+Chally has been creating fine vestments and paraments since 1997.
- Clergy Image. Comfortable, fashionable, professional women’s clergy apparel? Yes, it exists! Inspired by an Episcopal priest, designed by a woman.
- C.M. Almy: outfitters to the church and clergy since 1892.
Organizations from the wider church and ecumenical community are also represented:
- Episcopal Relief & Development. Inspired by Jesus’ words in Matthew 25, Episcopal Relief & Development leverages the expertise and resources of Anglican and other partners to deliver measurable and sustainable change in three signature program areas: women, children and climate.
- Church World Service is a faith-based organization transforming communities around the globe through just and sustainable responses to hunger, poverty, displacement and disaster.
- American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem offers a direct, secure channel to support the remarkable Christian witness of our Anglican brothers and sisters who minister in Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan, Israel, and Lebanon to some of the most vulnerable people in the world.
- Church Insurance has been insuring Episcopal institutions exclusively for over 90 years. Visit our website for useful information on establishing best practices, answering insurance coverage related questions, or guiding your ministry by implementing better safety standards.
Educational resources will also be offered by these schools and ministries:
- Bloy House: The Episcopal School of Theology at Los Angeles. Located at the Lutheran (ELCA) Synod Headquarters in Glendale and affiliated with Claremont School of Theology, Bloy House seeks to serve the growing education/formation needs of the diocese.
- Virginia Theological Seminary is the largest accredited seminary of the Episcopal Church.
- University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, is the only university in the nation that is owned and governed by dioceses of The Episcopal Church. Founded over 150 years ago, Sewanee is committed to being a resource for the whole church.
- Education for Ministry (EfM) is a four-year program through the University of the South (Episcopal) that explores Hebrew scripture, Christian scriptures, church history, how to develop a personal theology, and how to examine personal beliefs in order to fully practice the Christian faith.
According to Wylie, the virtual exhibit hall will remain online until the end of 2020. More ministries and organizations are being added weekly. To join them, contact Samantha Wylie at email@example.com.