The General Convention is the governing body of the Episcopal Church. The Convention is a bicameral legislature that includes the House of Deputies, which has more than 800 members, and the House of Bishops, which is comprised of nearly 300 active and retired bishops. The Convention meets every three years and has the authority to amend the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church; adopt the budget for the church for the next three years; authorize liturgical texts and amend the Book of Common Prayer; adopt communions and covenants with other churches; set qualifications for orders of ministry and office-holders; elect officers of the General Convention, the Executive Council, and members of boards; and delegate responsibilities to the committees, commissions, agencies, and boards of the Episcopal Church.
The Executive Council of the Episcopal Church is an elected body representing the whole church. In the three years between General Conventions, the Executive Council meets quarterly. The Executive Council has the duty to carry out programs and policies adopted by General Convention and to oversee the ministry and mission of the Episcopal Church. The Executive Council is comprised of twenty members elected by General Convention (four bishops, four priests or deacons, and twelve lay leaders) and eighteen members elected by Episcopal provinces.