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ARTICLE 1. There shall be a Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in this state, on the last Wednesday in May, in every year, in such place as shall be determined by the Convention.
Art. 2. The Convention shall be composed of clergymen and laymen. The Bishop and assistant Bishop, if there be one, shall have a seat and vote in the Convention. Every clergyman of this Church, of whatever order, being a settled minister of some parish or separate congregation, acknowledged as such by this Convention, within this Diocese, or being a president, professor, tutor or instructor in some college, academy or seminary of learning, incorporated by law, or being a missionary under the direction of the ecclesiastical authority of this diocese, shall be entitled to a seat and vote in Convention, if he has been canonically resident, within this Dioeese, for the space of six calendar months next before the meeting of the Convention ;-Provided, that no clergy man who has been once entitled to a seat in Convention, shall lose his right to a seat therein, by reason of his having ceased, on account of age or infirm health, to have charge of a parish, or to be in the service of a college, academy or seminary of learning, or to be a missionary as aforesaid. The laymen shall consist of one delegate from each parish, chosen by the vestry thereof, or if there be no vestry, by the congregation, from among the parishioners ;-Provided, that every parish having more than one officiating minister, who hath been regularly and canonically elected, shall be entitled to send as many delegates as it has ministers who are entitled to seats in the Convention. But before any lay delegate shall take his seat, he shall subscribe the following declaration; "I do hereby declare my belief in the Christian religion, and attachment to the Protestant Episcopal Church, and profess myself a member thereof.”'
Art. 3. Eight members of the clerical, and eight of the lay order shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business ; but a smaller number may adjourn.
Art. 4. In all matters, that shall come before the Convention, the clergy and laity shall deliberate in one body; but, if, upon any question, it be required by five members, the two orders shall vote separately, and the concurrence of a majority of each order shall be necessary, to give validity to any measure.
ART. 5. The election of a Bishop of this Church shall be made in Convention in the following manner : The order of the clergy shall nominate and appoint, by ballot, some fit and qualified clergyman of the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States, for that office; and the votes of two-thirds of that order shall be requisite to constitute a choice. And, thereupon, such appointment shall be presented to the order of the lay delegates, and be considered by them, and if, on a ballot, it shall appear, that the person so nominated, is approved of by two-thirds of the lay order, he shall be then declared to be duly elected ;-Provided, that whenever it shall be proposed to elect an assistant Bishop of this Diocese, notice thereof shall be given at an annual Convention, and the election shall take place at the succeeding annual Convention.
Art. 6. The Bishop of the Church in this state shall be Presi. dent of the Convention; in which character, it shall be his duty to give to the Convention, as often as he may deem expedient, a general view of the state of the Church; to call special conventions, at whatever times and places he may think necessary; to preserve order during the time of session; to put the question, collect the votes, and declare the decision. He may make any motion, which he shall judge conducive to the good of the Church, but shall not enter into debate; and he may deliver his sentiments on any subject, after it has been discussed, before a vote thereon.
Art. 7. In case of a vacancy in the episcopal office, the Convention, immediately upon their assembling, „shall choose, by
joint ballot, a President from among the order of priests, who
tion, unless applied to for that purpose, by a majority of the onts Standing Committee. And if, while there is a Bishop in this
Church, he shall not be present at any meeting of the Conven
tion, they shall elect, in the manner aforesaid, a President proy tempore.
Art. 8. A secretary shall likewise be chosen, immediately upon the assembling of the annual Convention, by a joint ballot; who shall remain in office until the next election of a secretary. His duty shall be to make minutes of their proceedings, to preserve their journals and records, to attest the public acts of the body, and faithfully to deliver into the hands of his successor all books and papers relative to the concerns of the Convention, which may be in his possession. It shall be his duty to notify, through the channel of such public papers as he may think proper, the time and place appointed for the meeting of the succeeding Convention.
Art. 9. Before the adjournment of each annual Convention, a Standing Committee, consisting of seven members, four on the Western, and three on the Eastern Shore, shall be chosen from among the order of priests, by a joint ballot of the clergy and laity; and if a vacancy shall occur by death, removal, resignation, or otherwise, the remaining members, or a majority of them, shall be authorised to fill such vacancy; always supplying the vacancy by one of the order of priests; in all elections of committees by joint ballot, no member of the said committee shall be elected unless he shall receive a majority of the votes of all the attending members.
Art. 10. If, at any time, there should be no Bishop in this Church, the Convention shall divide the state into as many
districts as there are members of the Standing Committee; assign
ing to each member the superintendence of a district, which it shall be his duty to visit once a year; and he shall report the ecclesiastical and secular state thereof to the Convention.
Art. 11. Every parish within this state, shall be entitled to the entire benefit of this constitution, as soon as it shall have signified its ratification thereof, either in writing, or by sending a a lay delegate to the Convention; and such parish shall thereafter be benefited and bound, equally with the other parishes in this State, by every rule or canon, which shall be framed by any Convention, acting under this constitution, for the government of this Church in ecclesiastical concerns.
Art. 12. This constitution shall be unalterable, except in the following manner: A proposition for any change shall be introduced in writing, and considered in Convention, and, if approved of, the same shall be transmitted to the several vestries of the parishes, which shall have ratified this constitution. And if again approved of, in the next ensuing Convention, by a majority of the respective orders voting thereon separately, the change shall take place, and the constitution so altered, shall be valid and obligatory.