House of Deputies

On Epiphany, January 6, a committee of deputies announced a campaign to raise $75,000 for Episcopal Relief & Development’s 75th anniversary campaign. After one month, the effort has raised $24,283—32% of its goal—and deputies across the church are organizing creative fundraising projects to push the total over the top.

Deputy Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows of the Diocese of Chicago is organizing a team of 12 runners to compete in the Ragnar Relay Wasatch Back, a 200-mile overnight relay from Logan, in northern Utah, along the back of the Wasatch Mountains in the Rockies, ending at Soldier Hollow, the Olympic venue in Midway, Utah. The race takes place on June 19-20, and each runner will collect donations per mile to benefit Episcopal Relief & Development.

Eight runners have committed to the team, called the Steeple Chasers. In addition to Baskerville-Burrows, deputy runners include Sierra Wilkinson Reyes of the Diocese of Georgia and Karla Woggon of the Diocese of Western North Carolina. Other runners include former Chicago deputy Jacqueline Cameron; Ila Allen, a community team member from Chicago; and Jim Naughton and Rebecca Wilson, partners in Canticle Communications. Scott Stoner, founder of Living Compass, will run and has also contributed the team’s registration fee to ensure that all contributions directly benefit Episcopal Relief & Development.

“We’re looking for four more runners to run between 11 and 20 miles in three legs over the course of the race,” says Baskerville-Burrows. “Speed isn’t important—just a desire to have fun and support the life-saving work of Episcopal Relief & Development! We also need non-running volunteers who want to share the fun by bike pacing or offering other kinds of race support.” Interested runners and volunteers can This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to learn more about how to participate.

Deputy Bradley Wirth of the Diocese of Montana is supporting the campaign by providing all deputies with a “coupon book” that contains daily ideas for filling an Episcopal Relief & Development Hope Chest box during Lent. The books, which will arrive in the mail soon, include suggestions like this one for Thursday, March 6: In Mexico, the average net adjusted disposable household income is $12,732 a year. In America the average net adjusted disposable household income is $38,001. Place in your Hope Chest, a penny per $1000 household income per year.

Other fundraising efforts are in the works. Campaign co-chair Deputy Devon Anderson of the Diocese of Minnesota is organizing the deputies in her diocese to lead a “Tithe your General Convention per diem” campaign, and President Gay Jennings is working with Cameron, a priest and physician, on a Healthy Living Challenge for deputies who want to build fitness, increase movement, and lose weight before General Convention. Deputies Bonnie Perry of the Diocese of Chicago and Evan Garner of the Diocese of Alabama are organizing a contest between their deputations, and Province VI is considering a provincial fundraising challenge.

Bill Miller, formerly a deputy from the Diocese of Hawaii and author of “The Gospel According to Sam” and “The Beer Drinker’s Guide to God,” will host an evening at the Beerhive Pub in Salt Lake City for the deputation that raises the most donations for the campaign. Although Miller has accepted a new call as rector of Christ Episcopal Church in Covington, Louisiana and will be unable to serve as deputy, he will continue on the House of Deputies campaign committee and will attend General Convention.

“I’m grateful to Bill for his commitment to Episcopal Relief & Development and our campaign, and for donating such a generous prize,” said Jennings. “I’ve heard from deputies who want to win it for their deputations. I’ve also heard directly from two deputies, one from the Diocese of Maryland and one from the Diocese of Easton, who expressed concern about an event focused on beer tasting. In response to their concerns and in keeping with General Convention’s 1985 Resolution A083, “Adopt Church Policy on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, we’ll call the prize ‘An Evening with Bill Miller.’ I want to assure deputies that the Beerhive is an established, well-regarded Salt Lake City restaurant and pub with a full food menu and range of non-alcoholic beverages, so deputies who are in recovery, are underage, or who simply don’t enjoy beer will be able to participate fully and enjoy the evening along with those who want to taste craft beers.”

Anderson and other committee members are eager to hear from deputations about other fundraising efforts. “We have tens of thousands of dollars to raise in five short months!” she said. “All hands on deck!”

Deputies who are working on a fundraising initiative or seeking ideas can This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for suggestions and resources.