Cape again to host convention for Missouri's Episcopal diocese

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The 170th convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri will meet once again in Cape Girardeau.

The main topic of the convention Friday and Saturday is "Mission, mission, mission. Building a bridge to bring ministry to a broken world," said the Rev. Robert Towner of Christ Episcopal Church in Cape Girardeau. Other topics include the focus for the Missouri mission, congregational outreach and its mission to the Sudan in Africa.

Christ Episcopal Church is experienced in hosting the conventions.

"We were effective hosts in 2002, and because we are the largest town in this southern region of our diocese and our church likes to move around the state with this convention, we are hosting it again," Towner said. "Our parish is a very vital assembly with a very strong sense of mission and outreach, and those are the themes our bishop wishes to highlight at this convention."

The 2002 convention included 225 delegates. This year's convention is expected to draw 300 to 350 delegates from around the state.

Thirty volunteers from the local church as well as volunteers from St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Sikeston, Mo., will be getting things ready and helping during the two-day event.

The preparation "starts at least a year ahead of time in booking the venues," Towner said. "We are booked at the University Center, Old St. Vincent's Church, Drury Lodge and in our church. This takes a large amount of preparation to get all these sites ready."

The convention will include meetings on budget and finances, a keynote address by Dr. Dwight Zscheile, the Eucharist at Old St. Vincent's Church and an address by Bishop George Wayne Smith.

"There are a number of resolutions that are brought to this convention from our triennial national church general convention, but the primary task of this convention is to assemble in Christ's name," Towner said, "To renew the bonds of affection, communion and fellowship and to strategize for mission and pray for the power to accomplish it."

The convention begins with registration at 11 a.m. Friday. The day includes a morning prayer service, the celebration of the Eucharist at Old St. Vincent's Church at 5:30 p.m., dinner and compline service later that evening. It continues at 7 a.m. Saturday and concludes with lunch at noon.

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