Diocesan Delegates to Convention were surveyed about their preferences regarding our upcoming Fall Diocesan Convention. By a slim majority, delegates indicated their preference for an online Convention. Therefore, our 2023 Diocesan Convention (October 28, 2023) will be held online. A call to Convention and information about the Convention will be communicated in due course.
This decision also makes sense financially. Meeting online will help us conserve funds for the Election and Consecration of the IX Bishop of Rochester in 2024. The Electing Convention is currently slated for February 24, 2024.
The Electing Convention will be in person. An in-person electing convention is important because the protocol for electing a bishop indicates that there be time between ballots to consider the developing consensus. Candidates will be notified of the results of each ballot and will be given the option to withdraw, and delegates will have the opportunity to talk informally with one another. Voting at home electronically would inhibit the development of consensus. The election of a bishop requires a concurrent majority in both the lay and clerical orders (the same person must be elected by both orders on the same ballot).
We are still in the Covid era, and we are planning to meet for the election in February. Given the potential for a Covid surge or bad weather, the Bishop’s Office and the Standing Committee will make plans for contingencies. Our hope will continue to be that we meet in person for the election, but we will be prepared to make changes if necessary. At the upcoming fall Convention, you will be asked to adopt resolutions setting protocols and procedures for the election. These resolutions will be circulated with other materials for the Convention.
I want to thank all those who participated in the survey. I think the results represent where we are as a diocese and as a larger culture. We are cautious. And we have learned that online meetings can be very efficient. But we also know that meeting in person has benefits and that there are occasions when meeting in person will be necessary and helpful.
+Stephen T. Lane