General Convention, The

   The legislative body of the American Church which meets triennially and is composed of the Bishops and Representatives from all the Dioceses and Missionary Jurisdictions. The Convention is composed of two houses, (1) the House of Bishops and (2) the House of Clerical and Lay Deputies consisting of four Clerical and four Lay representatives from each Diocese, and one delegate of each Order from every Missionary Jurisdiction. Both Houses together constitute the General Convention. All the laws of the Church in the United States are made by this Convention, but it can make no alteration in the Constitution or in the Liturgy and Offices unless the same has been adopted in one Convention, and submitted to all the Dioceses, and afterwards adopted in another Convention. For any measure to become a law it must be adopted by the concurrent action of both Houses. The General Convention provides also for the admission of New Dioceses; for Church extension, and for the erection of Missionary Jurisdictions both in the United States and in foreign lands, electing the Bishops for them. The Presiding Officer is the Senior Bishop by consecration, who presides in the House of Bishops and when both Houses meet as one body. When the Convention is not in session he acts as the Primate of the American Church. (See PRESIDING BISHOP.) The House of Clerical and Lay Deputies also has its President or Presiding Officer who is chosen from among the Clerical Deputies at each meeting of the Convention.

American Church Dictionary and Cyclopedia. — New York, Thomas Whittaker. . 1901.

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