Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations
The Episcopal Church accepts its responsibility for witnessing to the Gospel through an active concern for all of God's creation. The social ministry of the Church is based upon those policies that are enacted by the General Convention of the Church.* These policies originate from resolutions that are presented by individuals and groups throughout the Episcopal Church to the General Convention at its triennial gathering. Once approved by the convention, these resolutions become the "policy" of the Church.
Both houses of Convention must approve any resolution in order for it to become a policy. Therefore, these policies reflect the views of a majority of the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies (delegates). The Deputies represent Episcopalians throughout the Church and may be lay people or clergy. Each parish elects delegates to a diocesan convention. These delegates are then responsible for electing the deputies from the diocese to General Convention.
Often, the General Convention and the Executive Council charge the national Episcopal Church staff with the implementation of these policies. The programs, action and ministry of the Episcopal Church Center and the Office of Government Relations are based entirely on those policies approved by the Church meeting in General Convention, or in the interim, by Executive Council.
The social policies are active forces in carrying out the Church's mission. It is through the enactment of these resolutions that the Church speaks, and it is through the collective actions of its members that these policies are implemented.