July 8 Evening Legislative Session (HoD)


This is a live blog covering the evening session of the House of Deputies that took place July 8, 2022.

Having decided to take up D045–possibly moving the site of the 2024 General Convention–before taking up A001, regarding sites for the 2027 convention, the house is adjourned.

The Committee on Governance and Structure supports moving the Diocese of Puerto Rico from Province IX to Province II. Resolution C021 would accomplish this. Deputy Paul Ambos proposes an amendment to fix what he identifies as technical problems. Tht amendment carries, and the resolution passes.

Next comes Resolution A001 on sites of the 2027 General Convention. These are: Phoenix, Arizona (Diocese of Arizona); Orlando, Florida (Diocese of Central Florida); Charlotte, North Carolina (Diocese of North Carolina); Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Diocese of Pittsburgh); and San Juan, Puerto Rico (Diocese of Puerto Rico).

Deputy Kevin Miller opposes the resolution because many of the states would not be safe for pregnant people and LGBTQIA people.

Deputy Evangeline Warren of Ohio proposed an amendment that strikes Orlando from the list of cities, and adds the following clause to the issues considered when choosing a convention site:paying particular attention to the availability of life-saving access to abortion and emergency contraception to protect those participants at risk for pregnancy.”

A deputy has a hard time getting his point across due to nerves, and Presiding Jennings asks him to take a deep breath and then asks that the time clock be reset. But then it turns out he is not speaking to the amendment. So she asks him to stand by.

Deputy Matt Warren of Northern California asks to suspect the rules to consider a related Resolution D054 before considering A001. The vote is close, so President Jennings calls for an electronic vote. The motion to suspend the rules carries. So the house will consider D054 which “calls upon the leadership of the General Convention to consider the relocation of the 81st General Convention currently scheduled to take place in Louisville, KY, as well as all future conventions, to a venue that commits to an ‘equitable access to women’s health care, including women’s reproductive health care’ which we view as ‘an integral part of a woman’s struggle to assert her dignity and worth as a human being.’”

The church’s Safe Church materials need to be translated into Spanish, Creole and French, and to be captioned. Resolution A065 would accomplish that. It requests an allocation of $400,000. Deputy Virginia Tyler-Smith opposes the resolution because it may be somewhat duplicative of A024 which will be considered later in the convention and would create a task force on translation and interpretation. Deputy L. Zoe Cole of Colorado supports the resolution saying that this work needs to be done now, and not after a task force is created.

The resolution passes overwhelmingly.

We are privileged and must be courteous

Deputy Margaret Porter and the Committee on Privilege and Courtesy are commending people who are deserving of commendations for putting this little jamboree together. The deputies agree that commendations is appropriate.

The Diocese of Maryland, its bishop and the city of Baltimore are also worthy to be praised, the committee suggests. The house agrees.

Our sergeants-at-arms deserve kudos, and receive them.

Laud the sign language interpreters? They are so lauded.

Committees and Commissions

Resolution A004 “extend[s] the work of the Task Force on Dialogue with South Sudanese Anglican Diaspora for the coming triennium.” It passes.

Resolution A086 “authorize[s] a Task Force for Care of Creation and Environmental Racism to continue … work on behalf of the Episcopal Church in the next triennium.”

Resolution 110 continues the work of the Task Force on Ministry with Individuals with Mental Illness and expands its membership. It elicits an outpouring of supportive testimony.

Deputy Kevin Miller of Massachusetts says in many places it is easier for him to be a gay man than it is to be openly mentally ill. He hopes the task force will help people to understand that “We are an equal part in this church and we have valid opinions and something to say.” Deputy Liz Wendt of Pennsylvania speaks of recovering from an eating disorder. “I would not be here today without the support of my church,” she says. Deputy Laurie Atwater says she has three certificates that “mark me as a member of the club of mental illness.” She says what she has found is “that the only place I can come for succor is to God.”

The resolution passes overwhelmingly.

Deeper into the Truth-Telling, Reckoning and Healing Resolutions

The house passes Resolution 130 which “direct[s] Executive Council to develop model hiring, workplace, and Committee/Commission/Board practices that intentionally increase equitable hiring and access to leadership positions for People of Color and that promote healthy work environments within the church.”

In news from the House of Bishops, the house was unable to process the legislation sent to it by the House of Deputies this afternoon fast enough for an evening session, and the house therefore adjourned.

Next comes Resolution A129 which “directs the Presiding Bishop and the President of the House of Deputies to ensure that this Church conducts historical research on the origins and sources of the financial and all other assets of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society that are directly tied to the enslavement of humans, the slave trade, and historical and current racial injustices, in order to tell the story of our history and to report the results to the Executive Council prior to the 81st General Convention.”

It urges the Church Pension Group “to conduct historical research on the origins and sources of its financial and all other assets, and to report the results to its constituents.”

Deputies say a reckoning is important so the specific nature of the repairs that need to be made are evident. Deputy Julia Ayala Harris of Oklahoma: “We have the moral obligation to look into how our churches secured the lands that they sit on … Systems of oppression only grow stronger when they are invisible.”

Resolution A129 passes overwhelmingly.

The house then agrees to move the special order to consider the resolutions from the State of the Church Committee until tomorrow.

On Language

The House is continuing consideration of the report from the Committee on Racial Justice and Reconciliation.

Resolution A131 passed with lightning speed. “That the 80th General Convention urge all Episcopalians to utilize the phrase People of Color when referring to individuals and communities marginalized by racism and white supremacy.”

On to Resolution 126 “instruct[s] the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music to examine all the language of the Book of Common Prayer, The Hymnal 1982 and other approved liturgical material in regard to the colonialist, racist and white supremacist, imperialist and nationalistic language and content and develop proposals for amending texts.” It requests $100,000 for the work.

Deputy Sam Candler, supporting the resolution, said the work of revision to remove this language is a form of prayer in itself.

Deputy Susan Anslow Williams opposed the resolution saying it is too onerous a job for the SCLM which already has a full plate for the next two years.

Deputy Kevin Miller of Massachusetts says the resolution will “ostracize people like me” who find comfort in the traditional language.

Deputy Edwin Johnson, also of Massachusetts, supports the resolution based on his worship experiences. He says: “The dangerous thing is that sometimes when things are familiar we don’t recognize the full extent to which it might be impacting us and participating or helping participate in our own oppression.”

Deputy Bill Murchison of Dallas says the convention has heard a great deal of “loose language” He asked what “supremacist” and “nationalistic” mean. “I have no idea.” He opposes the resolution.

Deputy Miranda Hassett says the 1979 Book of Common Prayer and she are about the same age. People change in the course of their lives. Their views of things they once loved changed. This is part of the reason we revise. She was secretary of the committee and supports is passage.

Deputy Alice Freeman of North Carolina notes the ue of the word “princely” in the service to ordain a bishop. It is male and imperialistic. She says the church can do better.

Deputy Melina Bobo of Wyoming supports the resolution. “We aren’t saying throw the baby out with the bathwater. There are beautiful things in the prayer book and the 1982 hymnal. But for going forward we have to look at it if we are going to do better.”

Resolution 126 passes overwhelmingly.

Good evening.

This is the live blog of the evening session of the House of Deputies.

Nothing is happening yet.