Number of Lay Delegates Options for Convention
The pandemic impacted much over the past few years, and this year it effects how many lay delegates a congregation may send to the diocesan convention. Based on a given year’s in-person Average Sunday Attendance (ASA), the 2023 count should be from the 2021 ASA. However, many congregations had in-person worship for only a part of the year. This means calculating ASA on the whole year would skew the number of delegates unless in-person services had been offered every Sunday of 2021.
In order to have fair representation and not penalize congregations who had fewer in-person services, the diocesan Board of Trustees is allowing congregations to use one of three methods to determine their number of lay delegates to the 2023 Convention.
“In looking at the problem, it was decided to work within the spirit of the constitutional language,” noted Matthew Payne, convention parliamentarian. “The idea is to let a congregation determine ASA based only on those Sunday’s with in-person services.” Payne noted the Parochial Report used for last year’s delegate count already did this.
The first method is to use the technical language of the constitution the ASA reported on the Parochial Report of 2021 figures. The second method in the spirit of the language is to calculate 2021 ASA only on those Sundays with in-person services. If “in-person” was 20, then total the attendance on those Sundays and divide by 20, not 52. The third method is like the second but for services held in 2022.
Election of lay delegates doesn’t change. Many will elect during their Annual Meeting. However, the Board of Trustees encourages their Annual Meetings to pass a resolution either authorizing the Vestry to elect or the priest and wardens to elect. Both are currently allowed. The benefit of shifting election to the Vestry or priest/wardens is that the decision to vote on reunion at this Convention won’t be known until April or May.
Regardless of how the number of delegates are chosen or elected, a certification form is to be submitted to the Diocesan Office by June 22. This form may be found at diofdl.org/convention. For any questions, contact Matthew Payne (920) 830-8866.
Bishop Shares Teaching
The 2022 Convention of the Diocese of Fond du Lac adopted Resolution 2022-03 regarding the church’s teaching on abortion.
RESOLVED, that the 148th Convention of the Diocese of Fond du Lac request the Bishop Diocesan, our Chief Teacher as expressed in the consecration service of the Book of Common Prayer, to provide a series of teachings and theological reflections on the issue of abortion to the members of this diocese over the next six months, and be it further; Resolved, that such series include consideration of Episcopal Church General Convention resolutions addressing the issue as they recognize the theological, moral, legal, personal and societal complexity involved, and be it further; Resolved, that such series provide an avenue for members of this diocese to respond, either publicly or privately, and be it further; Resolved, that through the Advance Reports to the 149th Diocesan Convention, the Bishop Diocesan provide a summary of the series including what was heard from those who may have responded.
Bishop Matt is posting a series of teachings on the subject, beginning with resolutions passed by the General Convention of The Episcopal Church over several decades. The series is being posted over the next weeks on the bishop’s blog, ‘An Odd Work of Grace’, for study, comments, or questions.
Visit anoddworkofgrace.blogspot or click here
Lightning on the Horizon
Read Bishop Matt Gunter's Pastoral Address to the Diocesan Convention assembled in Appleton, Wisconsin on Friday, October 25, 2019.
“Lightning on the horizon.” That’s what the man said.
In 2005 I traveled to the Diocese of Renk of the Episcopal Church in South Sudan leading a delegation from the Diocese of Chicago. We had a companion relationship like the we have with the Diocese of Masvingo. There, we heard a story told by one of the pastors. During the civil war, this pastor was talking to a man who was not a Christian. When the man learned that the pastor belonged to the Episcopal Church, he said, “I know your church. Your church is like lightning on the horizon in a time of drought signaling the promise of rain.”
Display Opportunities at Convention and Revival
Excellent opportunities to share information about your ministries, missionaries, congregations, organizations and businesses are available October 25th & October 26th. Exhibitors pay a fee for use of an 8-foot table with a tablecloth, chair and wastebasket. There are a number of breaks allowing participants to browse during, before and after the event.
Diocesan Convention: Over 150 people will attend from across the Episcopal Diocese of Fond du Lac. Tables are $25 each. To reserve a table for the Diocesan Convention on Friday, October 25th, visit diofdl.org/convention and scroll down to Display Tables.
Way of Love Revival: Over 500 people are expected to attend from across the state of Wisconsin. Tables are priced for businesses, not-for-profits and a special discounted rate for outreach and missionaries. To reserve a table for the Way of Love Revival on Saturday, October 26th, visit diofdl.org/wolr and click the Reserve Display Table button.
Diocese Gives to Support Outreach
As we approach Thanksgiving, we are thankful for support shown by members of the diocese in two areas of outreach. The United Thank Offering will receive $378.33 collected in the blue UTO boxes on delegates' tables at our Diocesan Convention. These funds will be distributed through the UTO granting process. Learn more about UTO here.
The Diocese of Masvingo, our companion diocese, has received $2,669.06 collected from across the diocese. $1,144.75 was collected at the Diocesan Convention Eucharist and $1,524.31 was received from congregations' Companion Diocese Sunday this past May. Those congregations are Trinity, Oshkosh; St. Augustine, Rhinelander; St. Peter, Ripon; Grace, Sheboygan; St. Peter, Sheboygan Falls; St. John, Wausau. Thank you to all who support outreach across the diocese. Learn more here.
Diocese embarks on Faithful Innovation Process
The 144th Annual Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Fond du Lac was held October 19-20, 2018 in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. The convention began in prayer in Evensong at the Cathedral of St. Paul. This was followed by a time of fellowship and a banquet at a local hotel. Banquet guests viewed the “Way of Love” video featuring from Presiding Bishop Michael Curry. The expected guests from our Companion Diocese of Masvingo were unable to attend because of last-minute Visa issues.
Saturday also started in prayer at the Convention Eucharist held at the Cathedral. Bishop Matt Gunter gave his Pastoral Address “Abide in Jesus, the Way of Love.” The focus was that in a time of political, economic, social and religious upheaval and uncertainty, we can still experience the abiding love of God. After the service, worshippers moved four blocks to the Thelma Sadoff Center of the Arts for the business session.
Regular business was conducted with a constitutional amendment passing its second reading. Its effect is setting a more practical quorum for the convention of a majority of clergy and lay delegates duly registered. Stewardship of financial resources across the diocese was addressed by raising awareness of the need to complete financial reviews in a timely manner, some required by canon to ensure voting privileges for lay delegates.
Several presentations were made including these topics: the diocesan discernment process, youth ministry, Cursillo, the 2019 Way of Love revival, and a revitalized United Thank Offering under a new diocesan coordinator. Elections were held to fill diocesan positions and appointments were made and confirmed. Three new deans were installed to serve deaneries. A proposed budget was approved.
One of the exciting reports was from the team leading the Faithful Innovations Learning Community process. This process builds on last spring’s diocesan vital congregations conference and is a multi-denominational process facilitated by Luther Seminary. Faithful Innovation is not a program, but a process to assists congregations and their members to be more deeply involved in their faith and how to live it out in their community.
One delegate summarized the convention this way, “It dealt with the needed business of being the diocese without getting mired in peripheral issues.” Information on aspects of the diocesan convention, including the Pastoral Address, election results, video and images may be found at diofdl.org/convention.