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DioET General Convention Deputies





About the General Convention of The Episcopal Church

The General Convention is the governing body of The Episcopal Church that meets every three years. It is a bicameral legislature that includes the House of Deputies and the House of Bishops, composed of lay and clergy deputies and bishops from each diocese. During its triennial meeting deputies and bishops consider a wide range of important matters facing the Church. In the interim between triennial meetings, various committees, commissions, agencies, boards and task forces created by the General Convention meet to implement the decisions and carry on the work of the General Convention.

DioET Deputies to the 81tst General Convention of The Episcopal Church Louisville, Kentucky June 23-28, 2024

General Convention is the primary governing and legislative body of The Episcopal Church. It is a time for legislation, fellowship, worship and community-building. General Convention meets once every three years.

Similar to the U.S. legislative bodies, General Convention comprises two houses: the House of Deputies and the House of Bishops. All bishops of the Episcopal Church are members of the House of Bishops. Each diocese of the approximate 100 dioceses in The Episcopal Church, as well as the Navajoland Area Mission and the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe, have representation in the House of Deputies, with four clergy (either priests or deacons) and four lay people.

Legislation – called resolutions – must pass in both houses with the same language in order to take effect. Resolutions comes from four different sources: commissions and groups that meet between General Conventions; bishops; dioceses; and deputies. Convention committees review the resolutions, then make a recommendation to the houses. If one house approves the resolution, then it goes to the second house for consideration.

Four clergy and four lay deputies are elected by the Diocese of East Tennessee Convention in the year prior to that of a General Convention. Additional nominees in each order are retained as alternates. Deputies serve for three years – until the next group is elected.

Deputies sit in the House of Deputies of the General Convention, which is one of two legislative bodies of The Episcopal Church. The House of Bishops is the other unit in this bicameral body. Deputies are not delegates; they are deputized to act on their own and to vote their own consciences.

To contact the General Convention Deputation, please email

In the House of Bishops: The Rt. Rev. Brian Lee Cole, the Rt. Rev. George Dibrell Young, III, the Rt. Rev. Charles G. vonRosenberg

Bishop Brian Cole is serving as a member of the Dispatch of Business committee for the House of Bishops.

The 2023 Annual Convention of the Diocese of East Tennessee elected these clergy and lay deputies:

Clergy Deputies

The Rev. Leigh Preston, Co-Chair

The Rev. Claire Brown

The Rev. RJ Powell

The Rev. April Berends

The Rev. Derrick Hill, Alternate

Lay Deputies

Ms. Christina Sjoberg, Co-Chair

Mr. Troy Eichenberger

Canon Beverly Hurley Hill

Mx. Ellie Graham

Mr. Parker Chadwell, Alternate

Official Mascot

EastTN the Bear

Legislative Committees and Caucus Assignments

The Rev. Leigh Preston, Legislative Committee 01-Rules of Order, House of Deputies
The Rev. RJ Powell, Legislative Committee 14-Ecumenical and Inter-religious Relations, House of Deputies and LGBTQ+ Caucus
Ms. Christina Sjoberg, Legislative Committee 03-Governance & Structure, House of Deputies

Standing Commissions and Interim Bodies

The Rev. April Berends, Task Force on Creation Care and Environmental Racism
Cn. Beverly Hurley Hill, Standing Commission on Formation and Ministry Development
The Rev. RJ Powell and Mx. Emily Rowcliffe, Task Force for LGBTQ+ Inclusion
Dr. Andy Thompson, Task Force on Creation Care and Environmental Racism

Updates from the DioET Deputation to the 81st General Convention

As we receive updates from our deputation, we’ll make sure to provide a reference copy here.