On Saturday, November 7th, lay delegates, clergy, and guests from all over the Diocese of El Camino Real participated in a virtual version of the annual diocesan convention. The lay delegates from St. Mary’s were Don Fennell, Jack Herbig, Kathy Stoner, and Celeste Ventura. The theme of this year’s convention was 40 Years of Pilgrimage, commemorating the 40th anniversary of our diocese.

Following morning prayer, Bishop Lucinda set a welcoming tone, reminding everyone in her opening remarks that her address a year ago also focused on pilgrimage, and it’s three essentials: “travel light,” “stay in balance,” and “have the courage to be lost.”  “Who knew?” she said, that over the course of this past year, we would need those three essentials more than ever.

During the convention, participants successfully voted to elect candidates to various diocesan offices. Our own Pastor Kristine was elected to the Diocesan Board of Trustees!

They also voted to approve resolutions, including a resolution “encouraging all congregations to celebrate Earth Sunday on the Sunday closest to Earth Day and the Season of Creation from September 1 to St. Francis’ Day each year; and to educate and engage in the care of creation with special emphasis on the climate crisis and our role as God’s stewards.” The resolution also urged clergy and lay leaders to encourage all households to “live a responsible and sustainable lifestyle.”

There were also reports on some initiatives in the diocese that have been or will be launched soon, including an online program on anti-racism called “A Storied Pilgrimage.”

In addition to more serious business, there were moments of celebration and fun.  In honor of the 40th-anniversary participants were encouraged to dress in eighties style garb, and pictures of some of the creative outfits can be viewed on the diocesan website, including a photo of Bishop Lucinda in a thoroughly eighties wig  – a la Madonna.  There was also a wonderful slide show portraying people and places in the first four decades of our diocese.

The business of the convention concluded with approval of the diocesan budget, which had been carefully and prayerfully crafted, after online hearings and information presented to the delegates prior to the convention.

You can see the bishop’s address, the reports and resolutions, and pictures from the convention at this link: https://www.realepiscopal.org/diocesan-convention/