6/10/2018

Deputies and Bishops, vote NO on A099: Who needs this?

A099 proposes this addition at its close: "The President of the House of Deputies may, from time to time, assemble the House of Deputies of this Church to meet as a House of Deputies, and set the time, place, and manner of such meetings."

This is a bad idea. 

In the first place, assembling a meeting of the House of Deputies is costly, and the budget is already getting bloated by the same excesses of administration that, in part, led to the need for a full review of the work of the national structures of the Episcopal Church. (What ever happened to that?)

In the second place, the House of Deputies as a house exists only at General Convention. Between Conventions Executive Council carries the work of General Convention forward. No matter what the intent, the reality is that the temptation will exist for interim meetings of the House of Deputies to speak its mind on issues, and sometimes counter to the work of the various committees of Executive Council and General Convention. The House of Bishops needs to be reminded at times that its meetings are, with the exception of areas where that House acts alone, are a gathering, not a formal meeting of the House.  During the time between conventions, the Presiding officers of General Convention do not act in that capacity, but as officers of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society and Executive Council. 

In the third place, the notion that the President of the House of Deputies can call such meetings and setting the time, place and manner of such meetings, is a massive reach for new powers by that office.

This thing involves the creep towards governance by the membership of both houses, with agendas set by their own officers,  and not by the instruments of Executive Council and the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society. 

Don't do it.

1 comment:

  1. Well, there will be the expense to Diocese to send Deputies to such meetings. Since the commitment to attending GC is already 2 weeks of actually being there plus all the work ahead of time to get ready, adding the time commitment of attending meetings called by the PHoD means that those who have to work for a living are less likely to serve as Deputies and more of the governance of the church will be done by those who can afford to be able to go to meetings whenever they are called. To me this is a bad idea!

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