[Episcopal News Service] Bonnie Anderson has announced that she will not stand for re-election as president of the House of Deputies during the July 5-12 meeting of General Convention in Indianapolis.
In a May 23 announcement letter to the deputies and first alternates of the Episcopal Church’s General Convention, Anderson said she plans to spend more time with her family.
“I have been honored beyond measure to lead this house, and gratified to observe the many ways in which Deputies and Alternates serve and lead God’s Church, both when General Convention is in session and when it is not,” she said in her letter. “Your voices resonate not only within the great representative diversity of General Convention, but also in our communities and in commissions during the triennium, in vestries, and in the leadership roles you hold in our congregations, dioceses and provinces.”
“I am grateful for the service Bonnie Anderson has given to the Episcopal Church over many, many years,” said Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori in a statement issued May 23. “She has been tireless in her advocacy for lay persons in the life and governance of this Church — a distinctive part of our identity. I understand something of the personal cost of her ministry, and pray that her retirement from this office will be a source of deep blessing for her and her family. Well done, good and faithful servant.”
The president of the House of Deputies is elected every three years to serve throughout the triennium. Anderson was vice president of the House of Deputies and a lay deputy from the Diocese of Michigan when she was elected at the 2006 General Convention to serve as president of the House of Deputies. She was re-elected at the 2009 General Convention.
She is a past president of the Standing Committee in the Diocese of Michigan and as a lay deputy she served on the Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget & Finance (PB&F) for four terms and served as its president for two terms.
Since being elected as president of the House of Deputies, Anderson has served as vice president of the Episcopal Church’s Executive Council, the elected body that carries out programs and policies adopted by the General Convention and oversees the ministry and mission of the church. The president also appoints the lay and clergy members to most committees, commissions, agencies and boards that serve the church.
The process for electing a new president, as well as a new vice president, was announced May 24 and is available here.
The full text of Anderson’s letter follows.
Dear Deputies and First Alternates,
I write to you for two reasons: to thank you for your support, friendship, prayers, challenges, brilliance and love that has inspired and humbled me during these 6 years and second, to let you know that I do not plan to stand for election as President of the House of Deputies for another term.
The reason I am not seeking re-election is a simple one: I want to spend more time with my family. My husband, Glen, is retired. I want to be with him more. Our amazing son, Justin, lives with us and reminds us every single day, by his very existence, that God is a generous miracle maker. I want to celebrate Justin’s life by being with him every day. I want to bake cakes with my grandchildren and go to all their band concerts, soccer games and school plays. I want to have leisurely phone conversations with my daughters. You get the picture.
By tomorrow, you will receive information on the process for electing a President and Vice President while we are in Indianapolis.
I have been honored beyond measure to lead this house, and gratified to observe the many ways in which Deputies and Alternates serve and lead God’s Church, both when General Convention is in session and when it is not. Your voices resonate not only within the great representative diversity of General Convention, but also in our communities and in commissions during the triennium, in vestries, and in the leadership roles you hold in our congregations, dioceses and provinces. In my 21 years in the House, and my two terms as your president, I have been reminded again and again of our forebears’ wisdom in creating a system of governance that honors the simple theological truth that the Holy Spirit blows where she will, and that to discern God’s purposes, we must listen to the voices of all of the baptized.
Please know that I will serve the House of Deputies as President at full capacity until the “gavel goes down” on July 12 in Indianapolis.
Peace and blessings,
Bonnie Anderson, D.D.
President, The House of Deputies
Almighty and everliving God, source of all wisdom and understanding, be present with those who take counsel in General Convention for the renewal and mission of your Church. Teach us in all things to seek first your honor and glory. Guide us to perceive what is right, and grant us both the courage to pursue it and the grace to accomplish it; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
—The Book of Common Prayer