A Letter from the Deputation

With the bang of the gavel at 6:30 p.m. last night, the 77th General Convention came to a close. As 850+ deputies said their goodbyes and filed out of the Indianapolis Convention Center, a countervailing sense of completion and fatigue seemed to walk with them. Your Georgia deputation was no exception. The past two weeks have demanded our best efforts spiritually, pastorally, theologically, mentally, and even physically. It has been a privilege and joy to serve Christ and his Church in the name of our diocese, and we now look forward to returning home to you and to our families.

As we prepared this year for General Convention, each of us did so with a keen awareness of the broad theological spectrum that exists in the Diocese of Georgia, confirmed by our listening sessions and your many communications with us. Ours is a diocese in which faithful Christians on many sides of several issues find a home. In the Diocese of Georgia, both left and right have their place, and in our common love for Christ, one another, and the mission of God’s Church, the center holds.

For most of us as deputies, this sense of the center was a guiding force in our deliberations and votes. However, voting from the center presents a challenge. Regardless of the complexity of the issue, each matter at General Convention comes down to a final choice of “yes” or “no.” At times, this reality caused each of us to struggle honestly, particularly on the more controversial matters. Sometimes we agreed with the progressive majority; other times we did not; and in many cases we noted that even within our own deputation there were multiple opinions. In the end, our sole intention—both as individuals and as a group—was to vote neither liberally nor conservatively, but faithfully. In doing so, we believe we provided a voice consistent with the life of our diocese, while frequently offering perspectives otherwise underheard in this House of Deputies.

Despite the controversy of a few issues, you should know there were numerous moments of grace that seemed to be the undeniable work of the Holy Spirit. The most surprising of these was a unanimous call to overhaul the way the Episcopal Church structures and governs itself, shifting our denomination’s priorities to mission and ministry by reducing governance and overhead. Also surprising was Canon Frank Logue’s nomination for President of the House of Deputies, which neither he nor we expected. Though he was not ultimately elected (for which we Georgians may be selfishly grateful), his well-supported nomination revealed a strong desire in the church for a new way of doing business. That desire, we hope, will be a major factor in the forthcoming restructuring efforts.

Brothers and sisters, thank you for your trust in sending us as your deputation to General Convention. Your wisdom has guided us, and your prayers have sustained us. We bring you greetings from your brothers and sisters across the church, and we look forward to being home with you very soon.

The Georgia Deputation
77th General Convention


1 Response » to “A Letter from the Deputation”

  1. Fred richter says:

    Welcome home.