House of Deputies

News

 August 16, 2017

Dear People of God in the Episcopal Church:

Yesterday, the Texas legislature adjourned its special session without passing a so-called “bathroom bill,” which threatened to write discrimination against transgender people into state law. We give thanks for all of the Texan Episcopalians, elected officials, business leaders, and advocates who raised their voices publicly against this proposed law and the physical, spiritual and emotional damage it threatened to do to transgender people.

Now that we can be more confident that transgender deputies, exhibitors, advocates and guests can travel to Texas safely and with dignity, we have no plans to ask Executive Council to reconsider the location of the 2018 General Convention. We are delighted and relieved to assure the Episcopalians of Texas that we look forward to being with you in Austin next summer.

Along with the bishops of Texas and many other Episcopalians, we remain concerned about Senate Bill 4, a Texas law scheduled to go into effect on September 1 that requires local police to cooperate with federal immigration authorities and forbids local municipalities from adopting sanctuary city statutes. Between now and next summer, we plan to follow the progress of legal challenges to Senate Bill 4 closely and to explore ways to lend the support of the Episcopal Church to Texans who oppose this discriminatory, anti-immigrant law.

There is darkness in our land, as the white supremacist riot in Charlottesville last weekend demonstrated with sickening and deadly clarity. But we follow Jesus, about whose coming John's Gospel said, "the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness cannot overcome it." And it cannot! So when the evil one divides us from one another through darkness of racism, bigotry and intolerance, we must witness even more steadfastly to the light, the power of the risen Christ to overcome hatred, cease division, and bind us all even more closely to one another.

Even as we give thanks that justice for transgender people has prevailed in Texas, we ask you to join us in continuing to pray and to speak out for all of God’s children who have reason to be afraid in these frightening times. Dear people of God, let the light shine!

Faithfully,

 

The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry
Presiding Bishop

 

The Rev. Gay Clark Jennings
President of the House of Deputies

 

16 de agosto de 2017

Estimado Pueblo de Dios en la Iglesia Episcopal:

Ayer, la Legislatura de Texas aplazó su sesión especial sin aprobar como ley la llamada “ley de baños”, la cual amenazó con establecer discriminación contra personas transexuales en la ley estatal.  Damos gracias por todos los episcopales de Texas, funcionarios electos, líderes empresariales y defensores que públicamente alzaron sus voces contra esta ley propuesta y el daño físico, espiritual y emocional que amenazó hacer a personas transexuales.

Ahora que podemos estar más seguros de que los diputados, expositores, defensores y huéspedes transexuales pueden viajar a Texas con seguridad y con dignidad, no tenemos ningunos planes de pedir al Consejo Ejecutivo que reconsidere la ubicación de la Convención General de 2018. Estamos encantados y aliviados de asegurar a los episcopales de Texas que esperamos con anticipación de estar con ustedes en Austin el próximo verano.

Junto con los obispos de Texas y muchos otros episcopales, seguimos preocupados acerca de la ley 4 del Senado, una ley de Texas que entrará en vigor el 1 de septiembre que requiere que la policía local coopere con las autoridades federales de inmigración y prohíba a los municipios locales de adoptar estatutos de la ciudad santuario. Entre ahora y el próximo verano, planeamos de seguir de cerca el proceso de desafíos legales a la ley 4 del Senado y de explorar maneras de prestar el apoyo de la Iglesia Episcopal a los tejanos que se oponen a esta ley discriminatoria y antiinmigrante.

Hay oscuridad en nuestra tierra, como lo demuestra el motín de supremacista blanco en Charlottesville el fin de semana pasado con una claridad repugnante y mortal. Pero seguimos a Jesús, de cuya venida el evangelio de Juan dijo, "la luz brilla en las tinieblas, y la oscuridad no puede vencerla". ¡Y no puede! Así que cuando el maligno nos separa unos de otros a través de la oscuridad del racismo, el fanatismo y la intolerancia, debemos presenciar aún más firmemente a la luz, el poder del Cristo resucitado para vencer el odio, cesar la división y atarnos a todos aún más estrechamente unos y otros.

Aun cuando damos gracias por haber hecho justicia a las personas transexuales en Texas, les pedimos que se unan a nosotros para seguir orando y hablando a favor de todos los hijos de Dios que tienen motivos de tener miedo en estos tiempos aterradores. Querido pueblo de Dios, ¡que brille la luz!

Fielmente,

 

Rvdmo. Michael B. Curry
Obispo Primado

 

Rda. Gay Clark Jennings
Presidente de la Cámara de Diputados  

The Rev. Gay Clark Jennings, president of the House of Deputies, released this statement on August 14 in response to racist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 11 and 12:

Like many Americans, I was horrified to watch white supremacist violence in Charlottesville spiral out of control this weekend. As an Episcopalian, I was particularly sickened to watch racists perpetrate violence and hatred in the name of Christianity.

When confronted with the ugly underbelly of our history and tradition, it is tempting to say that racism is not Christian, and that what we saw in Charlottesville this weekend is no part of who we are or what we believe. But far too often throughout history, Christians have killed, maimed, and abused people in the name of our religion. What happened in Charlottesville was part of a Christian tradition that we would far rather forget.

Even though we sometimes fall short, we Episcopalians strive to be Christians who follow Jesus’ command to love our neighbors as ourselves and who have promised to respect the dignity of every human being. And so, we bear a special responsibility to recognize and atone for the perversions of Christianity espoused by white racists and to work for a more just vision of the church and the world.

Please pray for Heather Heyer, who was killed on Saturday in Charlottesville, for the state troopers who died when their helicopter crashed, and for their family and friends. And then act. Join a vigil in your community, oppose racism in your churches, schools, and workplaces, educate yourself about systemic racism and the ways in which it deforms our lives and country, and raise your children to build a more just and equal world.

En ingles y español

July 14, 2017

Dear Deputies,

In preparation for the 79th General Convention in July 2018, I am beginning the process of appointing deputies to legislative committees. The Presiding Bishop and I wrote to bishops and deputies about our plans for legislative committees on July 6; you can read that letter on the House of Deputies website.

The survey to indicate your legislative preferences is now available onlinePlease complete the survey by August 7. Although it is possible to appoint only about half of deputies to legislative committees at each convention, I hope that all deputies and alternate deputies will fill out the survey so that I can gather updated demographic and contact information and can know more about your interests and experience.

Since we first published the list of legislative committees that will be appointed, the Presiding Bishop and I have made one change. Committee #18, previously called Stewardship and Development, is now called Stewardship & Socially Responsible Investing. You can download an updated list of committee descriptions on the website.

We’re now officially less than a year away from General Convention, and I am very much looking forward to serving with you in the months to come and when we gather next summer. Thank you, as always, for your commitment to our work.

Faithfully,

The Rev. Gay Clark Jennings
President, House of Deputies

 

14 de julio de 2017 

Estimados Diputados,

En preparación para la 79a Convención General en julio 2018, estoy comenzando el proceso de nombramiento de diputados a comités legislativos. El Obispo Primado y yo les escribimos a obispos y diputados el 6 de julio acerca de nuestros planes para los comités legislativos; ustedes pueden leer esa carta en el sitio web de la Cámara de Diputados.

La encuesta para indicar sus preferencias legislativas ya está disponible en líneaFavor de completarla no más tardar el 7 de agosto. Aunque es posible nombrar sólo casi la mitad de diputados a los comités legislativos en cada convención, espero que todos los diputados y diputados alternos completen la encuesta para que puedo recopilar información demográfica y de contacto actualizada y saber más acerca de sus intereses y experiencia.

Desde que publicamos por la primera vez la lista de comités legislativos que serán nombrados, el Obispo Primado y yo hemos hecho un cambio. Comité #18, previamente denominado Mayordomía y Desarrollo, ahora se llama Mayordomía e Inversión Socialmente Responsable. Se puede descargar del sitio web una lista actualizada de las descripciones de los comités.

Oficialmente estamos a menos de un año de la Convención General, y espero con mucha anticipación servir con ustedes en los próximos meses y cuando nos reunimos el próximo verano. Gracias, como siempre, por su compromiso a nuestro trabajo.

Fielmente,

La Revda. Gay Clark Jennings
Presidente, Cámara de Diputados   

En ingles y español

July 6, 2017

Dear Deputies and Bishops,

We’re just over a year away from the 79th General Convention, and already, planning is in high gear. Part of our role in those preparations, as set forth by the Rules of Order of the House of Deputies and House of Bishops, is to name the legislative committees that will receive and propose resolutions for General Convention.

You’ll see on this list of legislative committees that we have both named the committees that have traditionally handled legislative business and also formed new committees to advance particular churchwide priorities and consider work that has been done to fulfill several resolutions from the 78th General Convention. So, along with the names of familiar committees, you’ll find listed new committees that will handle business related to racial justice and reconciliation, evangelism and church planting, Title IV and Safeguarding God’s Children, and the Episcopal Church in Cuba.

We have also decided to appoint a separate committee to receive and consider resolutions related to revision of the Book of Common Prayer. This committee will make it possible to give General Convention’s full consideration to the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music’s work on Resolution A169 of the 2015 convention, and also allow the Prayer Book, Liturgy and Music legislative committee to devote attention to other business that will come before it.

Later this month, all deputies will receive a survey about legislative committee preferences, relevant expertise and experience, and demographics. Deputies will be appointed to legislative committees by December 1. Bishops will be surveyed about their interests this fall and will also be assigned to legislative committees by December 1.

Appointing legislative committees may seem like a prosaic task, but our democratic form of church governance, which includes the authority of lay people, clergy, and bishops, is anything but ordinary. Thank you for your willingness to serve on bishop and deputy legislative committees that will work together next summer to advance the governance that makes our mission possible.

Faithfully,

The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry
Presiding Bishop and Primate
 
The Rev.  Gay Clark Jennings
President, House of Deputies
 
____________________________
 

6 de julio de 2017

Estimados Diputados y Obispos,    

Nos falta un poco más de un año antes de la 79a Convención General, y la planificación ya está en marcha rápida. Parte de nuestro rol en esas preparaciones, como se expone en las Reglas de Orden de la Cámara de Diputados y la Cámara de Obispos, es nombrar los comités legislativos que recibirán y propondrán las resoluciones para la Convención General.

Pueden ver en la lista adjunta de comités legislativos que hemos nombrado los comités que tradicionalmente han manejado asuntos legislativos y también hemos formado nuevos comités para avanzar prioridades particulares para toda la iglesia y considerar trabajo que se ha hecho para cumplir con varias resoluciones de la 78a Convención General. Así que, junto con los nombres de comités conocidos, les presentamos a continuación nuevos comités que se encargarán de negocios relacionados a justicia racial y reconciliación, evangelismo y plantación de iglesias, Título IV y “Safeguarding God’s Children” (Salvaguardando los Hijos e Hijas de Dios), y la Iglesia Episcopal en Cuba.

También hemos decidido designar un comité aparte para recibir y examinar resoluciones relacionadas a la revisión del Libro de Oración Común. Este comité hará posible dar consideración completa de la Convención General al trabajo del Comité Permanente de Liturgia y Música en Resolución A169 de la convención 2015, y también permitir al comité legislativo del Libro de Oraciones, Liturgia y Música dedicar atención a otros asuntos que se le delegan.

A finales de este mes, todos los diputados recibirán una encuesta sobre preferencias de comités legislativos, conocimientos pertinentes y experiencia, y demografía. Los Diputados serán nombrados a comités legislativos antes del 1 de diciembre. Los Obispos serán encuestados sobre sus intereses este otoño y también serán nombrados a comités legislativos antes del 1 de diciembre.

Nombrar comités legislativos puede parecer como una tarea prosaica, pero nuestra forma democrática de gobierno de la iglesia, la cual incluye la autoridad de los laicos, clérigos y obispos no es nada común. Les agradecemos por estar dispuestos a formar parte de comités legislativos de obispos y diputados que trabajarán juntos el próximo verano para avanzar la gobernanza que hace posible nuestra misión.

Fielmente,

The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry
Obispo Presidente y Primado
 
The Rev.  Gay Clark Jennings
Presidente de la Cámara de Diputados

President Jennings delivered these remarks to Executive Council on June 9 at the beginning of a meeting held in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Good morning. I’m glad to be here with you in the Diocese of Puerto Rico. It’s been nearly ten years since Executive Council convened in Province IX, and although this meeting has been planned for some time, it’s fortunate that we are here both to share the excitement about the ordination and consecration of Rafael Morales as bishop next month and to learn more about the debt crisis that is burdening the lives of so many people here. I am grateful for the hospitality of everyone who is making our visit possible.

I am also glad to be with all of you because it is a very difficult time in the United States to be a Christian committed to justice and peace among all people and the dignity of every person, and it is good to be together in the midst of that difficulty. In April, Bishop Ed and I attended a conference in Chicago sponsored by Bishops United Against Gun Violence called “Unholy Trinity:  the Intersection of Racism, Poverty, and Gun Violence.” While I was there, I moderated a panel discussion with three extraordinary leaders who helped me to see even more clearly the church’s historic and contemporary complicity with white supremacy and anti-black ideology. Tomorrow morning, Bishop Ed, who was one of the conference’s leaders, is going to lead us in a discussion about this unholy trinty, and I will be glad to reflect with all of you on what is required of us in these difficult times.

At the conference, my friend the bishop of Newark, Bishop Mark Beckwith, said, “Since the November elections, many of us feel as though the house is on fire and we have only one bucket of water. And we are asking ourselves, where do we pour that bucket?” We studied Bible passages like the difficult passages from 2 Kings and 2 Samuel that we tackled at the Unholy Trinity conference, and we know from those and others that God commands us to welcome the alien in our midst, to care for creation, and to stand with the oppressed in the face of violence and injustice. And then we turn on the news and know that we have to speak, we have to act. But as they say, life comes at you fast.

So, right now, I’m imagining that I have three buckets of water. Here’s what I’m doing with them:

Bucket one is the Stand With Refugees Campaign taking place next week. Thanks to the work of the Office of Government Relations and Episcopal Migration Ministries, we Episcopalians have the opportunity to advocate for the fiscal year 2018 federal budget to include funding for refugee protection, assistance, and resettlement. Here’s what Lacy Broemel from OGR wrote in the action alert recently posted on the Episcopal Public Policy Network website. “During the worst human displacement crisis in history, the time is now to urge Congress to allocate funds to assist the most vulnerable displaced persons and to support increasing refugee resettlement admissions to at least 75,000 refugees.” There are more than 21 million refugees in our world today, so resettling 75,000 of them is a pretty modest commitment.

Bucket two:  The Texas Legislature. Some of you will remember that the Presiding Bishop and I wrote a letter to Texas Speaker of the House Joe Straus objecting to the proposed “bathroom bill” that the Texas Senate, but not the House, passed in its last legislative session. The bill became a source of political struggle, as you’ll know if you’ve been following the news from Austin in recent weeks. Just a few days ago, Texas Governor Greg Abbott called the legislature back for a special session beginning July 18 and said that he wants a bathroom bill, which would discriminate against transgender people, to be passed. I’m paying close attention, the presiding bishop and the executive secretary are paying attention, to this situation and to the legal challenges that are already arising to Texas State Bill 4, which threatens law enforcement officials with stiff penalties if they fail to cooperate with federal immigration authorities. The bill also allows police officers—even campus police--to question people about immigration status during arrests or even traffic stops. We are watching the situation very closely with an eye to ensuring the safety and dignity of everyone traveling to General Convention next summer. 

Bucket three:  Since 1979, General Convention has been on record in favor of environmental sustainability and stewardship and environmental justice. In 2015, just two years ago, we passed several environmental stewardship resolutions and commended Pope Francis’ encyclical on climate change in advance of the Paris climate summit. The Episcopal Church had a very active presence, led by Bishop Marc Andrus of California, at the Paris conference. And then, last week, President Trump decided to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Accord.

Since then, many cities, states, universities, and other institutions have announced that they will continue to support the Paris climate accord and abide by its goals. I hope that Episcopalians at all levels of the church will do the same, ensuring that our decades-long witness to the stewardship of God’s creation and the compatibility of science and faith remain strong and steady during this perilous time for our planet. It’s especially appropriate for us to think about this issue here while we are in Puerto Rico, which is one of the most vulnerable places on Earth to the impacts of climate change.

So, after prayer and reflection, these are the three priorities where I’m pouring my three buckets of water. During this meeting, as we pray and study and talk together, I’m looking forward to hearing about where God is leading you to pour yours.