President of the House of Deputies Gay Clark Jennings has announced the appointments of 142 lay and clergy leaders to standing commissions and joint standing committees of General Convention and committees of the House of Deputies.
Thirty percent of the newly appointed leaders are age 40 and under, and nearly half—47%—are age 50 and under. Sixty-six percent of the newly appointed leaders will be serving on a church CCAB (commission, committee, agency or board) for the first time. While the median age of all Episcopalians in 2010 was 57, the median age of these appointees is 52. Rosters of newly appointed bodies are available on the General Convention website.
“Thanks to many younger Episcopalians who volunteered to serve, the councils of the church will have much better representation from Gen X and Millennial leaders in the coming years,” Jennings said. “We need to devote more energy and attention to cultivating younger leaders. We also need to identify and reduce the barriers that keep younger people from seeking positions of church leadership.”
Jennings said she will appoint a study committee of the House of Deputies to focus on young leadership in October.
Twenty-eight percent of the new appointees are people of color. “The leadership of the church needs to look more like the kingdom of God and less like a parish directory of the 1950s,” Jennings said. “This group of new leaders will help ensure that the church’s recent progress in diversity continues.”
The groups recently appointed include Jennings’ council of advice, which, for the first time in memory, will include a bishop.
“Bishop Sean Rowe of the Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania has generously agreed to sit on my council and foster closer collaboration between the two houses of General Convention,” she said.
The council will meet for the first time in early December in Seattle, home to the group’s youngest member, 29-year-old Bryan Krislock.
Nearly 750 people were nominated for leadership during an online process in July. In addition to these appointments of clergy and laypeople, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has appointed bishops to serve on standing commissions and joint standing committees of General Convention.
Jennings noted that she and Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori met and consulted frequently as they were making their respective appointments and choosing appointees and nominees to committees of Executive Council.
“I am grateful for the warm welcome and collegiality of the Presiding Bishop and members of her staff during the first few months of my tenure,” said Jennings. “I’m learning the ropes, and I need the support of both new and old colleagues.”
Appointments to committees of Executive Council will be announced after the October Executive Council meeting. In October, Jefferts Schori and Jennings will name the task force on church structure established by resolution C095 of the 77th General Convention.