House of Deputies

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The Phases of Disaster: Reflections from President Jennings

During the last twenty years, I have served as a critical incident stress debriefer for emergency service workers and clergy in disaster zones, and I have seen firsthand how those experiences change physical, social, emotional and spiritual landscapes dramatically. I am not an expert in disaster response and recovery, but I have studied the dynamics…
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President Jennings Remembers Bishop Barbara Harris

The Rev. Gay Clark Jennings, president of the House of Deputies of the Episcopal Church, has released this statement about the death of Bishop Barbara Harris: It is almost impossible to imagine the Episcopal Church without Bishop Barbara Harris, the first female bishop in the Anglican Communion. Elected in 1988, Barbara was fierce, faithful, and,…
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Branching Out: A Sermon Preached at the Rooted in Jesus Conference

President Jennings preached this sermon on January 23 at the Rooted in Jesus Conference in Atlanta: Now, I want to acknowledge right up front that I don’t do yard work. In fact, my favorite seat in my house is at my kitchen table, where I can look out over the backyard and often see my…
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“What Would Whipple Do” Campaign Launches

Three deputies in the Episcopal Church of Minnesota are at the center of a campaign offering the federal government a choice: either evict the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and its immigration courts from the Bishop Henry Whipple Federal Building in Fort Snelling, or remove the bishop’s name from the building. Clergy deputies Devon Anderson,…
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Unlearning the History We Were Taught: Executive Council Opening Remarks

Good morning, and welcome to Montgomery. I’m glad to be here with all of you after my long summer of recovering from shoulder replacement surgery, and I’m even more glad to have escaped, if only briefly, the clutches of my physical therapist. I suspect he actually enjoys putting me through those torturous exercises that are…
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State of the Church Committee Meets with Bishops

Group charged with adaptive thinking travels to Minneapolis The members of the House of Deputies State of the Church Committee met earlier today with the House of Bishops. The group, which President Jennings asked “to identify, study and report on the Episcopal Church’s most significant opportunities to innovate and experiment so that we are equipped for 21st…
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A Relentless Cascade of Violence and Injustice: A Letter from President Jennings

Dear Deputies and Alternate Deputies: For the past several weeks, reading the news has registered like a series of body blows. First, a cluster of mass shootings by white men in California, Texas, and my home state of Ohio killed more than 30 people, most of whom were people of color. Then, while the vigils…
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Honoring the Ministry of Journalism: Executive Council Opening Remarks

Mary Frances Schjonberg of Episcopal News Service with President Jennings

President Jennings gave these remarks to the opening session of Executive Council on June 10, 2019, at the Maritime Center. Good morning. Welcome, once again, to the Maritime Center. I’m looking forward to our meeting, and I particularly want to welcome our guests Dr. Ursuline Bankhead, who will lead our implicit bias training this afternoon,…
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Learn: A Sermon Preached at Executive Council

When I received the email asking me to deliver today’s sermon, I was at a café with a bright teenage girl from my church’s youth group, helping her write her first sermon. I had just said to her, “You’ve been listening to sermons your whole life and you already know what they’re like. So, don’t…
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A Tale of Two Pilgrimages: 2019 Easter Message

The Body of Christ, throughout the world, working together creating God’s dream in our lands. Recently I was appointed interim vicar of a very small congregation in San Francisco. It’s an historically African American church in a gentrifying neighborhood, a congregation deeply faithful, deeply connected in the old neighborhood. We have ministries addressing food insecurity…
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