More than 120 bishops and 483 deputies will serve on legislative committees at the 80th General Convention, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and House of Deputies President Gay Clark Jennings announced today. The triennial meeting, originally planned for 2021, is now scheduled to take place in Baltimore July 7-14, 2022.
“The composition of these committees and their leadership grows from prayerful discernment and painstaking work,” Curry said. “We sought to hold bishops’ preferences in balance with our strategic focus on diversity, expertise, and experience—all with an eye toward building future church leadership—and I am filled with hope and expectation as we begin the countdown to General Convention.”
For the first time, legislative committees will convene online beginning in November and hold legislative hearings online beginning in February. Schedules of public meetings and hearings will be updated on the General Convention Office website.
“Thanks to the willingness of deputies and bishops to experiment with conducting legislative business online, we have been able to shorten the length of the 80th General Convention to eight legislative days,” Jennings said.
The House of Deputies legislative committees will be the youngest and most racially diverse in recent history, said Jennings. Thirty-six percent of committee officers are deputies of color and 35% of officers are age 40 or younger. Seventy percent of the convention’s 231 deputies of color will serve on committees.
“We took the findings of the recent Racial Justice Audit of Episcopal Leadership into account in appointing House of Deputies legislative committees,” Jennings said. “In particular, we took care to ensure that people of color are leaders on committees addressing all areas of the church’s mission—constitution and canons, evangelism, Title IV, and more—and not just on social justice and racial reconciliation committees where the audit report tells us that people of color can feel pigeonholed.
“Ensuring that House of Deputies legislative committees represent the full diversity of the church will not automatically correct the manifestations of structural racism that exist at General Convention, but I hope that more diverse legislative committee leadership and membership will help us make inroads in eradicating some of the injustice identified by the audit and help General Convention lead our church ever closer to Beloved Community.”
Curry has also named a House of Bishops Legislation Review Committee that comprises bishops and chancellors who will help bishops prepare for the legislative business of convention. Jennings has appointed a House of Deputies Resolution Review Committee, first established in 2015, which will review submitted resolutions to ensure that they are consistent with the polity of the church and in the form required by the canons, and to assess if they have funding implications. Jennings has also appointed the Deputy News Committee, which will publish the House of Deputies News website, newsletter and social media platforms first launched in 2015.