General Convention of The Episcopal Church

The General Convention is the primary governing and legislative body of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America. With the exception of the Bible, the Book of Common Prayer, and the Constitution and Canons, it is the ultimate authority in the Episcopal Church. General Convention comprises two houses: the House of Deputies and the House of Bishops. It meets regularly once every three years; however, the House of Bishops meets regularly in between sessions of General Convention. The Bishops have the right to call special meetings of General Convention.

All diocesan, coadjutor, suffragan, and assistant bishops of the Episcopal Church, whether active or retired, have seat and vote in the House of Bishops. Each diocese of the Episcopal Church, as well as the Navajoland Area Mission and the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe, are entitled to representation in the House of Deputies by four clergy deputies, either presbyters or deacons, canonically resident in the diocese and four lay deputies who are confirmed communicants in good standing. Resolutions must pass both houses in order to take effect.

The convention is divided into committees which consider resolutions. Resolutions arise from four different sources: 1) “A” resolutions from interim bodies whose work is collected in what is referred to as the “Blue Book” 2) “B” resolutions which come from Bishops 3) “C” resolutions which come from diocesan conventions and 4) “D” resolutions which originate from Deputies. Each properly submitted resolution is referred to a convention committee which makes its recommendation to the House. When one house has acted on the resolution it is sent to the other house for consideration.

The last session of the General Convention, which was originally scheduled for 2021, was postponed until 2022 due to the pandemic. The 81st General Convention will meet in Louisville, KY in 2024.

Canon 11, Diocese of Maine (Of Deputies to the General Convention)

Section 1.  At the Annual Convention in the twelve months preceding the date which is twelve months prior to the opening date of the next General Convention, four Clerical and four Lay Deputies and four Clerical and four Lay Provisional Deputies shall be elected to represent the Diocese in the General Convention.  Vacancies in the office of Deputies shall be filled by the Ecclesiastical Authority from among the Provisional Deputies.  A vacancy shall exist if a Presbyter having been elected a Deputy shall cease to be regularly engaged in the active ministry as described in Article III 3(1) of the Constitution of the Diocese of Maine.

Responsibilities: Represent the Diocese of Maine at the 82nd General Convention of the Episcopal Church (2027) where policy for the Episcopal Church is set. Approve the Episcopal Church triennial budget; Fill seats on the Provincial Synod if the Annual Convention does not elect either or both of the deputies or alternate deputies in any year (Canon 12, DIOCESE OF MAINE, Section 2.)

Time Commitment: Some pre- and post-convention meetings held within the diocese and in New England and attendance at the General Convention in July 2027, and attendance at Provincial Synod meetings, if called to fill a vacancy 

Cost: Convention expenses paid for clerical and day deputies by the diocese.

The 81st General Convention: July 2024 in Louisville, Kentucky

Maine’s 2024 General Convention Deputation

Lay Deputies

John Hennessy, Chair – Cathedral of St. Luke, Portland

Christian Clough – Cathedral of St. Luke, Portland (taking the place of Karen Perka)

Dick Rozene – St. Ann’s, Windham

Mark Spahr – St. Patrick’s, Brewer

Clerical Deputies

The Rev. Lisa Fry, St. Thomas, Camden

The Rev. Joshua Hill, St. Alban’s, Cape Elizabeth

The Rev. Lauren Kay – St. George’s, Sanford

The Rev. Kerry Mansir – Christ Church, Gardiner

The 80th General Convention: July 8-11, 2022 in Baltimore, Maryland

House of Deputies Virtual Binder for the 80th General Convention

Click here to access the virtual binder which contains agendas, committee reports, and proposed resolutions.

Media Coverage of the 80th General Convention

Watch live or on demand sessions and briefings here on the GC80 Media Hub.

Maine’s 2021-2022 General Convention Deputation

Lay Deputies

Sarah Braik – Cathedral of St. Luke, Portland

Liz Hall – Christ Church, Gardiner 

Dick Rozene – St. Ann’s, Windham

Mark Spahr, Chair – St. Patrick’s, Brewer

Clerical Deputies

The Rev. Lisa Fry – St. Thomas, Camden

The Ven. Aaron Perkins – St. George’s, York Harbor

The Very Rev. Ben Shambaugh – St. Luke’s, Portland

The Rev. Claudia Smith – St. Alban’s, Cape Elizabeth