Anderson will not seek re-election as House of Deputies president

Process for electing new president, vice president announced

By ENS staff
Posted May 23, 2012

[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.

A biography 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

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Comments (4)

  1. Lori Brown says:

    I will never forget your constant source of strength when I was with the Diocese of San Joaquin. You, my friend, are a true inspiration and TEC was honored to have you serve in this most important role. Enjoy your ‘retirement’, your family and all the wonderful times that are coming. Thank you, thank you.

    Lori Brown
    Toronto, Canada

  2. Dianne Lowe says:

    Thank you for your faithfulness to the task in your service. You have set the bar very high indeed. I offer blessings and thanksgivings in gratitude.

  3. Anne Warrington Wilson says:

    Bonnie–blessings on you and your family. Thank you for the gift you have been to our church and the gifts you have shared with all of us.

  4. I, like so many people, want to thank you, Bonnie, for your service to our church as the House of Deputies President. I will keep thanking you through the convention. You have borne this office with so much grace and brilliance. I never really appreciated all your predecessors did, but I have been amazed at how you have taken the reins of leadership and public profession in so many ways since you took office. You have made the House of Deputies really matter between conventions by stepping forward with wisdom in your opinions and teaching on so many of the hard issues that have faced our church. Too often people just think “The Presiding Bishop,” and imagine she or he speaks for the church. Your constant presence, your publishing statements, criticisms, and profound challenges have really given witness to the fact that we, Americans in the United States and some provinces, are not a church of Bishops, rather the whole people of God. You have walked that in an incarnate way that has strengthened our church.

    In addition, I remain totally disgusted that the National Church does not put the President of the House of Deputies on salary. I also know how much and how long you have served as a volunteer in this capacity. For a church that pretends to honor clergy who are not bishops and lay people and has a leadership structure that demands so much from its leadership, this is without reason.
    Susan McGarry, sometime deputy from the Diocese of Michigan (1997, 2000, 2003)

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