Joint sessions at this year’s General Convention will include TEConversations on racial reconciliation, evangelism, and creation care.

“The TEConversations that have been planned use an effective modern form to address priority topics for our Church and our society,” said the Rev. Canon Michael Barlowe, executive officer of General Convention and chairman of the Joint Standing Committee on Planning and Arrangements. “The inclusion of TEConversations is a prime example of how our joint sessions, an older legislative tool, can be remixed for the contemporary needs of our Church and its leaders.”

TEConversations will be presented during joint sessions of the House of Bishops and House of Deputies, which include visitors, volunteers, and others attending General Convention. The sessions will be streamed and available for viewing through the Episcopal Church’s website and General Convention’s website.

“The team has shaped a truly interactive festival of ideas,” said the Rev. Canon Stephanie Spellers, presiding bishop’s canon for evangelism, reconciliation, and creation care. “Deputies, bishops and guests will experience compelling talks, along with music, poetry and robust social media that extend the learning and engagement from Austin out to the whole church and beyond.”

Each session will last 90 minutes and will include three speakers, videos, music interludes and deeper small-group engagement. The sessions will be led by David Crabtree, a deacon in the Diocese of North Carolina and news anchor at WRAL-TV in Raleigh.

These are the topics, times, and speakers:

Racial Reconciliation
10a.m.-noon (Central) July 6

  • The Rev. Nancy Frausto, a Dreamer from the Diocese of Los Angeles who came to the United States from Mexico as a child
  • Catherine Meeks, founder of the Absalom Jones Center for Racial Healing in Atlanta
  • Arno Michaelis, a former skinhead who examines aspects of his past in his books, including My Life after Hate

Evangelism
2:30-4 p.m. July 7

  • Bishop Alan Scarfe of the Diocese of Iowa, who led revivals in every congregational of the diocese in 2017
  • The Rev. Daniel Vélez-Rivera, a church planter in the Diocese of Virginia
  • The Rev. Lauren Winner, an Episcopal priest and prolific author who discusses faith and culture

Care of Creation
10:30 a.m.-noon July 10

  • Bernadette Demientieff, leader of the Gwich’in Steering Committee and defender of Alaska’s Arctic Refuge
  • The Rev. Stephanie Johnson, co-chair of the Episcopal Church Stewardship of Creation Advisory Council
  • Archbishop Thabo Makgoba of the Anglican Province of South Africa, a leader in the Anglican Communion on responding to climate change

Host a viewing

Congregations, dioceses, and ministry networks may serve as host-viewing sites for the sessions.

“The TEConversations are a great opportunity for broad engagement and learning across the church,” said Julia Ayala Harris, a member of the TEConversations Planning Group and a member of Executive Council. “Dioceses and congregations can host a viewing and welcome their members and communities into the conversation. We’re eager to see how far the circle of General Convention can reach.”

Hosting TEConversations is designed to be simple. Any site or individual may access a viewing link each day at General Convention’s Media Hub. Off-site participants may also access the same handouts and slides shown in the convention hall, and may engage the conversation via social media.

To be listed as a host site, send your organization’s name and website, a site contact name, and an email address to TEConversations@episcopalchurch.org.

Adapted from the Office of Public Affairs

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