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Bishop John Harvey Taylor will convene the 123rd annual meeting of Diocesan Convention Nov. 30 – Dec. 1 under the theme “Come Home, EDLA” (“Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles”).

The meeting will begin with a set of Friday morning workshops that will teach skills related to fundraising, times of transition, Christian formation, spirituality and social justice. (Read more about the workshops here.)

Convention will begin by voting on the application of St. James’ Church, Newport Beach, to be admitted as a mission congregation. Should convention approve, St. James’ priest and a delegate will be seated with voice and vote at the meeting.

Convention business will include elections — carried out electronically for the first time; an update on Corporation Sole and consideration of the 2019 budget submitted by Diocesan Council (see Taylor’s column on page 2); a progress report on the diocesan reconciliation process, which is being coordinated by the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center; and addresses by Bishop Taylor and Bishop Suffragan Diane Jardine Bruce.

No resolutions were filed by the Sept. 22 deadline, although resolutions reacting to recent events, or in response to the bishops’ addresses, may be submitted to the secretary of convention during the meeting and debated and voted on by the delegates.

One change to the diocese’s constitution, concerning whether clergy under censure should be allowed seat, voice and vote at convention, was debated and approved at the 2017 convention, and must be ratified at the 2018 meeting in order to take effect.

The convention will elect candidates to fill roles on a number of diocesan boards and organizations. A list of available offices, with nomination forms and instructions, is on the convention website, www. diocesanconvention.com: select “Nominations.” Nominees’ names, photos, brief biographies and statements will be posted on the convention pages as they become available.


‘Come Home, EDLA’

Bishop Taylor has underscored three dimensions of home to focus on at the convention:

  • “Reconciliation and unity in our diocesan family amid a renewed sense of common purpose under Christ and our commitment to financial transparency;
  • “Our shared work of envisioning our places of worship and ministry as sacramental communities of connection and refreshment — base camps for accomplishing God’s work of justice and Beloved Community-building;
  • “Recognizing that, like our Lord, our homeless and housing-insecure siblings, as well as our scapegoated immigrant worker siblings and their families, often have nowhere to lay their heads, which also calls us to ministries of welcome, hospitality, sustainability, and justice.”


Worship at convention

The convention will conclude with Eucharist at the end of the Saturday afternoon session. Daily worship also will be offered, keyed to the Come Home theme and highlighting the historically marginalized voices of African-Americans, women and immigrants. The offering at the Eucharist will benefit the new Women of Color Scholarship fund for seminarians studying for ordained ministry.


Exhibit Hall

The exhibit hall at convention will feature a variety of diocesan ministries and resources for church members, clergy and congregations. In addition to lunch breaks and other scheduled intervals, guests will have ample opportunity to explore the exhibit hall during the Friday morning workshops and hospitality reception Friday evening.

Exhibitor reservations include one or more 8-foot tables with linens, two chairs per table, access to an electrical outlet, access to the convention center’s wi-fi, and complimentary advertising in the virtual booklet and on the big screens on the convention floor. Setup will begin Thursday afternoon, Nov. 29.

Registration forms and additional information for exhibitors are available on the website. Deadline to register is Nov. 19.


Convention dinner planned for Nov. 30

For the first time in several years, an official convention dinner will be offered on Friday, Nov. 30, featuring musical offerings and a brief address by Bishop Taylor. Entertainers will be announced as soon as they are confirmed.

An open reception in the exhibit hall will precede the dinner.

For reservations, use the form on the convention website (select “information”). Tickets are $25 each. Delegations should make their reservations as a group so that they will be seated together. Entree choices include chicken, salmon, a vegetarian pasta plate, and a vegan selection. Dinner tickets may be picked up at the information desk on Friday at convention.

A luncheon buffet will be offered on both Friday and Saturday for $12 per person. Tickets may be purchased on-site.

The convention center prohibits outside food or drinks, though its managers have said that exceptions will be made for medical or special dietary reasons. Snacks, coffee and drinks will be available for sale; water will be provided in the meeting hall.


Youth volunteers and delegates

Young people in grades 9 – 12 are invited to apply to join the 50-member convention youth corps. The youth are essential to the smooth running of the annual convention, serving in a variety of capacities; security, staffing microphones, errands, distributing materials, and more. During the event they are housed on site, chaperoned and provided with meals and snacks. Generations of young Episcopalians have had their first experience of the church outside their own congregations by serving at convention, where they get a first-hand view of the church’s diversity and polity.

In addition, each of the diocese’s 10 deaneries is allowed one youth delegate to the convention, with seat, voice and vote. Interested teens should contact their clergy or deanery dean or president for information.

A $125 fee per youth will help cover hotel and meal costs. For information or to sign up, click here. Registration deadline is Nov. 4.

High school-age members of Girls Friendly Society are invited to apply to join the youth corps; GFS will contribute $75 toward each member’s participant fee. A GFS financial assistance form is online at bit.ly/2CX26gf.

Child care will be offered during business sessions of convention; details will be posted on the convention website. As in past conventions, a gathering room will be provided for spouses and partners of clergy, hosted by Canon Kathy Hannigan O’Connor and Canon Steve Bruce, spouses of Bishop Taylor and Bishop Bruce.