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Information about Annual Council and Responsibilities of Delegates


The Council of the Diocese of Atlanta meets annually in legislative session, as canonically required, to do the business of the diocese at a time established by the previous Council (usually during the second week in November.) It also is an opportunity for the diocesan community to gather for worship, for conversation and to strengthen its bonds.


► All eligible clergy (Constitution of the Diocese of Atlanta, Article 2) who are Clerical Members of Council and duly elected Lay Delegates (Canon 1, Section 2) have seat, voice and vote. The Constitution allows retired, semi-retired or inactive presbyters who request, in writing to the Bishop, Membership at Council and who have the consent of the Bishop of Atlanta, to be Clerical Members of Council. Deacons who have been certified by the Bishop to the Secretary of Council as having a diaconal ministry can be registered as Clerical Members of Council. Such Deacons who are active in a Parish may be registered by the Parish. Such Deacons who are not active in a Parish may register in the same manner as other nonparochial clergy.

► It is the responsibility of each person entitled to a seat in the Council to attend every meeting thereof. Delegates receive information prior to Council about proposed resolutions, changes to the Canons or Constitution, about elective positions, and the proposed budget for the following year. Materials needed for Council will be available on the diocesan website and upon login to virtual Council.

► All members of parishes are welcome to attend any part of Council as visitors. To receive Council materials the same registration fee for delegates applies to visitors.

► The President of Council and the President of the Executive Board is the Bishop of Atlanta. The Executive Board conducts the business of Council between the annual meetings in November.

► The Secretary (the Very Rev. P. Richard Game) is elected annually by Council upon nomination by the Bishop.

► The Treasurer (Mrs. Peggy Haskell Farnham) is elected annually by Council upon nomination by the Bishop.

► The Chancellor Emeritus (Mr. Richard Perry) and the Chancellor (Mr. Tom Christopher) are legal advisors to the Bishop. They are elected annually by Council upon nomination by the Bishop.

►The Standing Committee serves as a council of advice to the Bishop and as the ecclesiastical authority of the diocese if there is no Bishop, Bishop Coadjutor, or Bishop Suffragan canonically authorized to act. One presbyter and one layperson are elected at each Council to serve a three-year term.


► For administration and mission work, parishes are organized into Convocations, each headed by a resident cleric (Dean) appointed by the Bishop. Clergy and elected lay delegates to Council meet, as called by the Dean, in Convocations to prepare for Council. Convocations elect, alternately, one cleric or one lay person, to serve a two-year term on the Executive Board. The 11 Convocations rotate the host duties for Council.

► Council procedure is governed by the Rules of Order of the Council of the Diocese, which conform to Robert’s Rules of Order.

► Nominations for elected positions are received from the Convocations, from individuals, or from the floor of Council. For publication on the diocesan website in advance of Council and in official packets on opening day, nominations should be submitted 30 days prior to Council.

► Voting for the elections in 2022 will occur using the voting application with credentials provided upon check-in at Council.

► Resolutions and proposed changes in the Canons and Constitution are presented most often through Convocations. For publication on the diocesan website, resolutions must be submitted by October 25. After that date, a resolution may be submitted to the Council Secretary by midday break on the first legislative day.

► Proposed changes to the Canons or Constitution must be submitted to the Secretary of the Standing Committee on Constitution and Canons (the Very Rev. P. Richard Game) at least 30 days before Council convenes.

► Committees meet on the afternoon of the first legislative day to consider resolutions referred to them by the bishop and any other matters relevant to the committee’s work. Delegates will be given the opportunity to request a committee assignment. Delegates can attend any committee, but only delegates assigned to a committee by the Bishop are permitted to vote in committee on proposed resolutions.

► A Journal of the proceedings of Council is prepared by the Secretary of Council. For more information, please refer to The Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta with the Rules of Order of the Council.