July 2023
Welcome to the House of Deputies Newsletter

Welcome to the Episcopal Church House of Deputies monthly email newsletter. If you're a deputy or an alternate, you've been subscribed automatically. If you've come across this issue in another way and would like to subscribe to this monthly newsletter, you can sign up on our website or on our Facebook page.

Do you have suggestions, ideas, or news about the work of deputies to share? Please email us. Want to learn more about the House of Deputies? Check out our website.
Legislative Committees for The 81st
General Convention
We are thrilled to announce that preparations for the 81st General Convention are well underway! It is time for us to announce the legislative committees that will play a crucial role in shaping the future of our Church. Below is the list of Legislative and Other Committees of the House of Deputies for the 81st General Convention. Returning deputies will notice that many committees look familiar while other committees are new to the 81st General Convention. 
Legislative Committees
  • Rules of Order
  • Constitution & Canons
  • Governance & Structure
  • World Mission
  • Racial Truth-Telling, Reckoning & Healing
  • Social Justice & International Policy
  • Social Justice & United States Policy
  • Congregational Vitality & Data-Driven Initiatives
  • Evangelism & the Future Church
  • Prayer Book Liturgy & Music
  • Formation & Discipleship
  • Agencies & Boards
  • Stewardship & Social Responsible Investing
  • Ecumenical & Interreligious Relations
  • Environmental Stewardship & Care of Creation
  • Safety, Wellness & Mental Health
  • Accessibility & Inclusion
  • Title IV Disciplinary Canons
  • Title III Ministry
  • Confirmation of the Election of the Presiding Bishop
Other Committees
  • Dispatch of Business
  • Certification of Minutes
  • Privilege & Courtesy
  • Credentials
  • Resolution Review 

What are Legislative Committees?
Legislative Committees are fundamental components of the General Convention, responsible for examining proposed resolutions and legislation that address important matters affecting our Church and its members. Each committee is assigned specific resolutions based on their topic area of expertise, and they carefully review, discuss, and amend the proposed resolutions.

How can you participate?
As elected lay and clergy deputies of the Episcopal Church, your participation in these committees is vital, as you will help craft and deliberate upon the resolutions and legislation that will define our path forward. As a Deputy, you have the unique opportunity to contribute actively to the decision-making process at the heart of our Church's governance.

Next month's newsletter will invite all interested deputies to indicate their willingness to serve on a legislative committee during the upcoming 81st General Convention. In the meantime, keep these legislative committees in mind and look for the newsletter in your inbox in late August. 
Report of the Special Committee on the Rules of Order on the House of Deputies
The past General Conventions, particularly the one held amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, presented unique challenges and necessitated certain adaptations in the functioning of The Episcopal Church and the House of Deputies. These experiences and ongoing evolutionary shifts in our operations signaled an opportune moment for a comprehensive reassessment of our rules of order. Recognizing this, President Ayala Harris appointed our committee to explore potential improvements and modifications to these rules for the House of Deputies at the forthcoming General Convention.

Throughout this process, our committee has upheld the democratic ethos that forms the cornerstone of The Episcopal Church. We strongly believe that this is a core value of what it means to be an Episcopalian. To that end we actively sought feedback from deputies and undertook a detailed review of each received comment, the insights from which have significantly informed this draft report. Our recommendations thus not only incorporate key learnings from the COVID-19 Convention and reflect best practices from previous non-COVID conventions. Our guiding principle in this endeavor has been to harmonize the operational needs of the House with the core values of The Episcopal Church and the House of Deputies.

Save The Date: Proposed Rules of Order Online Meeting

September 8th at 3:00pm ET

Join us for a special Zoom meeting to discuss and explain the proposed changes to the House of Deputies Rules of Order for the 81st General Convention. This meeting aims to ensure that everyone understands the proposed revisions. 

Our Rules of Order are crucial in governing our house and maintaining smooth and productive operations. All participants must have the opportunity to gain insights into these proposed changes and voice any questions or clarifications they may have.

We invite you to complete the Feedback form here and attend the zoom meeting. 

More information coming soon
House of Deputies Chaplain's July message
Click here to read video transcript
Cultivating Faithful Leaders: The PHoD engaged youth at EYE
President Ayala Harris with fellow panelist at EYE's closing plenary
President Ayala Harris during her workshop at EYE
The Episcopal Youth Event (EYE) is a gathering of youth aged 15-19 from diverse corners of the globe. They come together on a college campus to share in learning, laughter, and worship. Since EYE takes place only once every three years, for many attendees, EYE 2023 presented a unique opportunity that they may not encounter again.

The theme for the 2023 event was "Regreso A Casa: A New Age of Faith." This bilingual theme underscores a sense of "homecoming," symbolizing a return to one's spiritual roots and embracing a fresh era of faith. The youth and their adult chaperones focused on the Biblical story in Ester and how she was called "for such a time as this..." 

President Ayala Harris delivered a workshop on church governance, shedding light on the importance of active youth participation in shaping the future of the Church that fosters inclusion and diversity within our faith community. Additionally, through games and story-telling, she highlighted the Church's commitment to recognizing the voices and perspectives of our young members. As the ultimate church geek, the president also promoted the Official Youth Presence of the House of Deputies to the 81st General Convention. 

Throughout the event, the atmosphere was filled with joy and spiritual energy as attendees wholeheartedly embraced the opportunity to connect with one another and with Jesus. It was truly a spirit-filled gathering where friendships were formed and a deeper understanding of faith and purpose was cultivated.

‘It’s All About Love’ festival: Closing sermon from House of Deputies
President Julia Ayala Harris
May the words of my mouth and meditation of our hearts reflect your truth and love, our Guide and our Redeemer.

Please be seated. Good morning, church. How is your soul this morning? Is your cup feeling filled? Is it feeling overfilled? Can you feel that the Spirit—she is here with us this morning. You feel her? She’s moving. She’s tickling our souls, and what a blessing it is to be here with you all.

Before I get started, more gratitude: I want to thank all those who organized this event, who made this possible, who told us revival in The Episcopal Church is a thing that we can do. I’ll start with Canon Stephanie Spellers and Jerusalem Greer and the teams of reconciliation, evangelism and creation care. Our fantastic interpreters that have been with us this whole time. The development office who also made this possible. Our communications department behind all the cameras and gadgets, the Diocese of Maryland. We’re back again. Good to be here. All those of you who presented workshops, who shared your knowledge; and, of course, our brother in Christ, our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry.

Thank you all again. It is so good to be here. I can’t tell you. To share stories of mission and ministry, of our identities in Christ; to discuss our passions and hopes and dreams for the future. I’ve been walking around, and I’m hearing and meeting so many of you and hearing stories about you and your ministry, personal stories about your life in the church. I’ve also heard a whole lot of stories from our teenagers over at the Episcopal Youth Event, EYE. But I’ll talk about that later. This morning, I want us to take a moment to reflect on the importance of story-making.

House of Deputies' Future Church Panel at
‘It’s All About Love’ festival
The Future Church Panel at the Episcopal Church's It's All About Love festival this past July 9 -10 was enlightening and uplifting. The panel consisted of five panelists: Deputy Charles Graves (Texas), Deputy Yoimel Gonzalez (Washington), Deputy David Sibley (Spokane), Deputy Nathan Brown (Washington), and Former Deputy Martha Gardner (Massachusetts).

The panel's discussions centered on three priorities: Accessibility, Inclusivity, and Safety. During the panel discussion, the panelists tackled two crucial questions with great insight and wisdom. First, they shared their hopes for the future of the Episcopal Church, envisioning a community that continues to grow in faith, compassion, and service to others. They emphasized the importance of adapting to the changing times while staying true to the church's core values.

The second question addressed the priorities of the House of Deputies at the 81st General Convention. Each panelist offered unique perspectives from their important vantage points, underscoring the significance of moving forward with a Jesus-centered, collaborative, and courageous approach to shaping the church's path ahead.

Attendees were inspired and hopeful as they discussed their shared love for Jesus and the Church. The Church's dedication to being accessible to all, embracing inclusivity, and ensuring a safe environment for everyone resonated deeply with those present.
So Flows Our River: The PHoD gives Gala Keynote at UBE 55th annual conference
The 55th annual conference of the Union of Black Episcopalians took place on July 24-26, 2023. The event brought together a diverse community of Episcopalians to foster purpose, faith, and unity. Through discussions, spiritual enrichment, and collaborative workshops, the conference reaffirmed its commitment to promoting equality and inclusivity within the Church and society at large. President Ayala Harris was humbled to have been asked to give the keynote address for the awards banquet, where she focused her remarks on how the Church is being called into a season of truth-telling, transparency, and accountability. Many attendees left inspired and empowered to continue advocating for positive change and building bridges of understanding within their congregations and communities.
Around the House
We want to hear about what's happening around the House. 

The House of Deputies is full of members that are not only working on resolutions but are also doing fantastic work in their congregations, dioceses, and the country. If you are a deputy doing amazing work or know of someone who is, share it with us today.

Get in touch with President Ayala Harris
President Ayala Harris wants to connect with you and support our church's ministries and groups. Here are the different ways you can get in touch with her and the office of the house of deputies: 

Follow President Ayala Harris
President Ayala Harris is sharing her travels and journey as President of the house of deputies. If you would love to join her, we invite you to follow her social media accounts.