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EASTERN OREGON: Convention makes commitment to MDGs, global reconciliation

By Mary Frances Schjonberg
[Episcopal News Service]  Delegates to the 36th annual convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Oregon, meeting October 13-15 in La Grande, Oregon, formed a "visioning summit."

Held at La Grande Middle School, the Convention further developed the diocese's vision, and held a brief business session centered on the proposed 2007 budget, according to a diocesan news release.

The visioning process looked at the diocesan, convocation, and parish levels, and commitments were made for the diocesan priorities, convocation meetings, parish focus, and "by each individual present to assist in making the visions reality," the release said. The visioning process concluded on the morning of October 15 and was followed by the business of Convention. Convention adjourned following Eucharist.

A diocesan spirituality team provided support to Convention through liturgical art, prayer space, and a prayer vigil in Convention, as well as through volunteers at home in the parishes.

The text of Bishop William Gregg's "charge to the diocese" has not yet been made available. It will be published in its entirety in the diocese's convention journal. The news release said that the charge included:

  • inviting members of the diocese to participate fully in the "Where Our Heart Is" Legacy Campaign;
  • inviting members of every household in the diocese to do one project each year that enlivens the household; one project that engages the local community; and one project that is outside the local community;
  • inviting delegates to Convention to re-affirm and support the "Most Important Things" determined by the 34th annual Convention; and
  • asking the members of the diocese to consider a companion relationship with the Diocese of Grahamstown in South Africa and with the College of the Transfiguration in Grahamstown.

Among the actions taken at Convention, the delegates:

approved a resolution to "affirm and embrace the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), setting the call for achieving the MDGs within the framework of global reconciliation, calling for the formation of a diocesan global reconciliation commission and calling for Episcopalians to advocate for support of the United States' commitment to the MDGs;

  • approved on second reading a new diocesan constitution that becomes effective immediately, changing the diocese's organization as a "corporate sole" to an Oregon Religious Non-profit Corporation;
  • approved changes to the diocesan canons to bring them into proper relationship to the diocesan constitution and the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church; and
  • approved a 2007 budget with three specific priorities for Diocesan Council in determining allocations including a professional webmaster, training for regional trainers, and youth ministry to include those up to 30 years of age.

More information about the convention's actions is available here.