[The Episcopal News] Delegates and clergy from the Diocese of Los Angeles’ 133 congregations, plus exhibitors, staff, representatives of various ministry groups and visitors will head for the Riverside Convention Center on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 10 – 11, for the 128th meeting of Diocesan Convention, themed “Love in Action: For Healing, Housing and Hope.”
The convention will be chaired by Bishop Diocesan John Harvey Taylor, with assistance from Canon to the Ordinary Melissa McCarthy and Secretary of Convention Canon Steven Nishibayashi, along with a team of diocesan staff members and volunteers. Convention logistics are managed by Samantha Wylie, convention coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org).
An early order of business will be the presentation of St. James’ Mission Church, Newport Beach, to be admitted as a parish of the diocese. (See related story here.)
Highlights will include a panel discussion on multicultural ministries and the biannual Margaret Parker Lecture, this year featuring Robert Ross, retiring president and CEO of The California Endowment and a member of St. Mark’s Church, Altadena. In his address, Ross will explore the nexus of philanthropy and social and racial justice. (Read more about Ross and the Parker lecture series here.)
Visitors are welcome at convention, either in person or online. Those attending in Riverside may watch convention proceeding from a designated gallery in the main hall, and will be welcome to browse the exhibit hall, which will feature displays from many ministries and organizations, as well as vendors with goods for sale. In-person delegates will have ample breaks in the convention agenda to check out the exhibits.
(The Rev. Canon Kelli Grace Kurtz, rector of All Saints Church, Riverside, notes that the city will host a Veteran’s Day parade on Nov. 10 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Kurtz suggests that convention delegates and visitors coming from west to east take the Market Street exit from the 60 freeway instead of transitioning to the 91 freeway, thus avoiding the parade route. Market Street leads directly to the convention center.)
Canon Kathy O’Connor, spouse of Bishop Taylor, will host a special meeting space for the spouses and partners of diocesan clergy (check at the information table for the location). Spouses are invited to a lunch on Saturday with Canon to the Ordinary Melissa McCarthy. To register for the lunch, contact O’Connor at email@example.com or 714.315.1033.
Friday morning will begin with several workshops on various ministry topics, ranging from ministry discernment committees, insurance claims and LGBTQ+ ministries to leadership development and affordable housing. No reservations are required and all are welcome. For workshop information, click here.
Convention will be framed by noon and evening worship services, plus a celebration of Holy Eucharist on Saturday morning. Liturgies are designed by a committee that includes the Rev. Canon Susan Russell, canon for Engagement Across Difference; the Rev. Kay Sylvester, rector of St. Paul’s Church, Tustin; and the Rev. Michelle Baker Wright of St. James’ Church, South Pasadena. They are supported by Marjorie Cooley and the diocesan Altar Guild.
Convention business, Day 1
Bishop Taylor will call convention to order on Friday at 1 p.m.
On the agenda are reports from several specific programs, including video presentations from the Diocesan Housing Initiative, the LGBTQ+ ministry and the Program Group on Black Ministries. GFS Outreach, a new initiative of the Girls Friendly Society in the Diocese of Los Angeles, will report on its first grant, for the “Firefly” program that teaches fundamentals of electricians’ work to teenage girls. Other reports will come from the Bishop’s Commission on Gospel Justice and Community Care, the Episcopal Community Federal Credit Union, and the Program Group on Compensation & Benefits.
On Friday, convention will cast ballots for a number of diocesan officers. Information about the elective offices and those whose names have been placed in nomination is here. Additional nominations from the floor may be made before voting begins; for information on how to submit a nomination in person or online, click here.
Open offices include:
- Canterbury Irvine (one, clergy or lay, for a one-year term)
- Canterbury USC (one clergy or one lay for a one-year term)
- Corporation of the Diocese (two lay for a three-year term; one lay for a two-year term; two lay for a one-year term)
- Commission on Ministry (one clergy and one lay, each for a three-year term)
- Diocesan Council (one clergy and one lay, each for a three-year term)
- Diocesan Investment Trust (one, lay or clergy, for a four-year term)
- Hillsides Trustee (one, lay or clergy, for a three-year term)
- Standing Committee (one clergy and one lay, each for a four-year term)
Highlights of the first-day agenda will be an address by Bishop Diocesan John Harvey Taylor, followed by a panel discussion focused on best practices for launching and advancing multicultural ministries in local congregations.
Taylor will moderate the discussion with leaders of multicultural ministries in The Episcopal Church, including the Rev. Ronald Byrd Sr., missioner for African Descent Ministries across The Episcopal Church; the Rev. Bradley Hauff, The Episcopal Church’s missioner for Indigenous Ministries; and the Rev. Albert Rodriguez, consultant to The Episcopal Church’s Office of Latino/Hispanic Ministries, joined by the Rev. Fennie Hsin-Fen Chang, vicar of St. Thomas, Hacienda Heights, and convenor of the Chinese ministries in the Diocese of Los Angeles. More about the panelists is here. The panel has been organized in consultation with the Rev. Canon Anthony Guillen, director of The Episcopal Church’s Department of Ethnic Ministries, whose ministry has included serving as rector of All Saints, Oxnard.
At the close of business on Friday, convention-goers are invited to a complimentary reception in the exhibit hall, as well as s’mores and games on the patio. The following convention dinner, beginning at 7:30 p.m., will feature a performance by the Laós Chamber Music, a collective of young Los Angeles-based classical musicians based at Church of Our Saviour, San Gabriel. It is led by cellist Justin Seo, associate artistic director of Street Symphony and an active studio musician. The evening will also feature several special presentations by Bishop Taylor.
Pre-purchased dinner tickets will be available for pickup on Nov. 10 at the information table on the upper concourse of the convention center.
Day 2: Resolutions, budget and the Margaret Parker lecture
The convention’s second day, Nov. 11, will begin at 9 a.m. with Eucharist, followed by the report of the Committee on Resolutions. Lay and clergy delegates will be asked to vote on the following measures (full texts and explanations are here):
Proposed Resolution Regarding Establishing Holy Family Sunday
Resolved, that the One Hundred Twenty-eighth Annual Meeting of the Church in the Diocese of Los Angeles dedicate the First Sunday in Advent (or another Sunday in Advent if it is more appropriate) as Holy Family Adoption Services Sunday, and that congregations and individuals be encouraged to support Holy Family Services’ life-saving work on that day through prayer and a special offering that will help this important work of finding caring homes for children.
Proposed Resolution Regarding Commemorating The Philadelphia Eleven in the Church Calendar
Resolved, that the One Hundred Twenty-eighth Annual Convention of the Diocese of Los Angeles submit the following resolution to the 81st General Convention of the Episcopal Church meeting in 2024: Resolved, the House of ________________ concurring, that the 81st General Convention include and enter The Philadelphia Eleven to the Lesser Feasts & Fasts Calendar of the Church Year to be celebrated on July 29.
[The Philadelphia Eleven were women deacons who were ordained to the priesthood in The Episcopal Church before General Convention had authorized women to serve as priests. Their ordinations were later regularized.]
Proposed Resolution Regarding the 80th Anniversary Programs Honoring Florence Li Tim-Oi
Resolved, that the 128th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles adopts the 80th General Convention’s Resolution D079: 80th Anniversary Programs Honoring Florence Li Tim-Oi.
[The Bishop of Hong Kong ordained Li, a deaconess, to the priesthood in 1944 because she was the only person available to celebrate Eucharist for Anglican refugees in Macau during wartime.]
Proposed Resolution Regarding the Companion Relationship with the Diocese of Taiwan
Resolved, that the 128th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles accepts the invitation of the Diocese of Taiwan to form a Companion Relationship, beginning September 2024 and continuing until September 2027, or until terminated by mutual consent, in accordance with the guidelines of the Episcopal Church.
Following the votes on resolutions and several reports of work, Robert Ross will deliver the Margaret Parker lecture. Afterward a collection will be taken for the Middle East Fund of Episcopal Relief & Development, supporting the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem and Al-Ahli Arab Hospital as they offer critical health services to those affected by the current crisis in Gaza.
After noonday prayer, the convention will recess for lunch. Delegates will have time to eat at one of the many local restaurants in walking distance of the convention center. Coffee and concessions also will be available throughout the convention at the center’s snack stand.
Following the lunch break, the canon to the ordinary will deliver her address.
The 12% Assessment Review Committee will report on the change from pledges to the diocese’s Mission Share Fund to required assessments. More information on the committee and its work is here and here.
To conclude the day’s business, Treasurer of the Diocese Canon Andy Tomat will give the consolidated budget report and present the proposed 2024 Mission Share Fund budget, which convention must vote to approve or disapprove.
The convention will adjourn by 4 p.m.
Questions concerning convention business, connectivity for remote participants or other matters may be addressed to Samantha Wylie, convention coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org. The convention center is located at 3637 5th Street, Riverside 92501.