In consultation with the chancellors of the Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania and the Diocese of Western New York, Bishop Sean has determined that the annual conventions of both dioceses will be held on Saturday, November 7, as a virtual gathering due to the coronavirus pandemic. Download the notice of 2020 convention. If you are a delegate and unable to attend convention, notify Gabrie’l Atchison of the change.

The one-day, paperless convention will begin in the morning with a joint Zoom session on our shared mission, with special emphases on racial justice work and the development of our mission strategy. The morning session will include worship, Bishop Sean’s address and reports from the Mission Strategy Advisory Group and the Commission to Dismantle Racism and Discrimination. In the afternoon, each diocese will have a business session, which will also be held on Zoom. Download the full convention schedule.

The bishop’s address and worship will be viewable online via Zoom, Facebook and YouTube for anyone to watch. In order to participate in the business sessions of convention, delegates will need a dependable internet connection and access to Zoom (see technical requirements). Clergy or delegates who anticipate connectivity or technological challenges that might make it difficult to participate in convention from home are asked to email

new YouTube video and PDF overview provide detailed, step-by-step instructions about how we will conduct convention via Zoom meeting. See the notes on the YouTube page to find the times in the video during which specific topics are explained.


On October 29 at 1:30 p.m. and November 2 at 6:30 p.m., clergy and delegates to convention will have the opportunity to practice on the Zoom meeting platform and voting software that we will use for diocesan convention. Please plan to join one of these practice sessions using the computer and device that you will use on November 7 during our online diocesan convention.

Join the sessions via Zoom. If you are asked for a password, use lakeerie. To join by phone instead of video, dial 646-876-9923 and use code 944 9505 2246# and password lakeerie.

We recommend that, if possible, voting delegates use a laptop or desktop computer to participate in diocesan convention and a mobile device for voting.

November 6 Service of Reconciliation

On November 6 at 7 p.m., the evening before we gather for our joint diocesan conventions, the Commission to Dismantle Racism and Discrimination will host an online Service of Reconciliation. This service, an introduction to the ongoing work our congregations and dioceses will be doing together, is meant to bless and inspire our shared ministry of racial justice and healing.

Plan to join Bishop Sean and Commission leaders as we pray together for our relationships with God and one another to become ever more loving, liberating and life-giving. Join the service on Zoom webinar.

REGISTRATION for delegates

Delegates to convention should register in advance for the November 7 convention Zoom Meeting online beginning at 11:15 a.m. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Contact Gabrie’l Atchison with any registration questions.


Download the diocesan convention schedule.

links for Morning Worship & Business Session for General attendees

Opening worship will begin at 9:30 a.m. and will be open to all (no registration required). Bishop Sean will give his annual address during worship.  Join the opening worship service via Zoom or watch on Facebook. Join by phone by dialing 646.876.9923 and using ID  994 3722 3554. Use lakeerie if prompted for a password.

Registration is required for delegates for the 11:15 a.m. business session (see above). General (non-voting) attendees and guests may watch a livestream of the session on YouTube.

annual reports

Annual reports from diocesan committees for the annual journal were due on October 19.

Submit reports to Gabrie’l Atchison via email.


Download the budget documents for Northwestern Pennsylvania and Western New York:

Diocese of Western New York budget summary
Diocese of Western New York budget narrative

Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania operating budget summary
Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania program/transition budget summary
Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania budget narrative


Download the nominations for diocesan leadership positions:

Northwestern Pennsylvania
Western New York


Rules of order

Download the proposed rules of order for convention.

Pledge of Faith and Action Against Racial Injustice

Download the Pledge of Faith and Action Against Racial Injustice which will be discussed during the report of the Commission to Dismantle Racism and Discrimination during the morning session of convention.


Joint pre-convention gatherings were held via Zoom on October 7 and October 8. Watch the video:


Pre-convention workshops are taking place via Zoom on October 6, 13, 20 and 27 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Join the workshops using this Zoom link and password lakeerie. To join by phone, dial 646-876-9923 and use code 96821787415#. Watch recordings of workshops on YouTube.

October 27: Panel discussion on Local Mission Partnerships led by the Rev. Colleen O’Connor of the Genesee Deanery and the Rev. Canon Ruth Woodliff-Stanley of the bishop’s staff
Building partnerships between faith communities provides congregations the opportunity to do more: more ministry, more programming, more community involvement. But how does a faith community build meaningful partnerships? This panel discussion will give examples of a variety of partnerships with participants will share their stories and discuss the opportunities and challenges of forming partnerships.

Participants will include: Sara Nesbitt, St. Mark’s, Erie; Ed Palatella, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Erie; the Rev. Twila Smith, the bishop’s staff and St. Simon’s, Buffalo; the Rev. Kim Rossi, St. Stephen’s and Bethany Lutheran Church, Olean; Jim Isaac, St. Mark’s, LeRoy; and Amy Swanson, St. Paul’s, Stafford.