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Why does the Diocese of Virginia have an annual Council and not an annual Convention? It’s not always been so. Just since 1861:
Meeting in 1861 the Protestant Episcopal Church of the Confederate states adopted a constitution: There appeared to be no eager desire for change or for emphasizing the fact of separation. Nothing was attempted in the way of legislation at this time. It was felt that, until the Constitution had been ratified and adopted by the Dioceses, there could be no proper basis for canonical action; and so the whole body of Canons, prepared and reported along with the Constitution to the Convention of October, 1861, was ordered to be printed, and was referred to the first General Council to be held under the Constitution when adopted. One of the changes of the new Constitution was to substitute “Council” for “Convention” in the name of the legislative assemblies, both of the Dioceses and of the national triennial meetings…. The name Council is still retained in some of the Southern Dioceses as the designation of the annual Convention. (Source. The Church in the Confederate States: A History of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Confederate States, Chapter II, by Joseph Blount Cheshire, D.D., Bishop of North Carolina, New York, London, Bombay and Calcutta: Longmans, Green and Co., 1912.)
Today two of those Southern Dioceses retain the name Council as the designation for their annual Convention, Virginia and Mississippi. In addition, the dioceses Southern Virginia and Southwestern Virginia use the name Council rather than Convention. Southern Virginia was created out of the Diocese of Virginia in 1892, and Southwestern Virginia out of Southern Virginia in 1919.
Please let us know if there are other dioceses with annual councils.