The 180th Convention of the Diocese of Western New York was held October 27 & 28 in Amherst.
Convention is a combination of worship, fellowship and business. The theme of this year’s Convention was A New Reformation: Faith, Grace, Proclamation and Transformation.
We welcomed guests from the Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania, including their Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Sean Rowe, to Convention this year.
Our chaplain, the Rev. Jackie Ross Brown from New Covenant United Church of Christ, led us in prayer throughout the weekend. We talked about our faith at tables, heard stories of ministries from around the Diocese and celebrated the Eucharist at St. Andrew’s in Buffalo.
There were several amendments to the Constitution and Canons of the Diocese and the Standing Rules of Order for Convention that were approved. An updated version of these documents will be posted on the Diocesan web-site before the end of the year.
The merger of the Northern Erie & Niagara deaneries into the Northern Region was approved as was the merger of Church of the Ascension, Buffalo and Church of the Good Shepherd, Buffalo.
Two resolutions submitted by the Recovery Commission of the Diocese were passed. The first resolution calls on congregations to identify recovery-related needs in their communities and work to address them. The second encouraged the vestry of each congregation to adopt the Alcohol Use Policies of the Diocese of Western New York. You can download a copy of that here.
The Rev. Luke Fodor and Mr. Eric Boron were elected to 4-year terms on the Standing Committee
The Rev. Samuel Colley-Toothaker was elected to a 2-year term and Ms. Karen Gengo & Mr. Art Henning were elected to 3-year terms on the Diocesan Trustees
The Rev. Bonnie Morris was elected to a 3-year term on Diocesan Council; The Rev. Deacon Lillian Davis-Wilson was elected to a 1-year term on Diocesan Council; Ms. Sue Stanislawski & Ms. Cheryl Maytum-Krull were elected to 3-year terms on Diocesan Council; Mr. Reid Heffner was elected to a 2-year term on Diocesan Council.
The Rev. Thomas Mitchell & The Hon. Rose Sconiers were elected to 3-year terms on the Disciplinary Board.
Bishop Franklin shared with the Convention that he will be retiring on April 3, 2019. Bishop Franklin & Jim Isaac, President of the Standing Committee, outlined the idea that we enter into closer collaboration with the Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania and that we elect Bishop Rowe as our Bishop Provisional for 5 years at next year’s convention.
Jim Isaac explained that between November and May there will be a variety of opportunities around the Diocese for people to talk and ask questions and share their thoughts on this proposal.