Dear Deputies and Alternate Deputies,
Last week, you received word that the upcoming General Convention would include a hotel breakfast and boxed lunch program that would be required for bishops and deputies and be billed to dioceses. Since then, I have heard from many of you that the meal plan would be too expensive, involve too much food and packaging waste, and would not meet your dietary needs. I appreciate the candid—and at times quite humorous—feedback you provided. Today, the Presiding Bishop and I decided not to move forward with the breakfast and boxed lunch plan for General Convention.
As the discussion has unfolded, I have been heartened to learn that many of you are eager to contribute directly to workers in Baltimore’s hospitality and restaurant industry who have lost wages during the pandemic. We are in the final stages of setting up a mutual aid fund that will allow you to assist both your fellow deputies and hospitality workers—more on that soon—but in the meantime, I hope you will join me in making a contribution to the Baltimore Restaurant Relief Fund
, an industry effort to support restaurant workers and owners; or to the UNITE HERE Education and Support Fund
, a project of the UNITE HERE Local 7 union that represents hotel, gaming and food service workers throughout Maryland.
Thank you for your forbearance as we continue to finalize details for this most unusual General Convention. I am grateful for the planners who are willing to try new options, to change course based on feedback, and to continue working tirelessly as our time in Baltimore grows nearer. May God grant us all patience and good humor in the coming weeks.
The Rev. Gay Clark Jennings
President, House of Deputies