More than 300 Central New York Episcopalians gathered on November 13 and 14, 2015 at the Holiday Inn in Liverpool for our 147th Diocesan Convention. With its theme,”To Everything a Season,” this Convention was a time not only of worship and work, but of celebration, reflection and preparation. In the year ahead, Bishop Skip Adams will resign as our Bishop Diocesan, and our Diocese will engage in prayerful discernment to call his successor.
Prior to worship on Saturday morning, the Rev. Dr. Renée Tembeckjian conducted an interview with Bishop Skip, reflecting on his episcopate. Interview questions were submitted by delegates. Bishop Skip’s advice for our next bishop? “In all seriousness… say your prayers. And love your diocese. Do anything you can to make the space to fall in love with God’s people.” You can watch the full interview in this video series.
During the Eucharist, Bishop Skip gave his address to Convention. “It is my hope that, as you face a new future with a different bishop, you will trust that God has been among us and will continue to be among you.” [WATCH or read Bishop Skip’s address here].
The Rt. Rev. J. David Alvarado, Bishop of our Companion Diocese, El Salvador, was also present and addressed Convention, inviting those gathered to “continue to build the Kingdom of God through our pilgrimage on earth.”
As a token of appreciation for Bishop Skip’s contributions to a long and fruitful Companion Diocese relationship between El Salvador and Central New York, Obispo Alvarado presented Bishop Skip with the beautiful tile pictured here.
Other special guests at Convention included Dianne and Thomas Wilson from Western Massachusetts, returning missionaries from El Salvador; Ms. Lisa Bellamy, our diocesan partner from The Episcopal Church; The Rev’d Amour Garang, newly ordained priest from the Diocese of Boar in South Sudan (Mother Garang is pictured here with The Rev. Georgina Hegney, Interim Rector at St. Paul’s, Syracuse (middle), and Bishop Alvarado of El Salvador (right)); and Mr. Jason Comet, Convention Organist.
Convention Eucharist Offering
The Convention Eucharist offering, $4,165.33 in total, will be given to Episcopal Relief and Development to support their assistance to Syrian refugees. This gift will be doubled to more than $8,300, thanks to an anonymous donor who is matching all donations to ER&D through the end of 2015. You can learn more about our diocese’s support for Episcopal Relief and Development here.
Fifteen youth delegates attended Convention. On Friday evening, November 13, this group gathered to share the songs that help them feel closer to God. Bishop Skip joined the conversation, along with Diocesan Youth Coordinator the Rev. Dcn. Lisa Busby, and adult mentors.
Welcoming New Clergy
Convention welcomed three new clergy to the Diocese:
The Rev. Catherine Carpenter, Rector, Grace Church in Baldwinsville
The Rev. Elizabeth Ewing, Rector, Christ Church in Binghamton
The Rev. Barb Schmitz, Interim Rector, St. John’s Church in Ithaca
Resolutions, Elections, and the 2016 Budget
Convention delegates considered thirteen resolutions and adopted twelve; you may view the resolutions here. Delegates also passed the 2016 Budget. In addition, four individuals were elected to diocesan office; you can read profiles of the new officers here.
More photos from Convention are available in our Facebook album. You can view the album even if you don’t have a Facebook account.
You may also check out our Storify recap to see a selection of the public social media posts that were part of the Convention conversation.
A version of this recap originally appeared in the November 19, 2015 issue of The Messenger.