I returned from the diocesan convention earlier this afternoon. The convention was held at Trinity Cathedral last night and today. I am happy to report that there were few surprises. This was good. (Remember the old Holiday Inn tagline The best surprise is no surprise.)
Perhaps the most significant piece of business transacted was the passage of a resolution to begin a search for a new bishop for Pittsburgh. We will be hearing a lot more about this in the next few months.
We also changed the canons to allow the diocese to be partitioned into fewer district, since we have fewer congregations than formerly. There now are only four districts, and St. Paul’s, which used to be in District 5, is now in District 3, along with St. Thomas, Canonsburg; St. Peter’s, Brentwood; All Saints, Bridgeville; Nativity, Crafton; St. Stephen’s, McKeesport; and All Souls, North Versailles. All Saints, Bridgeville, by the way, is Dick Pollard’s new church, which was officially accepted into the diocese by this convention.
Some St. Paul’s people were elected to one position or another. Andy Muhl was elected a General Convention deputy, and Lou Hays was elected fourth alternate clergy deputy to General Convention. Our new district elected Jon Delano district chair and Kris Opat vice-chair. Carl Kylander was elected District 3 representative to Diocesan Council. Congratulations to our new office holders.
A highlight of the convention was a brief but spirited presentation aimed at getting people in the diocese to visit the diocesan Web site (at http://www.pittsburghepiscopal.org/) and to use the calendar on the site (available on the front page) to check on events around the diocese. Pittsburgh Episcopalians were also encouraged to sign up to receive the diocesan e-mail newsletter Grace Happens, which keeps you abreast of diocesan happenings with hardly any effort on your part. (Sign up on the diocesan Web site if you have not yet done so. You will will receive an e-mail newsletter each Tuesday or Wednesday.)
The banner of St. Paul’s was displayed throughout the convention in the north transept of the Cathedral, along with other parish banners. This year, however, we also had a new banner in evidence that I was pleased to see. You can see it in the photo above.
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