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.