Monday, June 22, 2015

The Day Before: The 78th General Convention

The work of the 78th General Convention begins tomorrow (Tuesday), as registration takes place, deputies are certified, and convention legislative committees begin their work.  The convention hits full-stride on Wednesday with the Presiding Bishop and President of the House Deputies making presentations to a combined meeting of the two houses – the House of Deputies and the House of Bishops.  Orientation follows their addresses to convention. 

On Wednesday afternoon, the four nominees for Presiding Bishop will be officially presented to a joint session.  Those nominees include Thomas Breidenthal, Bishop of Southern Ohio; Michael Curry, Bishop of North Carolina; Ian Douglas, Bishop of Connecticut; and Dabney Smith, Bishop of Southwest Florida.  The election of the next Presiding Bishop will be on Saturday, June 27.  Many observers expect Michael Curry to be elected. 

Each day’s schedule typically begins with legislative committees meeting early in the morning, followed by a Convention Eucharist.  Once the convention gets to its regular schedule, the Eucharist is followed by legislative sessions in the morning and afternoon, with evenings reserved largely for additional committee meetings. 

The Mississippi deputation meets each day over lunch to discuss developments in committees and the two houses. 

The Diocese of Mississippi is represented by the following deputies and alternates: 

Clergy Deputies

The Reverend Canon David Johnson, Diocesan Staff
The Reverend Paul Stephens, All Saints’, Tupelo
The Reverend Elizabeth Wheatley-Jones, All Saints’, Grenada
The Reverend Betsy Baumgarten, St. Patrick’s, Long Beach

Lay Deputies

Canon Kathryn Weathersby McCormick, Diocesan Staff and St. Andrew’s, Jackson
Dr. Anita P. George, Resurrection, Starkville
Dr. Ed Sisson, St. Peter’s, Oxford
Margaret McLarty, St. Andrew’s, Jackson

Clergy Alternates

The Reverend Margaret Ayers, St. James’, Port Gibson
The Reverend Ann Benton Fraser, St. Paul’s, Corinth
The Reverend Beth Palmer, Holy Trinity, Vicksburg
The Reverend David Knight, St. Paul’s, Delray Beach, Florida (canonically resident in Mississippi)

Lay Alternates

Lee Davis Thames, Esq., Holy Trinity, Vicksburg
Bobbie Marascalco, Holy Trinity, Vicksburg
Alice Perry, St. James’, Jackson
Danny Ray Meadors, St. Patrick’s, Long Beach

Bishop Seage, of course, is a member of the House of Bishops.

Several deputies serve on convention legislative committees.  The appointments include the following:

Kathryn McCormick, Pension Fund
David Johnson, Governance and Structure
Anita George, Social Justice & United States Policy
Ed Sisson, World Mission

Bishop Seage serves on the Dispatch of Business Committee.

Lee Davis Thames is serving as an advisor to the Social Justice & International Policy Committee.

David Knight served on the interim Task Force on the Study of Marriage – a group which is making significant recommendations to General Convention.

Bishop Duncan Gray, III, now serving in the Diocese of Louisiana, served on the Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop.

Anita George is a member of the church’s Executive Council, the “vestry” of the Episcopal Church.

Kathryn McCormick serves as a Trustee of the Church Pension Fund.

Several members of the deputation are posting blogs or to their Twitter feeds.  They include the following:

Bishop Seage              Twitter           @rtrevdeadhead        

David Johnson           Blog      

Betsy Baumgarten     Blog      
David Knight             Twitter            @itinerantpriest

Ann Phelps                Blog      
Ann is a lay person from St. Andrew’s Cathedral who will be attending General Convention, but is not a deputy or alternate.

I hope to post to this blog each evening. Please keep the convention in your prayers.


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