Deputies’ Perspective: World Mission at General Convention
The Rev. Chuck Stewart is a Deputy to the 79th General Convention, a member of Legislative Committee 5 (World Mission) and a deacon serving St. James’ Episcopal Church in Skaneateles. He reports on activities of General Convention pertaining to the worldwide church.
See all reflections from CNY’s General Convention deputation at cnyepiscopal.org/gc79.
We are now in the seventh day of the General Convention. Well, it’s actually the sixth day officially but the seventh full day for me and some even started a day before me!
I have been serving with nineteen other Deputies and five Bishops on the World Mission Legislative Committee. The committee exists to continually remind the larger church that Jesus calls us to serve the world and not just the USA or the places where the Anglican Communion has a presence—to be part of the Jesus Movement everywhere.
Resolutions passed at General Convention direct the Episcopal Church and its components (for example, the Office of Government Relations) on what they must do in the next three years (Triennium). We have received resolutions, held hearings, edited and approved resolutions, and moved them on for consideration by the full House of Deputies. All of World Mission’s resolutions can be found in the General Convention Virtual Binder. This website will change over the next few days as resolutions pass thought the legislative process.
Of particular interest—to me at least—is Resolution A208 which seeks to reestablish a standing commission on world mission. In a money-saving move three years ago, almost all the standing committees and commissions were dissolved. This was a mistake; the work of the church cannot be effectively carried out by the small Executive Council or by the small staff of the church. Mission, particularly, needs regular discussion of programs by people with deep experience in mission and needs especially the envisioning and encouragement of new and expanded programs.
The Legislative Committee also raises up important issues in parts of the world that often receive little or no coverage in the news. These include Venezuela (A215), Sudan and South Sudan (D024, D062), Iraq (D063), Latin America and the Caribbean (D098), and persecuted Christians everywhere (D050). We also encourage and support mission programs, such as the Young Adult Service Corps and Episcopal Volunteers in Mission (D054); these programs may be developed and administered by staff but they are authorized and funded by General Convention.