April 28, 2015
Dear Deputies and Alternate Deputies:
General Convention meets just once every three years, so we deputies have a great responsibility to elect and confirm many of the people who do the work of the church in between conventions. At this convention, we’ll elect 50 people to nine different positions, confirm House of Bishops elections of 17 people, including a new presiding bishop, and confirm 13 people appointed by the presiding officers.
Here’s a checklist, which you can also find on the House of Deputies website:
Elections by the House of Deputies
At this convention, the House of Deputies will elect people to these positions:
- President of the House of Deputies: 1 clerical or lay deputy for a 3-year term
- Vice-President of the House of Deputies: 1 clerical or lay deputy of the opposite order of the president for a 3-year term
- Secretary of the House of Deputies: 3-year term elected by the House of Deputies; upon confirmation by the House of Bishops, becomes the Secretary of General Convention
- Treasurer of the General Convention: 3-year term elected by concurrent action of both Houses
- Executive Council: 2 priests or deacons and 6 lay persons for 6-year terms
- Disciplinary Board for Bishops: 2 priests or deacons and 2 lay persons for 6-year terms
- Trustees of the Church Pension Fund: 12 trustees for 6-year terms
- Board of Trustees of the General Theological Seminary: 2 priests or deacons and 2 lay persons for 6-year terms
- Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of a Presiding Bishop: 1 clerical deputy and 1 lay deputy from each Province for 3-year terms
Confirmations by the House of Deputies
The House of Deputies will confirm these elections held by the House of Bishops:
- Presiding Bishop: 1 bishop for a 9-year term
- Executive Council: 2 bishops elected for 6-year terms
- General Board of Examining Chaplains: 2 bishops, 3 priests, 3 seminary faculty and 3 laypeople for 6-year terms
- Custodian of the Book of Common Prayer: 1 person for a 6-year term
- Historiographer: 1 person for a 3-year term (traditionally the Registrar of General Convention)
- Recorder of Ordinations: 1 person or institution for a 3-year term
Both the House of Deputies and the House of Bishops will confirm these appointments:
- Board of the Archives of the Episcopal Church: 2 bishops appointed by the presiding bishop; 2 priests or deacons and 3 lay persons appointed by the president of the House of Deputies
- Board for Transition Ministry: 2 bishops appointed by the presiding bishop; 2 priests or deacons and 2 lay persons appointed by the president of the House of Deputies
You can learn more about each of these positions in Appendix 3 (page 23) of “An Introduction to the 78th General Convention for Bishops and Deputies.”
The Joint Standing Committee on Nominations nominates people for many of the positions elected by the House of Deputies and House of Bishops; see the detailed list in Appendix 3 of the Introduction for details of the nomination process, and view the list of committee nominees online.
At this convention, it will also possible to nominate people from the floor for any of the positions that the House of Deputies elects, except for members of the Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop, who are nominated through provincial caucuses.
To expedite the nominations process and ensure that nominee information is included in the virtual binder, Secretary of the House of Deputies Michael Barlowe will receive advance notice of nominations from the floor from now until the time of nominations during the legislative session on June 26. Learn more about how to make a nomination from the floor on the House of Deputies website.
Schedule of Elections and Confirmations
We’ll handle elections over five days in the House of Deputies:
Thursday, June 25
The election of the Secretary of the House of Deputies will be held in the opening legislative session, as part of the organization of the House.
Saturday, June 27
The House of Deputies will vote to confirm or not to confirm the bishops’ choice of presiding bishop, as per Canon I.2.1 (f), after receiving the recommendation of the Legislative Committee on the Confirmation of the Presiding Bishop (Committee #19). I anticipate that the confirmation vote will take place during the afternoon legislative session.
Sunday, June 28
Elections for all positions (except vice president of the House of Deputies and the members of the Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of a Presiding Bishop) will take place during the afternoon legislative session.
Provincial Caucuses will meet immediately following the afternoon legislative session in order to nominate lay and clerical deputies to serve on the Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of a Presiding Bishop.
Monday, June 29
Nominations for vice president of the House of Deputies will take place during the afternoon legislative session. We wait to handle nominations for vice president until after the election of the president because the vice president must be of a different order from the president (Canon I.1.1 (b)).
Tuesday, June 30
Elections for the vice president of the House of Deputies and members of Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of a Presiding Bishop will take place during the afternoon legislative session.
Confirmations of elections by the House of Bishops will be scheduled as messages about the results of those elections are received by the House of Deputies.
Confirmation of the Presiding Bishop
At convention, we will elect and confirm many leaders, but none will likely be as newsworthy as the confirmation of the new presiding bishop. Here’s how that process will work:
The House of Deputies Legislative Committee on the Confirmation of the Presiding Bishop is appointed and is chaired by Deputy Lynn V. Schmissrauter from the Diocese of East Tennessee. The committee will organize for business and will hold a hearing or hearings as required by the House of Deputies Rules of Order.
The House of Bishops will elect a new presiding bishop on Saturday, June 27; in a letter being released today, Bishop Katharine outlines the process that the bishops will follow. Once they have made an election, a delegation from the House of Bishops will bring the name of the bishop who has been elected to me. When I receive the name of the presiding bishop-elect, I will refer the name to the Legislative Committee on the Confirmation of the Presiding Bishop without announcing the name to the House. The legislative committee will make a recommendation to the House of Deputies on whether to confirm or not to confirm the choice of the House of Bishops, and the House will immediately vote on the recommendation. I will appoint a delegation from our House to notify the House of Bishops of the action taken.
The election and confirmation of a presiding bishop is always an exciting time in the House of Deputies, and I look forward both to playing our role as defined by the Canons of the church and the Rules of our House and in sharing in the celebration with the House of Bishops and the wider church.
Thank you for your participation in the election process at General Convention. If you have questions, I hope you will talk with your deputation and ask the General Convention Office and my office where to find any additional information you may need.
I look forward to seeing you in Salt Lake City.
The Rev. Gay Clark Jennings