Per a news release from Episcopal News Service, the next General Convention, scheduled to meet in Baltimore in 2021, has been postponed for a year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Like you, we have spent the last several months riding waves of pandemic news,” Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings, president of the House of Deputies, said in a letter to bishops and deputies. Even with vaccines expected to be approved as soon as next month, “it is unlikely that even highly effective vaccines and robust federal intervention would permit us to gather as many as 10,000 people safely by next summer, as we had originally planned.”
Instead, the 80th General Convention has been rescheduled for July 7-14, 2022, with additional preparatory meetings to be held in Baltimore in the days before the convention. That timing means General Convention will conclude just two weeks before the start of the Lambeth Conference of Anglican bishops, which was rescheduled for July 27 to Aug. 8, 2022, in Canterbury, England.
… The decision to delay the 80th General Convention by a year will require some interim measures, particularly regarding the church’s budget and leadership.
Executive Council, which serves as the church’s governing body between meetings of General Convention, normally would prepare a new triennial budget for review early next year. Instead, it will draft a one-year budget for 2022 that will be approved in October 2021. Then in January 2022, it will present a two-year budget proposal, for 2023-24, that will be considered by General Convention when it meets in person in Baltimore.
Curry and Jennings said in their Nov. 20 announcement that an online election will be held in 2021 to form membership of the Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop. Curry’s tenure as the church’s 27th presiding bishop will end in 2024. Jennings is in her final term as House of Deputies president, however, that term doesn’t end until her successor is elected at the next meeting of General Convention.
Arrangements also are in the works to allow those serving in other elected and appointed positions to continue in those roles through 2021. The presiding officers’ letter didn’t elaborate on that process.
The full text of the letter to bishops and deputies from the Bishop Curry and President Jennings is available here.