Dear people of Grace,
Grace is becoming a parish! Excitement is in the air. In church and your inbox you have likely received an invitation to participate in this historic moment! To become a parish, the community affirmed our desire to do so then sent the paperwork along to the office of the Rt. Rev. Gregory Rickel, the Bishop of the Episcopal Church in Western Washington. This Saturday we are on the docket to be received by the Convention of the Diocese of Olympia at 1 o'clock in the afternoon. The induction will include a screening of a video about the life of Grace, starring your neighbors and friends. I encourage you to attend this milestone in the life of our congregation. This is the day that Grace acknowledges the shared work of Christ it has taken on with fellow Episcopalians across Western Washington.
But you might be wondering:
What exactly is a Convention?
What do people do there?
Will I have to wear a funny hat?
Representing roughly 100 Episcopal congregations and 32,000 members, the annual convention is the governing body of the Diocese of Olympia. The work of the Convention includes electing representatives to the triennial General Convention, Diocesan Council and Standing Committee. The Convention also approves budgets, resolutions on policies effecting congregations, and occasionally resolutions suggesting a shared statement of belief or concern about issues faced by Christians in our communities. Each year at the Convention, the Bishop ordains deacons (from the Greek diakonos, meaning servant) to work in local congregations bringing the church into the world.
Aside from its work, the Convention is a wonderful opportunity to gather with people from across our region who share a passion for Jesus Christ and God's work in the world. Visitors can meet people from a variety of local, diocesan and churchwide ministries including: Episcopal Relief and Development, Diocesan Youth Ministry, Integrity (GLBT ministry), Ethnic Ministries, Contemplative Prayer ministries and many more. The Episcopal Bookstore and St Mark's Cathedral Shop host booths where visitors can purchase books and Episcopaliana suitable for gifting.
This year, coming to Convention is a snap! Public Transportation can deliver you to the door of the Seatac Hilton.
There is a lot to learn and a lot to share. Come be a part of bringing Grace into the Diocese of Olympia!
Yours in Christ,