The Bishop’s E-pistle: A “Holy Convocation”

The Chairs and Vice-Chairs of the General Convention’s Legislative Committees met this week over Zoom. At that meeting, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry recounted a story of speaking to a Pentecostal TSA agent on his way to the 2018 General Convention who, when he heard where Bishop Curry was going, said, “Oh. You’re going to a Holy Convocation.” 

Upon reflection, Bishop Curry liked that term. A Holy Convocation. 

We call them “Conventions” in the Episcopal Church. But what are they if not holy gatherings to determine the will of the Spirit? This is what Christians do—whether the gathering of the 11 Apostles to draw lots for Matthias to take the place of Judas Iscariot; or the Council of Nicaea; or Vatican II, or our own conventions. We gather in groups to pray, to faithfully disagree, and to discern the path forward which most resembles the way of Jesus. Sometimes the insights we have and the agreements we come to last and reveal the truth. Sometimes a Holy Convocation is wrong—and its work fades away over time, or is revised and changed to something more faithful. 

Governance is a Christian vocation.  The ability to listen, to share, to decide how God is calling us to be the Body of Christ, and what actions God would have us do, whether at a Convention or on a Vestry is a vocation. It requires gifts of the Spirit, courage, and deep listening. 

We began our own drawn-out Holy Convocation process on Tuesday night with the first Pre-Convention Workshop on resolutions, which was held over Zoom and is now on our Youtube Channel  As we prepare for the “Power of the Spirit” Convention I’m going to keep reminding myself that it is not just a Diocesan Convention—it is a Holy Convocation.