& Convention Center Charleston
The planning of the 56th General Council of the Reformed Episcopal Church and the 2020 Synod of the Diocese of Mid-America is well underway. The online registration site is being programmed and will be available in January. Further detailed information, schedules, report packets, and other links will be provided as we draw closer to Council. Additionally, a Frequently Asked Questions section will be added to this website in the coming weeks. Below are the preliminary details to help you begin your planning.
General Council 2020 will be filled with teaching sessions from Bishop John Fenwick of the Free Church of England and the Rev. Canon Mark Eldredge of the American Anglican Council (AAC). Fr. Mark will have a special focus on restoring and ReVive-ing mission within local parishes. Our foreign missionaries and domestic church planters will also be introduced at General Council. A special Diocese of the Southeast choir and sing-along will be featured after one of the banquet dinners. Finally, our time together will be capped off with an OPTIONAL Friday evening private cruise dinner around Charleston Harbor (extra cost involved).
The Synod for the Diocese of Mid-America (DMA) and the General Council will both be held at the Embassy Suites and Convention Center in Charleston, SC. All aspects (worship, business, meals) of the DMA Synod and the General Council will be held in the convention center (see hotel information below). The Diocese of Mid-America will meet on Tuesday, June 9th and will include lunch for DMA attendees. The General Council will convene on Wednesday morning, June 10th and adjourn on Friday, June 12th when all business is completed.
The hotel and convention center is located 1 mile from Charleston airport (CHS) and a free shuttle is provided to/from the hotel. The convention center is attached to the Embassy Suites. There is no need to rent a car unless you desire to drive to downtown Charleston or other distant area attractions. Other options for visiting downtown Charleston include Uber or a Taxi. Local residents driving to the Convention Center will be able to park at the Convention Center for the worship, meetings, and meals.
When Should I Arrive/Depart?
Members of the Diocese of Mid-America should plan to arrive in Charleston on Monday, June 8th. Check-in will be available on Monday evening for DMA members. The Synod will be begin with Morning Prayer on Tuesday – June 9th at 9:00am. Synod Business will immediately follow. We will eat lunch together and have our second business session in the afternoon (if necessary). Business will adjourn by 3pm or before. Dinner on Tuesday will be on your own. There are several restaurants within walking distance of the hotel. The hotel will also provide a free shuttle for drop-off/pickup within a 3-mile radius.
General Council attendees who are not attending the Diocese of Mid-America Synod should plan to arrive in Charleston on Tuesday, June 9th. Check-in will be available on Tuesday evening for those staying at the Embassy Suites. Check-in will be available early Wednesday morning for local residents not staying at the hotel. General Council will begin with a Communion Service at 8:30am on Wednesday, June 10th. General Council will adjourn when business is completed on Friday - June 12th. We anticipate this to be by the lunch hour on Friday. Please note that Friday lunch will be on your own and is not provided as a part of General Council. Local restaurants are available within walking distance. The hotel will also provide a free shuttle for drop-off/pickup within a 3-mile radius.
People will be free to depart Friday afternoon or to tour Charleston at their leisure. Travel arrangements on Friday should expect adjournment by 1pm (but hopefully sooner!). If you book a flight on Friday, you should try to book the flight no sooner than 4pm to allow transportation to the airport and proper time for check-in and security. If you will be joining us on the Harbor Cruise, you will want to depart on Saturday. If you desire to spend the whole weekend, the hotel contract is valid through a Sunday check-out.
Charleston Harbor Cruise Dinner
Take in the evening view of Historic Charleston aboard the Carolina Queen. A special OPTIONAL private harbor cruise dinner has been arranged. This cruise will include a plated dinner and DJ. This will be available to General Council members and families on Friday evening. Board time is 6:30pm. The boat departs the harbor at 7:00pm and returns at 10pm. This is OPTIONAL and an additional cost will be incurred over and above that of General Council registration and hotel stay. Registration for the cruise will be on a first-come-first-serve basis and will be available through the registration system. The cost per individual will be $95. Children ages 11 and under will be half-price.
We have contracted with the Embassy Suites & Convention Center at the Charleston Airport. Every room is a two-room suite and includes a hot breakfast buffet and an evening managers happy hour at no additional cost. We have contracted a rate of $165/nt plus taxes. This rate is available from check-in on Sunday, June 7th through checkout on Monday, June 15th based on availability at the time you make your reservation.
You will make your Hotel Reservations directly with the hotel with a special group code ("REC") and are first-come first-served based on our room block availability. We will NOT book your hotel room for you unless you are informed otherwise by The Rev. Canon Jason Grote. You should use the Group Code ("REC") when calling in your reservation or when reserving online. A direct link is provided below (the big blue button) that will automatically apply the group code for you.
Please note, The Embassy Suites offers a free shuttle to/from Charleston airport if you call ahead and arrange with the hotel. This can save you the cost of a car rental if you are flying. YOU are responsible for arranging the shuttle with the airport.
You must book your hotel rooms by May 4, 2020Hotel: Embassy Suites Charleston Airport Hotel & Convention Center
5055 International Boulevard, North Charleston, South Carolina, 29418
Group Code: REC
Book a Room
While we always seek to keep our General Council registration fees to the lowest possible, we cannot avoid the increases in vendor pricing and conference needs. As such, our costs continue to rise and the registration fee helps defray the costs of catered meals, coffee breaks, service charges (currently 24%), travel expenses for invited guests and General Council officers, conference center rental fees, audio visual costs, worship booklet and journal printing, and many other incidental expenses. The full cost of General Council 2020 (including meals) is expected to exceed $100,000. If you would like to see an approximate breakdown of General Council Costs and what your registration fee helps cover, you can view it here.
To meet this expense, the total registration charge for all General Council attendees will be $400. This registration charge includes lunch and dinner buffets on both Wednesday and Thursday and appl;ies to all clergy, lay representatives, and observers of General Council. Those attending the Diocese of Mid-America Synod on Tuesday will also be charged an additional $50 which will include Tuesday lunch and additional expenses for hosting Synod in the conference center on Tuesday.
Individuals coming ONLY to the evening banquet dinners (and not to other sessions of General Council) or those desiring to attend the Women's Day lunch and meeting on Thursday (but not to other sessions of General Council), will be able to register at a cost of $65 per meal. Children's meals (11 and under) can also be purchased at half-price without additional registration fees.
Optional Cruise: The cost for the private cruise dinner will be $95 per person (50% off for children 11 and under). A cash bar will be available on board. Note: This will NOT include any transportation to/from the harbor dock and the hotel. You will be responsible for coordinating your own transportation to/from the harbor for this special cruise. Uber and Taxi’s cost about $20 or $30 per direction. If you want to rent a car for Friday or for the weekend, you can take the shuttle back to the airport and do so. You can save yourself some money by not renting a car for the entire week or by car pooling or sharing Uber/Taxi to the cruise with someone else.
Registration will all be completed online. You may start registering individuals by clicking the button below. Normal registration will extend through April 30th. Late registration (extra $25 fee) will be available from May 1st to May 15th. Registration will be closed after May 15th as final counts must be given to our vendors at that point.
Every parish in the Reformed Episcopal Church must complete a Parish Certification Form. This will be completed online and will be available on this website by January 23rd. This Certification is required regardless if any clergy or lay representative from the parish is attending General Council. This certification will provide pertinent statistical information for the state of the denomination report as well as provide the Committee on Credentials the duly elected names of representatives entitled to a vote.
Parish Representative Elections
Every parish, at their annual parish meeting or in accordance with their parish by-laws, should elect a lay representative (deputy) and a lay alternate for General Council. The deputy will be entitled to vote at General Council. The alternate would be entitled to vote only in the absence of the deputy. Parishes should elect representatives regardless of whether they will attend General Council or not. Those attending the Diocese of Mid-America Synod should also elect representatives for Synod.
Your parish is entitled to have one lay lay deputy per 100 active communicant members or portion thereof. If your active communicant membership is 100 or less, the parish is entitled to one voting deputy. If 101 to 200 active communicant members, the parish may elect two deputies, and so on. Rectors and Vestries should review and update their membership rolls at the end of 2019 to ensure proper and accurate reporting and representation.
Please Note: A common mistake that many parishes make is electing their Pastor or other clergymen as their parish reprentative (deputy). Clergymen are not members of the local parish and they CANNOT be the LAY representative for a parish. In addition, Postulants for Holy Orders, in accordance with the Canons of the denomination, CANNOT be the lay representative to General Council.
2020 Reports & 2017 Journal
The 2020 General Council (and DMA Synod) reports will be assembled and distributed electronically on May 16th. A link will be available on this website and emails will be sent each week between May 16th and General Council. We will NOT print the reports for attendees. It is expected that all clergy and representatives will read through these reports PRIOR to General Council. The chair will entertain motions to dispense with the reading of some reports and to file them when no action is required by the council.
The 2017 General Council Journal will be distributed electronically in advance of General Council in the same manner as the 2020 report packet. Additionally, a professionally printed copy will be provided to the rector or representative from each parish for the parish records. The printed copy will be distributed at the time of General Council check-in.
If you desire a printed copy of either the report packet or the journal, you may request a copy during the registration process for an additional cost. These will be mailed to you the week following May 15th.
Please check back regularly for more information and additional links. If you have any questions, you may direct them to the chairman of the program committee, The Very Rev. Canon Jason Grote at J2Grote@rechurch.org or 832-264-3483.