The Diocese of Oregon is a diocese of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, also known as the Episcopal Church. As members of an international church, we are a constituent part of the world-wide Anglican Communion of Churches.
The Diocese of Oregon is divided into seven geographical areas called Convocations. Each Convocation is made up of specific congregations, and each has a Dean (clergy person) and a President (lay person). The Convocation Deans are appointed annually by the Bishop at the annual Diocesan Convention. The Presidents are elected by each Convocation. The idea of Convocations is a time-honored one that harkens back to traditional Anglican structure, where members of a “deanery” were a Bishop’s liaison, regional representative and pastoral minister.
The detailed ministry description focuses on each Dean assisting The Bishop by serving as a pastoral resource for clergy and lay leadership in their respective convocations, especially during times of transition, illness, or other pressing circumstances. Each Dean will also coordinate meetings with local clergy, facilitate communication and work with his or her Convocation President (lay person) in convening gatherings of Convocation delegates.
The goals of the detailed ministry as envisioned by The Bishop are described below:
- To exercise a ministry of encouragement to clergy and lay leaders, and to help recruit, train and develop lay leaders for ministry.
- To visit each congregation, to establish a relationship and to foster collegiality, congeniality, and to be known to the congregation as a friendly face, an advocate, and a connection to The Bishop. To be knowledgeable about the vision of our Diocese.
- To be a pastor for the clergy (active, retired, and spouses of deceased clergy) and their families in time of need, i.e. hospitalization, illness, death, divorce, separation, funerals, and other crisis situations.
- To help coordinate regional confirmations or other diocesan gatherings.
- To be knowledgeable about the various program groups and ministries of the Diocese.
- To welcome new clergy (priests and deacons) who enter our Diocese.
- To be involved in planning and to be an active participant in the Celebration of New Ministry liturgy
- To coordinate Clericus meetings and to work with Convocation Presidents on Convocation activities, developing agendas for Convocations meetings, and being in contact with Convocation representatives to Diocesan Council.
- To serve as a representative of The Bishop, and to assist when directed by The Bishop to participate in conflict resolution at the parish level.
When the Episcopal Church first came to the Oregon Territory (1853), there were two convocations—east and western Oregon. In 1906, those convocations became the Western Diocese of Oregon and the Eastern Diocese of Oregon.