Episcopal Diocese of Northern Indiana ArchivesMain MenuIntroduction to the CollectionBishops of the Diocese of IndianaBishops of the Diocese of Northern IndianaParishes and MissionsOrdinations and PostulantsCamps and YouthEcumenical ServicesDiocesan Officers and GovernanceWomen's Auxiliary - Episcopal Church WomenMiscellaneousJohn David Beatty85388be94808daa88b6f1a0c89beb70cd0fac252
1media/Diocesan Convention 1980 South Bend, business session, 914.jpg2019-08-03T05:31:00-07:00John David Beatty85388be94808daa88b6f1a0c89beb70cd0fac2523271659image_header2023-06-20T17:28:10-07:00John David Beatty85388be94808daa88b6f1a0c89beb70cd0fac252The Diocesan Convention, originally called the Annual Council, is required by the national canons of the Episcopal Church to be held each year in every diocese and serves as its principal legislative body. The bishop and all active clergy are present, as are lay delegates from every parish and mission. Depending on the rules, each parish and mission has a voice but not necessarily a vote unless their financial assessments to the diocese are paid in full. During these proceedings, the bishop gives an address, often a kind of "state of the diocese" report or a wish list of what he or she wishes to accomplish. There are usually other committee reports presented, a budget is approved, resolutions are passed, and sometimes the diocesan canons are amended by vote.
Photographs of conventions in the Diocese of Northern Indiana are spotty. The earliest date from 1949 and 1958, the latter for use as illustrations in the diocesan newspaper, The Beacon. The years of Bishop William C. R. Sheridan are especially well documented. Sheridan believed that a Eucharist should be held the evening before the convention, and during his tenure the site was moved around the diocese with every third year being held at the Cathedral. Previous to his episcopate, most conventions were held where the cathedral or pro-cathedral was located (Michigan City, Mishawaka, and South Bend), though the 1949 convention was held in Valparaiso. During the episcopate of Francis Campbell Gray in the 1990s, the budget for the newspaper was cut back and far fewer photographs were taken, the exception being in 1998, when Gray observed the centennial of the diocese at Trinity Church, Michigan City, the original cathedral.
The source that documents the activities of each convention is the diocesan journal, which contains not only minutes, but also lists of delegates, budgets, parish reports, and the bishop's convention address. From 1899 to 2001, these journals were produced in printed form and are accessible digitally through Internet Archive <www.archive.org> Since 2002, the journal has been produced only in digital form.