West Missouri’s Annual Convention meets each year in early November
Established in 1890, the Annual Diocesan Convention is the annual business meeting of The Diocese of West Missouri and acts as the primary legislative body of the diocese. It’s a time when clergy and laypeople from all over the diocese come together to vote on an annual budget — called the ‘Plan for MInistry’, to elect officers, and to hear reports of work from diocesan programs. But more importantly, we join together, worship together, learn together, and discern together — reflecting on becoming a better people of God.
On Friday, convention participants take part in the annual Diocesan Gathering, a day-long series of educational seminars on a variety of topics. Convention officially begins with the Opening Eucharist on Friday afternoon, and the main business takes place on Saturday.
West Missouri’s youth gather in conjunction with the convention for two days of prayer and social activity, including the annual ‘Bishop’s Ball’ which is typically held on the Saturday Evening.
Annual Convention Journals
The minutes of an Annual Convention are not approved until the following convention. This results in a 15-18 month delay in publishing the journals.
Convention Committees Explained
Traditionally, delegates from across the diocese are invited to serve on Committees of Convention via email during the month of July or August. Those invited are divided between Clergy and Lay and from various deaneries and congregation sizes. If you would like to volunteer for one of these roles, please contact the Bishop’s Assistant , firstname.lastname@example.org. A final listing is prepared so that when the committees meet on Friday afternoon someone of the staff may be able to locate any missing members.
Constitution and Canons
The Chancellor traditionally chairs this committee to review resolutions specifically pertaining to the Constitution and Canons of the Diocese. This committee is responsible for presenting any amendments or restatements to the Convention on Saturday and should have these available for projection or for handout to the Convention.
Traditionally this committee meets after the Convention Eucharist to count the offering and secure it for deposit after the convention. Bishop Field and the Executive Committee of Diocesan Council will determine the recipient of the offering and this committee will announce it and the amount received to the Convention.
The Bishop’s Staff will provide boilerplate of the customary resolutions. The committee will write resolutions specific to the convention and present for a vote.
Those congregations that have not brought current their assessments are given the opportunity to discuss their situation with the Credentials Committee to determine if their delegation will be seated and have voice at the Convention. This committee traditionally meets on Friday morning before the Gathering begins with Morning Prayer.
Dispatch of Business
This committee decides the priority and order that business will be received and acted upon in the business session.
The Chair of this committee will need to have a working knowledge of the rules of voting and how the scanning equipment works. Traditionally, anyone recently ordained to the Transitional or Vocational Diaconate will be asked to serve on this committee and lay members who have worked on the committee previously are asked to return.
This committee will meet approximately 6 weeks prior to convention to review the nominations received for (General Convention Deputy/Alternate every 3 years), Diocesan Council and Standing Committee. If there are not enough nominations received, this committee will work to recruit nominations. This information is to be available at least 4 weeks prior to convention for the review of delegations. The Chair introduces the nominees to Convention.
This committee will meet Friday afternoon following the last of the Gathering seminars. The Chair of this committee is responsible for presenting any amendments or restatements to the Convention on Saturday and should have these available for projection or for handout to the Convention. Resolutions received by the Diocese should be translated into Spanish and available for handout at Convention.
Registration for delegates and other attendees must be made via your clergy, senior warden or administrator. The relevant persons will be sent the registration information on .
Unregistered Convention Visitors / Observers
Annual Convention Report Format and Submission
Format for Reports
If you are responsible for preparing a report please follow the guidelines below, and please ensure a roster of your membership with contact information is included as an addendum to your report.
Using bullets or full sentences as you prefer, please submit your reports in the following format:
- What are the highlights of your ministry since the last Annual Convention?
- Describe how these activities have furthered the work of the diocese and strengthened parishes and congregations? (Include the number of participants and/or people served.)
- What are your plans for ministry in the next year?
- How will you measure success in the next year?
- How does your ministry reflect the priorities of the diocese?
#1 – Grow Congregations: we seek congregations growing in membership, more congregations being started, excellence in liturgies
#2 – Grow Personally: we seek Christian formation for all ages, especially children, youth, and young adults; we seek growth in knowledge of the faith and in spiritual depth; we seek growth in responsible stewardship; we seek excellence in liturgies
#3 – Grow in Community: we seek unity, cooperation, and mutual support congregation-to-congregation and in our connections beyond the diocese
#4 – Grow in Compassion: we seek to do social outreach to aid the children of God
#5 – Grow Leaders: we seek leadership development for lay and clergy alike
Careful and considered answers to these format questions will move us all a long way to being more missional minded and more consistent in thinking through how our ministries meet or fail to meet the imperatives of the Gospel.
Reports Deadline and Submission
This year’s deadline for submitting your report and roster is . Please email your reports to email@example.com.
Convention Resolution Example and Submission
Extract from the Canons and Constitution
Business before the Convention
- No resolution shall be considered as before the house unless it has been submitted in writing (including electronic submission in a manner approved by the Bishop and the Secretary) and has been received by the Bishop and Secretary four weeks before the opening of Convention to allow distribution to all delegates and introduction by title at Convention.
- Any resolution which has not been presented to the Bishop and to the Secretary four weeks prior to the convention date will not be considered as before the House unless copies of such resolution are made available to every delegate and, at Convention, two-thirds of said delegates agree to consider such resolution.
Resolutions Deadline & Submissions
Resolutions should be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org on or before .
TITLE: Request for feasibility study for establishing a new congregation.
PROPOSER: Vestry of St. John by the Pond Church, Enterprise City, Vestry of St. Sebastian’s Arrowville.
Resolved: that the Diocesan Convention direct the Congregational Development Commission to undertake a research project to determine the feasibility and potential success of a new congregation in Jones County, Missouri and be it further,
Resolved: that the Convention allocate $500 from the Church Planting Fund to cover the cost of the study and be it further,
Resolved: that the Convention direct the Commission to report results of the study no later than six weeks prior to the 2014 Diocesan Convention.
Jones County is the third fastest growing geographic area in the diocese. New residents have been attracted by the satellite campus of South Lake Community College, the new microchip factory and the Amazon.com warehouse in Pike Center, the largest town in the county. The availability of jobs and the attractive surroundings of Jones County suggest the likelihood that population will continue to grow.
At this time, the two closest Episcopal Churches are St. Sebastian’s Arrowville and St. John by the pond Enterprise City. Both are more than one hour drive from Pike Center. Within a 25 mile radius of Pike Center, there are only three churches.
The proposers believe that sufficient population exists in Jones County to motivate a study in support of establishing anew congregation of the Episcopal Church. The proposers feel strongly that members of the Congregational Development Commission have the knowledge, expertise and experience to conduct and report a study that would provide additional information pertinent to a decision to establish a new congregation.