Article by Bill Lewellis, posted by Kat Lehman
The Episcopal Church's 76th General Convention, a triennial legislative gathering, runs from July 8 to 17 in Anaheim, California. Digital communications staff from the Church Center in New York City are putting the final touches on an innovative website center called “the media hub,” where those both onsite and around the world can follow the convention live. The media hub will provide live web streaming of events, hearings, meetings, links to secular media and Episcopal Life Online coverage, blogs, breaking news via Twitter and Facebook news updates. It will also provide some live coverage of the House of Deputies legislative session, and, possibly, pending approval, the House of Bishops.
The 1500 clergy and lay representatives called deputies and alternates and the approximately 200 bishops, meeting in separate legislative bodies, represent a cross-section of the church today in its 110 dioceses. A very visible symbol of that diversity – one that could hardly even be contemplated at the first gathering in 1785 -- will be the fact that the House of Bishops and House of Deputies will be led by women for the first time: Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and President Bonnie Anderson.
Deputies from the Diocese of Bethlehem are: The Rev. Canon Anne E. Kitch, The Ven. Richard I. Cluett, The Rev Canon Jane Teter, the Rev T. Scott Allen, Canon Mark Laubach, Charles "Ty" Welles, Esq., Charlie Barebo and Janet Charney.
Bishops and deputies representing the Episcopal Church's 110 dioceses will review the church's efforts during the past triennium and establish program and mission priorities for the next three years. Among the more-pressing matters: how the church supports its mission in a time of severe economic stress, how it views issues of human relationships such as marriage and homosexuality, how it relates to other churches and other faiths and what words and actions in liturgy best relate to our lives today.