Worship and other opportunities for prayer are at the heart of the Episcopal Church’s 79th General Convention, July 5 – 13, at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas in the Diocese of Texas).
“The liturgies of the 79th General Convention of the Episcopal Church embody the Jesus Movement – that loving, liberating, and life-giving way of Jesus Christ,” said the Rev. Michael Hunn, Canon to the presiding bishop for ministry within the Episcopal Church. “His is a way of joy, which is deeply concerned with the plight of all people, especially those who are hurting or in need. It is a way which welcomes people of ‘all stripes and types,’ as our Presiding Bishop likes to say.”
Charged by the presiding bishop with creating liturgies using authorized texts and also representative of the diversity of the Episcopal Church, the liturgy team reached out to more than 30 different groups and the church’s ethnic missioners. Each group was asked about their experience using the authorized Episcopal liturgies, what advice they would like to share, and for recommendations for music, preachers, or personnel. The liturgies developed for this General Convention reflect this listening process.
Hunn adds, “What stood out for the planning team was the strong support for integrating the diversity of cultures and languages throughout all the liturgies. These liturgies have been designed to weave a tapestry of the diverse languages and cultures of the Episcopal Church together under the common prayer of our Church which binds us all. And, for the first time, every liturgy will be available in all three official languages of the Episcopal Church – English, French, and Spanish.”
Permission was requested from the presiding bishop to use the eucharistic prayer from the Missa del Immigrantes for the July 9th racial reconciliation liturgy. This prayer, although not an authorized Episcopal text, is widely used throughout Province IX and in Spanish-speaking Episcopal Churches.
All services will be live streamed on the Media Hub, with worship bulletins available there for download. See listing below for specific worship times. Eucharist will be celebrated at most services, with presiders, preachers, deacons, altar guild members, and musicians from across the church, offering their talents and skills to lead worship.
Four special worship opportunities are planned for the 79th General Convention:
- On July 4, beginning at 5:15 p.m. CT, the House of Bishops is offering a liturgical listening session in response to the #MeToo movement, anchored in the Episcopal belief in the transformative power of liturgy. This “Liturgy of Listening,”written specifically for this session by the House of Bishops’ Pastoral Response to #MeToo Planning Team, will include music, silence, spoken prayers, sacred listening and a litany of repentance without a specific absolution. It is understood that this liturgy is our beginning, and our absolution will be the work we do in the days ahead.
- Worshippers at Friday, July 6’s UTO Ingathering and Festival Eucharist will hear part of the liturgy in Gwich’in, the language spoken by Indigenous people in the interior of Alaska. This translation is part of a UTO grant project in that diocese to translate the Book of Common Prayer into Modern Gwich’in.
- On Saturday, July 7, instead of Eucharist at the Convention Center, there will be an Episcopal revival at the Palmer Center, 5:30 p.m. CT. “All across the church, people are saying they want to be revived so they can serve the Jesus Movement,” said the Rev. Stephanie Spellers, Canon to the Presiding Bishop for Evangelism, Reconciliation, and Stewardship. People curious about Episcopal revivals are invited to participate via the live stream of the Revival service. Following the Revival, convention goers are invited to a Texas Backyard Barbecue hosted by the Episcopal Diocese of Texas.
- Worship on Sunday, July 9, will be a simple Eucharist, with Andrés Gonzélez-Bonillas, a high school student, from the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona, preaching. Gonzélez-Bonillas presented the Spoken Word at the closing Eucharist of the 2017 Episcopal Youth Event (EYE).
Note: This information was accurate at time of release and may be subject to change.
Wednesday, July 4: House of Bishops Liturgy of Listening, 5:15 p.m. CT
Thursday, July 5: Opening Eucharist, 9:30 a.m. CT
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry will preside and preach.
Friday, July 6: Holy Eucharist Festival and UTO Ingathering, 5:45 p.m. Central
Presider: Presiding Bishop Michael Curry
Preacher: The Rev. Gay Clark Jennings, President of the House of Deputies
Celebrant: Bishop Andy Doyle, Episcopal Diocese of Texas
Assisting: Bishop Mark Lattime, Episcopal Diocese of Alaska
Saturday, July 7: General Convention Revival at Palmer Center, 5:30 p.m. CT
Preacher: Presiding Bishop Michael Curry
Also participating: Hon. Bryon Rushing, Vice President of the House of Deputies; Bishop Andy Doyle, Bishop Jeff Fisher, Bishop Dena Harrison, and Bishop Hector Monterroso, Episcopal Diocese of Texas
Sunday, July 8: Holy Eucharist, 10:30 a.m. CT
Preacher: Andrés Gonzélez-Bonillas, high school student, Episcopal Diocese of Arizona
Celebrant: The Rev. Shannon Kelly, Officer for Young Adult and Campus Ministries, the Presiding Bishop’s staff
Monday, July 9: Eucharist of Reconciliation, 5:15 p.m. CT
Preacher: Bishop Prince Singh, Episcopal Diocese of Rochester
Celebrant: Bishop Mary Grey Reeves, Episcopal Diocese of El Camino Real and Vice President, House of Bishops
Tuesday, July 10: Eucharist for the Care of God’s Creation, 5:15 p.m. CT
Preacher: The Rev. Winnie Varghese, Trinity Wall Street, Episcopal Diocese of New York
Celebrant: Bishop Marc Andrus, Episcopal Diocese of California
Wednesday, July 11: Benedict of Nursia, Abbot of Monte Cassino, c. 540, 5:15 p.m. CT
Preacher: Brother Aiden Owen, Holy Cross, Episcopal Diocese of New York
Celebrant: The Rev. Canon Michael Barlowe, Secretary of the General Convention and Executive Officer
Thursday, July 12: Closing Holy Eucharist, 7:30 p.m. CT
Preacher: Bishop Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows, Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis
Celebrant: Presiding Bishop Michael Curry