Diocese of Florida postpones convention

Posted Dec 21, 2022

[Diocese of Florida] Upon careful consideration and consultation with the presiding bishop’s office, Bishop John Howard has announced that the 2023 Diocesan Convention will be postponed from Jan. 28, 2023, to a date to be set later in 2023.

Howard’s full message to congregations and clergy of the diocese, which details reasons for his decision, is below.

Dear Diocese of Florida,

The canons of the Diocese of Florida provide that the Diocesan Bishop may for sufficient
cause change the time or place of the annual meeting of the Diocesan Convention provided
that reasonable notice be given to all clergy and congregations entitled to representation
(Canon 1 Section 2(a)).

Accordingly, as Bishop of the Diocese of Florida, I have decided that the 2023 Convention of
the Diocese should be postponed from January 28, 2023 to a date to be set later in 2023.
It is likely that an opinion of the Episcopal Church Court of Review will be returned to us on
or about the date scheduled for our Convention and that the consent process for our Bishop
Coadjutor-Elect among Bishops and Standing Committees of the Episcopal Church will be
commencing at about that same time.

This means that our attention as a Diocese would not be as focused on Convention
preparation and planning as it ought to be. Additionally, to proceed with our January date
for Convention would mean that our Diocese would have gathered in Convention four times
in one year, twice for annual Conventions and twice for Special Electing Conventions.
I have consulted with our Standing Committee, our Chancellor, and other leaders in our
Diocese. I also had a good conversation with Presiding Bishop Michael Curry who agrees
with the decision, saying “your decision to postpone Convention until a later date makes a
lot of sense and gives you a prayerful and thoughtful way to come together as a diocese to
discern a healthy and constructive way forward, whatever the result of discernment in the
wider church.”

There is no urgency for us to hold Convention in January. Our Diocesan Council has passed a
balanced budget for the coming year and our Canons permit us to delay elections until the
date of convention. If personal circumstances prevent any current officeholders from
continuing to serve, they may, of course, resign and we will follow canonical procedures for
replacing them. Please pay careful attention to scheduling annual congregational meetings
and elections, which are set according to the date of our Diocesan Convention and therefore
will be delayed.

We will carefully watch the consent process over the next few months and a date for our
annual convention will be set and you will be given reasonable notice as soon as possible.
Please know that, as always, this message comes to you with my warmest best wishes and

The Right Reverend Samuel Johnson Howard
Bishop of Florida