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Convention Renewal: Current Situation

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The ELCIC Constitution, Article X, Section 5, specifies that the voting delegates at a convention shall be 200 ordained ministers elected at synod conferences and a lay delegate from each parish not represented by an ordained delegate. Congregations who have in excess of 800 baptized members are allowed an additional lay delegate.

Parishes are entitled to approximately 510 delegates (200 clergy and 310 laity). Other attendees include National Church Council (NCC) (16), officers (4) and the synod bishops (5) plus guests, visitors and staff.

Delegate attendance at conventions has been as follows:

Year
Clergy Eligible
Clergy Attendance
Lay Eligible
Lay Attendance
Total Attendance
% of Total Eligibility
1997 200 175 310 204 379 74
1999 200 160 310 189 349 68
2001 200 175 310 190 365 72
2003 200 155 310 184 339 67

Cost

The registration fee of the convention currently covers the cost for airfare, housing and facility costs shared equally between all who attend. Parishes who do not send a representative to a convention do not share in these costs. Registration: 1999-$850; 2001-$995; 2003-$795.

Convention expenses have often exceeded registration income. This was the result of less than anticipated attendance leading to a deficit which was covered by the National Church budget.

To reduce the cost of the convention by a significant amount would require a reduction in the numbers who attend, consideration of holding the convention in central locations and shortening the length of the convention. For example, if attendance was reduced to about 200 and shortened to 3 days, it is estimated that the cost if equally shared would be $500 per parish.

Location

There has been a practice of moving the convention location from synod to synod. It would be more cost effective to hold the convention in a central location such as Winnipeg or Toronto. These locations would considerably reduce the airfare as the majority of delegates live close to one of these locations. The Winnipeg location would be very cost effective for the National Staff who assist in the organization and execution of the convention.

Content

There have been suggestions that the "business portion" of the convention could be accomplished in a two-day meeting, and that a separate "festival or celebration" event could be held at one or more locations. These events would be self-funded, could be developed in cooperation between synods or other groups and allow for many individuals to attend.

In full communion with The Anglican Church of Canada
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