The New Northeast

tracking the Spirit in the Episcopal Diocese of Maine

Follow along at General Convention in Austin

General Convention: What is it?

Every three years elected representatives from each of the more than 100 domestic and overseas dioceses  – bishops, priests/deacons, and lay members – gather together. 

This summer in Austin, Texas, from July 5 to 13, members of the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies will meet at the 79th General Convention to do the work of the wider church: determine the policies, priorities, and budget for the next three years. They will also worship, pray, make public witness, and learn from each other as well.
Episcopal Church Women will also meet from July 5 to 11 for their Triennial gathering
Click here for GC schedules.

Download a slightly abbreviated two-page flyer/bulletin insert of the information included in this email to share with your congregation.

Who will represent the Diocese of Maine?
Bishop Steve Lane joins the Maine deputies on the floor of the House of Deputies in Salt Lake City in 2015. (L-R Bishop Lane, Larry the Lobster, Nina Pooley, Calvin Sanborn, Mary Lee Wile, Mark Spahr, Dick Rozene, and Ben Shambaugh.)

At our Diocese of Maine convention in 2016 four lay deputies and four clerical deputies  as well as alternates were elected to represent Maine. In addition to Bishop Steve Lane and the eight deputies, the first alternates in each order will attend. 

Other Mainer Episcopalians who will attend include Sherri Dietrich, incoming president of the United Thank Offering Board of Directors; the Rev. Steve Muncie, of Christ Church, Gardiner, who serves as the Legislative Secretary of the House of Bishops; the Rev. Bob and Maurine Tobin of St. Francis, Blue Hill, who will receive an award from Episcopal Peace Fellowship for their work among and on behalf of Palestinians. 
Lay Deputies

Liz Hall
, Christ Church, Gardiner, Chair of the deputation
Elizabeth Ring, St. Bartholomew’s, Yarmouth
     serving on Ecumenical and Interreligous Relations Committee
Richard Rozene, St. Ann’s, Windham
     serving on Congregational and Diocesan Vitality Committee
John Hennessy, St. Luke’s, Portland
     serving on Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget, and Finance
First Lay Alternate
Mark Spahr, St. Patrick’s, Brewer
Clerical Deputies
Nina Pooley, St. Bartholomew’s, Yarmouth
     serving on Churchwide Leadership Committee
Mary Lee Wile, St. Paul’s, Brunswick
     serving on Privilege and Courtesy Committee
Calvin Sanborn, St. George’s, York Harbor
Ben Shambaugh, St. Luke’s, Portland 
     serving on Prayerbook, Liturgy, and Music Committee
First Clerical Alternate
Maria Hoecker, St. Columba’s, Boothbay Harbor
and, of course, Bishop Steve Lane, a member of the House of Bishops who serves (for the third time!) as the Vice-chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget, and Finance.
What are the big issues? What will the Maine deputation track? 

Liturgy and Music – 

  • Plan for the Revision of the Book of Common Prayer (Resolution A068)
  • Trial use liturgies (various)
  • Inclusion of a statement in the Baptismal Covenant pledging the care of creation (Resolution C007)
  • Reports from the Marriage Task Force (Resolutions A085and A086)
Social Justice –
  • Responding to the Opioid Crisis (Resolution C037submitted by Province 1, initiated in Maine)
  • Safeguarding Palestinian Children (Resolution C038submitted by Province 1 at the direction of the Diocese of Maine Convention)
  • Immigration: DACA (Resolution C002), sanctuary cities (Resolutions C009 and C018)
Governance –
Care of Creation – 
  • Ocean Health (not yet submitted, endorsed by the Maine deputation)
  • Climate Change Carbon Tax (Resolution C020)
  • Amending the Parochial Report to include energy data (Resolution C039 submitted by Province 1)
All the resolutions – resolutions may be submitted until July 6 – are presented by topic on the General Convention webpage here.
For real-time legislative updates during GC, visit the Virtual Binder at 
Here’s a helpful graphic, presented in several formats, created by the Episcopal Church in Connecticut, showing how a resolution moves through GC. Thanks, ECCT!
For a big picture (with fun illustrations) download this 20-page booklet explaining GC from the Diocese of Texas. Thanks, DioTex!
Ways to participate and stay up-to-date
Since GC in Denver in 2000, Maine deputies have “volunteered” to write a post to share with people back home. Not sure at what point it became a rule that the Deputy of the Day had to wear the lobster hat. Here’s Mary Lee Wile taking her turn at the 78th GC.

Sign up for a daily GC update delivered to your email inbox beginning July 4 and ending July 14. 

(Please note: Subscribers to The Dio Log will NOT automatically receive the GC update.
or the direct link to sign up form: 
Each morning you’ll receive a news summary and links to the Maine Deputy of the Day post, Bishop Steve’s daily video update, photo albums, additional news coverage, and more. 
Visit our diocesan news blog, The New Northeast,directly at All the information published in the daily update may be found on the blog. 
More social media: Follow the hasthag #gc79 on any social media platform for posts from people across the church. 
Facebook: Join the Mainers in Austin Facebook group at for real-time updates and photos from, well, Mainers in Austin. Look for lots of cross-posting our our diocesan page as well.
Twitter: Follow the Diocese of Maine’s @episcopalmaine and Bishop Steve Lane’s @bishop_maine Twitter accounts for updates.
Instagram: Photos and commentary from your Maine deputation on the new diocesan Instagram. Check it out @episcopal_maine 
Other news sourcesEpiscopal News Service and House of Deputies News will report on all things GC. 
Live-streams: Legislative sessions of the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies, various Ted-Talks, and all worship services will be live-streamed on the GC Media Hub
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