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.