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Those of you who read the Episcopal News Service’s daily briefings will have seen the letter, published June 5, written by Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry and House of Deputies President Gay Clark Jennings regarding the 2021 General Convention. In it they say: In light of our moral conviction and the realities we now face, it will come as no surprise to you that for many weeks, we have been considering how the pandemic will affect our plans to gather in Baltimore in 2021 for the 80th General Convention. Although we all pray that an FDA-approved vaccine or other safe and effective therapeutics will be available soon, we have concluded with regret that we must plan as if our traditional 10-day gathering of 10,000 people or more will not be possible in 2021.”

As you know, NAGA usually meets in conjunction with General Convention, where we also serve as the altar guild. 

At this point we do not expect any guidance until the fall. However, we have heard several things, including that the wing of the Baltimore Convention Center designated for General Convention has been in use as a COVID-19 hospital and that hotels have not been assigned  — as such a site visit remains impossible. It is a possibility that General Convention will conduct essential business via a virtual meeting in 2021, with an in-person meeting in 2022 to attend to legislative and other business — assuming that all is safe, there is a validated vaccine and that travel is no longer a risk. Other possibilities include postponing or completely canceling the entire meeting. Many factors are in play, from meeting canonical requirements to dealing with the many contracts with hotels and the Convention Center that were developed and signed a few years ago.

Hence, the NAGA Board has decided to suspend planning for 2021 until we hear something more definitive.

Should we, by some miracle, be able to meet in 2021, please remain confident that we will develop an exciting program for you! Meanwhile, pray for our Church and for recovery from this grim pandemic, and a return to a place where we can meet and celebrate together safely. Peace and blessings.

Albe Larsen, NAGA First Vice-President

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