Diocesan Convention 2023 Report

Convention attendees assemble care packages that will be distributed to unhoused people in Memphis by Community Alliance For the Homeless.

On Friday, November 17, 2023, delegates and guests from across West Tennessee gathered at Saint John’s Episcopal Church in Memphis for the 42nd Convention of the Diocese of West Tennessee. The theme – Do Good & Share What You Have – encouraged attendees to meditate on the things our faith communities can do to share of their bounty, and the final activity of Convention included an onsite service project wherein attendees assembled care packages for unhoused people served by Memphis-based nonprofit Community Alliance for the Homeless.

But first, there was Convention business that needed to be covered! Remarkably, Convention business – elections, presentations, and parliamentary procedures – went extremely smoothly. Much work goes into the planning of Convention each year, and the efficiency of this year’s gathering was due in large part to the hospitality of host congregation Saint John’s and volunteers.


The following were elected during Convention:

Secretary: Steve Smith (Immanuel – LaGrange)
Treasurer: Margaret McLean (Calvary)

Bishop & Council

Paul McLain (Clergy, 4-year term, Calvary)
Ebet Peeples (Lay, 4-year term, Calvary)
Patty Easley (Lay, 3-year term, Grace – Paris)

Disciplinary Board

Jay Biedenharn (Clergy, 3-year term, Saint John’s)
Jeff Marx (Clergy, 3-year term, St. Andrew’s)
Ben Adams (Lay, 3-year term, Holy Communion)
Randy McCloy (Clergy, 2-year term, Holy Communion)
Nedra Wick (Lay, 2-year term, Grace-St. Luke’s)

Trustee, University of the South (Sewanee)

Lisa McIndoo (Clergy, 3-year term, Holy Apostles)


West Tennessee Endowment Corporation

Jim Vogel (Lay, 3-year term, St. George’s)


All three resolutions presented at Convention were approved.

Resolution WTN 2023-1 Amendments to the Rules of Order
Approved with no additional amendments. 

Resolution WTN 2023-2 Amendments to the Constitution of the Diocese
Approved upon a second reading with no additional amendments. These amendments to the Constitution will become effective January 1, 2024.

Resolution WTN 2023-3 Amendments to the Canons of the Diocese
Approved. These amendments to the Canons will become effective January 1, 2024. 

The Honorable Andy Cobb, Bishop Phoebe Roaf, and Mr. Steve Smith make sure that all Convention proceedings run in accordance with the Constition and Canons of the Diocese of West Tennessee and The Episcopal Church.
he 2023 Bishop's Cross Award was presented to St. Columba Episcopal Camp & Retreat Center for its outstanding resilience and creativity during the difficult pandemic years. Allison Pace, the current chair of the St. Columba board of directors, received the award at Convention on behalf of the ministry.
The opening Eucharist of Convention was a special time to gather together and worship as one body. Left to Right: The Rev. Jay Biedenharn, Bishop Phoebe Roaf, the Rev. Deacon Debbie McCanless, and the Rev. Donna Gerold.
Save the Date!

Observing that the traditional timing of our Convention (the Friday preceding the Thanksgiving holiday) limits who can participate, the timing of Diocesan Convention 2024 will instead take place on

Saturday, November 16, 2024 at
Holy Apostles Episcopal Church (Collierville).

Staging Convention on a Saturday will enable more participation from parishioners whose work, school, or family commitments make attending a Friday meeting difficult.

Delegates from Church of the Holy Apostles discuss Convention proceedings during a break in the program.
Saint John's Parish Life Center was a versatile, inviting setting for the Convention. Saint John Rector Jay Biedenharn welcomes guests and attendees.

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