2012 Diocesan Convention


The 175th Annual Convention of the Diocese of Chicago will take place on Friday, November 16 and Saturday, November 17 at the Westin Lombard Yorktown Center in Lombard.

The theme of this year's convention is "Fierce Conversations for the Future Church." Building on a 2011 workshop led by a Fierce, Inc. staff member that generated great excitement, this year's convention will begin with a three-hour introductory Fierce workshop on Friday morning. It will also include a keynote address and small-group conversations on topics that are vital to our flourishing as a diocesan community. Stay tuned for more information.

What's New for Convention in 2012

  • The registration form will allow registration of individuals or groups of up to eight people.
  • Advanced registration is $40 per person through September 30; $65 per person October 1 through November. Note the advanced registration period ends November 5, 2012. After November 5, plan to register on-site at a rate of $80 per person.
  • There will be separate forms to register children and to volunteer at convention
  • There will be one "Fierce Conversations" workshop on Friday morning for everyone. The Fierce staff will return to the Diocese of Chicago to offer a reprise of its fall 2011 workshop that received rave reviews. Be sure to indicate whether you will participate in the workshop on your convention registration form.


Online registration is now closed. Please register onsite ($80/person).

Contact Crystal Plummer or Patricia Alamanza with any questions.

Hotel Reservations

To reserve rooms at the Westin, Lombard at the diocesan convention rate ($119 per night, plus tax through October 31) either book online or contact Reservations at 1.888.627.9031 and mention that you are attending the 175th Annual Convention of the Diocese of Chicago.

Reservations must be guaranteed by one night's deposit (room and tax) on a major credit card and may be modified or cancelled online.


Certification of Delegates

Contact Crystal Plummer with any certification questions.


Download the list of convention exhibitors and a map of the exhibit space.

Information regarding set up times and regulations will be distributed closer to Convention time. There will be a set up time on Thursday evening (November 15) and Friday morning (November 16). All exhibits must be cleared from the exhibit hall by 3:30pm on Saturday, November 17. If your booth is for retail, the Diocese requires that 10% of revenue generated by sales at Convention be remitted back to the Diocese.

If you have any questions, please contact Louisa Hallas, Exhibits Manager for Diocesan Convention, via email or at 312.751.4200 ext. 214.

Fierce Conversations for Purchase

Fierce Conversations and Fierce Leadership are available for purchese from the And All the Angels Gift Shop at St. Michael's in Barrington. Send an email or call 847.382.6435 to place an order. Leave your name and telephone number, and they will call you for your credit card number and shipping address.

Book prices, including tax and shipping, are: Fierce Conversations - $17.00, Fierce Leadership - $16.00


Download the nominations to be considered by Diocesan Convention 2012. A listing of nominations in Spanish is also available.

Questions? Please call or email Courtney Reid at 312.751.4200, ext. 675.

Miscellaneous Resources


Download the Convention Reports to be reviewed by Diocesan Convention 2012.


Download the resolutions passed by Diocesan Convention 2012: Final (PDF) or Final - Annotated (PDF)

Download the resolutions in English to be considered by Diocesan Convention 2012. A listing of the resolutions in Spanish is also available.

Questions? Please email Chancellor Todd Young.


Download or view the convention schedule which includes worship, business sessions, learning opportunities, children's and youth programs, and more.

Sign Language Translation

Students of American Sign Language from Columbia College will be signing at convention.

Volunteer Opportunities

Register online for volunteer opportunities for onsite support, serving at the convention Eucharist and singing in the convention choir. Look for more information about volunteering at Diocesan Convention in upcoming editions of the e-newsletter.


The Fierce Conversations workshop on Friday morning of convention is full. All are welcome to attend the following Fierce breakout conversations on a variety of topics impacting our diocese on Saturday morning:

"Why not talk about the elephant in the room?"
All congregations struggle to overcome the tendency to avoid speaking directly to the person or persons we need to be addressing. In many churches, this avoidance becomes a barrier to vital relationships and spirituality. It keeps people and congregations stuck. By contrast, there are congregations where a consistent practicing of Fierce principles results in new energy, vital spirituality and deep satisfaction. In Fierce Conversations Susan Scott says, “While no single conversation is guaranteed to change a relationship, any conversation can.” As Scott also says, “Great organizations become great one conversation at a time” and they decline with the avoidance of acknowledging the elephant in the room. In this workshop, we will hear from congregational leaders whose churches have benefited from having difficult conversations and we will learn effective ways of having them.

With the Rev. Jim Steen

"Who is killing our children? And what do we do?"
Over 725 children and youth have been murdered in Chicago since 2008. Who and what are the causes of this violence? And what does our Scripture, liturgy, and theology call us to do in the face of it? Join us for a fierce conversation about violence in Chicagoland, our role in it, and our response. This conversation will include people who represent a variety of perspectives, including victim, chaplain, theologian, layperson, suburbanite, city dweller, and you.

Panelists include:

Jack Clark, CROSSwalk Director
Rev. Carol Reese, Chaplain at Stroger Hospital Trauma Department
Alex Wiesendanger, Lead Organizer, Community Renewal Society
Annette Holt, Mother of Blair Holt
A. Bianca, Supervisor, CeaseFire Rogers Park
Mark Walsh, Campaign Director, Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence
Jeane Em DuBose, Young Adult Leader, All Saints' Episcopal Church

"Everybody's Invited, No Exclusions Allowed"
The nearly ubiquitous red, white and pale blue sign seems so friendly: The Episcopal Church Welcomes You or does it? Yes perhaps if you're in the solid middle of the established bunch. But what if you're a sometimes noisy 3 who can't see over the pew or an inquisitive 8 year old or a just-beginning-to-figure-out-who-you-are teenager or a young single adult or a retired widow or widower? We assume on occasion that we're more hospitable than we really are. Let's have a fierce conversation with a panel that spans the generations; let's be honest and make our sign honest as a result.

With Victoria L. Garvey and panel

Discerning God's Call for Ministry with Youth
Why is it that so many churches claim youth ministry as a top priority, and at the same time many of those same churches report feeling ineffective when it comes to transmitting the faith to young people? What is one thing we could do to move toward stronger, healthier, more intentional ministry with youth? In this breakout session, there will be a facilitated discussion where we explore how to fiercely listen to God, ourselves, and one another as we seek to follow God's call to minister with young people.

With Chad Senuta and panel

A Conversation about Power
If you were given the choice between having power and not having power, what would you choose? Unfortunately, having power is rarely a status of choice. We will examine the difficulties faced by those in the power position and the challenges faced at the other end of the power spectrum.

"The truth may set you free, but first it may thoroughly irritate you!" (Fierce Conversations, 75). We will discuss how those with and without power interact in a congregation, on a team, and on a committee. How do we listen, really listen to what the other has to contribute, and how do we appreciate what they can offer?

Join us for a fierce conversation about how we listen to each other and how we value each other's abilities. If we can't be honest with one another in the Body of Christ, we need some coaching and engaging in Fierce conversation is one of the ways we can become not only more effective in our corporate life. "There is a profound difference between having a title...and being a person to whom people commit at the deepest level" (Fierce Conversations, 91).

With Rory D. Smith

Legacy of Slavery, Segregation and Discrimination in the Diocese of Chicago and its predecessor, the Diocese of Illinois

The Legacy of Slavery, Segregation and Discrimination in the Diocese of Chicago and its predecessor, the Diocese of Illinois: Four members of the Task Force will conduct a conversation on 1) race and invisibility; 2) race, religion and class; and 3) changing racial profile of some congregations--in short how race through slavery, segregation and discrimination has been manifested in the structures of our diocese. Panelists will draw upon the initial findings of the research of the Task Force which will include references to several congregations. We hope to model a conversation that we hope eventually will occur in the congregations of our diocese.


Register online to sing in the convention choir or serve at the convention Eucharist. Stay tuned for additional information to be posted as it becomes available.


Contact M.E. Eccles or Amity Carrubba, co-chairs of the Convention Planning Committee if you have any general questions about Convention.