[Episcopal News Service] Church leaders are planning a six-day legislative session for the next meeting of General Convention, set for 2024 in Louisville, Kentucky, which is longer than this year’s pandemic-shortened four-day meeting but far shorter than the large churchwide gathering’s traditional duration.
The decision was announced Dec. 16 in an emailed newsletter from the General Convention Office. It reported that the Joint Standing Committee on Planning and Arrangements had set June 23-28, 2024, as the dates of the 81st General Convention.
“Details of the schedule, including additional dates in advance for meetings and orientation, are being worked out by a subcommittee of Planning and Arrangements,” the message said. A full schedule is expected in early 2023.
General Convention, which typically meets every three years, has historically been a hub for legislative activity, networking and fellowship. As the church’s primary, bicameral governing body, it splits its authority between the House of Bishops and House of Deputies. Among its responsibilities is approval of a three-year churchwide budget, as well as hundreds of additional resolutions covering everything from liturgical revisions to the church’s positions on public policy issues, from food insecurity to paid family leave to comprehensive immigration reform.
Church leaders had set a goal for the 80th General Convention in Baltimore, Maryland, of reducing the gathering’s duration from 10 to eight days. That meeting initially was postponed from 2021 to 2022 because of the pandemic, and in response to lingering concerns this spring about virus’s transmission, it was further shortened from eight to four days. Much of the committees’ work was conducted online in the months leading up to the in-person sessions July 7-10.
In 2024, the 81st General Convention’s June dates also are the earliest since the 75th General Convention was held June 13-21, 2006, in Columbus, Ohio.