The Presiding Bishop, Michael Curry, and President of the House of Deputies, Gay Jennings, have written to the Church with updates to the General Convention planning process, which has been significantly altered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the event that we cannot convene safely in person from June 30 to July 9, 2021, we will postpone the 80th General Convention to 2022, working with our partners in Baltimore as we determine appropriate dates. During the summer of 2021, we will hold an online convocation of worship and prayer to help us hear what the Spirit is saying to the church as we prepare to gather at General Convention. And to make best use of the adaptive moment now facing us, we will appoint both deputy and bishop legislative committees well in advance of the new dates of General Convention, charging them to begin their work virtually using the new online and Zoom skills that we have all gained in the last several months.
The decision about how to proceed is a weighty one. Both lives and millions of dollars in convention contracts are at stake, and we have very little way to know what the prevailing public health and economic conditions will be by next summer. But in all things, our primary values continue to be the common good and the health, safety and welfare of General Convention attendees and the people we would encounter while traveling and meeting.
In the fall, we will reevaluate the public health situation and consult again with epidemiologists who have given us their time and advice so generously. In October, we hope to ask Executive Council for their advice and consent to our final decision about how the 80th General Convention will proceed, but we recognize that it may not be possible to finalize our plans that quickly.