House of Bishops to Hold Annual Meeting in Augusta, Georgia

Diocesan Press Service. September 18, 1968 [69-3]

NEW YORK, N. Y. -- The House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church in the United States will hold its 1968 meeting in Augusta, Ga., October 20 to 24, but it will be a meeting with a difference. For the first time in history the American Bishops will hold a formal meeting in which Bishops of another Anglican Church will take part.

The American Bishops will meet jointly for five days with the Bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada, and the normal attendance of close to 200 will be swelled by the addition of 35 to 40 others from north of the border.

It not only will be an historic first, but the agenda for the meeting promises to be of special significance for both Churches, because it will provide a follow-up opportunity to assess the accomplishment of the Lambeth Conference of the world-wide Anglican Communion held in London in August and the General Assembly meeting of the World Council of Churches held at Uppsala, Sweden, in July.

Joint sessions of the two groups of Bishops will include discussion of post-Lambeth and post-Uppsala matters, as well as consideration of social problems common to both the American and Canadian Church, the Anglican ministry, overseas development, questions of inter-communion with non-Anglican Churches and relations with Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches.

The American Bishops also will meet separately to elect a new Bishop for the Missionary District of Eastern Oregon and conduct other business affecting the American Church. The Canadian Bishops also will have several meetings of their own.

The House of Bishops is one of two houses which form the bicameral legislature governing the Episcopal Church. The other body, called the House of Deputies, meets every three years at General Convention in conjunction with the House of Bishops to enact legislation, to approve Church programs and to adopt a budget for the next triennial period.

The House of Bishops meets oftener than the House of Deputies, generally once a year, and when meeting alone limits itself to matters of general concern affecting the state of the Church and its effectiveness in meeting the needs of contemporary society. It does not have legislative power alone to initiate programs or amend programs approved by General Convention.

Meetings of the Bishops will be held at the Augusta Town House and at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Augusta.

Two of the Bishops who will attend the House of Bishops meeting at Augusta are former rectors of St. Paul's Church. One is the Rt. Rev. John E. Hines, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, who will chair the meetings, and the other is the Rt. Rev. Edward Hamilton West, Bishop of Florida.

Bishop Hines was at St. Paul's as rector from 1937 to 1941, and Bishop West served there from 1941 to 1948.

An opening service at St. Paul's Church will be held at 8 p. m. on Sunday, October 20, and will include an address by Bruce Merrifield, of St. Louis, Mo., director of research for the Prestolite Corporation of St. Louis, and prominent Episcopal Church layman. Other services will include the celebration of the Holy Communion according to the Canadian Book of Common Prayer with the Primate of Canada, the Most Rev. H. H. Clark, as the officiant. The Presiding Bishop will be the celebrant of Holy Communion on Tuesday, using the American Book of Common Prayer.

A Wednesday celebration of the Holy Communion will be according to an African rite, and on the closing day the service will be based on a new, proposed eucharistic liturgy for the American Church.

Host Bishop for the meeting will be the Rt. Rev. Albert Rhett Stuart, Bishop of Georgia. The Rev. Edward Reeves, Jr., rector of St. Paul's Church, Mrs. Henry Cullum and Phil S. Harison, both of Augusta, are in charge of general arrangements.

NOTE TO EDITORS: Special arrangements to accommodate the press and radio-TV have been made at the Augusta Town House, Augusta, Ga., for the joint meeting of the House of Bishops of the American Episcopal Church and the Bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada, Oct. 20 to 24. Please advise if planning to attend. Reservations for hotel should be made directly with the Town House or with the Rev. Edward Reeves, Jr., St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 605 Reynolds St., Augusta, Ga., 30902. The meeting will begin at 8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 20, in St. Paul's Church, Augusta, and will conclude with evening business sessions at 7:30 p.m., Oct. 24. Advance notice of your plans to attend would be very helpful.