House of Deputies

of The Episcopal Church
Around the House

Between conventions, the ministry of deputies carries out the resolutions of General Convention and enriches the church. Share your stories via email.

Taking the Economic Equality of Women Seriously

After 40 years, the ordination of women in the Episcopal Church continues to be a symbolic gesture that has not resulted in the equality of women in the church and society. For the full equality of women to become a reality, the Episcopal Church’s highest priority in the work for women’s equality in the next…
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“Can Boys Even Be Priests?”

I was born six years after the “Philadelphia Eleven.” I have never known a time without women as clergy in the Episcopal Church. I was fortunate to be formed in a diocese that affirmed and supported women in ministry and I currently serve as a priest in a diocese where the number of women clergy…
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A World That Is Good For Women is Good For Everyone

I was in fifth grade when Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori was elected as the first female presiding bishop of The Episcopal Church. After returning from the General Convention where Katharine was elected, my mother printed out the article written up in the New York Times about her. I taped it to my bedroom door so…
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Young Latinas, Leaders Without Reservation

My hope for the future is that women in the church will be leaders without reservation. In the past, women were sent to the back of the line in leadership opportunities. For a number of years now, women have been welcome in all walks of church life in the Episcopal Church. After the election of…
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A Question Not of Equal Rights, But of Baptism

On September 11, I attended the celebration of ministry and retirement of Susan Harriss, the rector of Christ Church in Rye, New York. Susan, who was ordained priest in 1980, has for the last 16 years been the rector of Christ’s Church. At the end of an excellent sermon, there was applause and a standing…
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The Ordination of Women Did Not Just Happen

In March of 1976 (my senior year at Episcopal Divinity School) I preached a sermon in the chapel declaring my intention to delay my own ordination to the priesthood until the ordination of women was approved by the General Convention. I called on my fellow graduating men to do the same. Although the local response…
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Inviting Outsiders In, Always

I grew up in an Episcopal Church that ordained women. I have never known anything else, and for that I am deeply grateful. Including women in all aspects of our church hierarchy is vitally important, and there is certainly more work to do in this vein. Still, I hope that the Episcopal Church will look…
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Can We See the Image of God in the Other?

There is an iconic image of Barbara C. Harris as an acolyte at the ordination of the Philadelphia 11, 25 years before she would be consecrated the first female bishop in the Anglican Communion. It shows such promise for women’s ordained leadership in the Episcopal Church. But that promise, particularly for women of color, has…
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Realizing the Hope of 40 Years Ago

I have two hopes: they are 47” and 36” tall, respectively, weighing in at 47 and 31 pounds. Of course I’m speaking about my children, Katherine and Halsted. As I watch them grow and develop into remarkable and amazing people, I am filled with hope for the future. As they share their imaginative ideas for…
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Breaking Hegemony: Hopes for True Equality in the Church

I had the experience of coming into the Episcopal Church with priestly (Elders) ordination in the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church which had been ordaining women since 1894. Having been nurtured in African Methodism I grew up expecting women’s ordination to be normative across Christianity. I was quite surprised to find it was not. As…
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