Structure Task Force members: who they are, what they do

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings, President of the House of Deputies, today announced the names of the 24 members of the task force charged by General Convention with presenting a plan to the next General Convention “for reforming the Church’s structures, governance, and administration."

(Read the official media release.)

Here are a few pertinent facts:

The Task Force for Church Structural Reform is composed of 24 members. Four members are bishops, nine are priests, one is a deacon and ten are lay people. Five are currently members of the House of Deputies.

Three members of the task force are under 30; eight are in their 30s; five are in their 40s; four are in their 50s; and four are age 60 or older. Nine are people of color.

The task force is both younger and more diverse than the church at large. Fifty-six percent of the church and 33 percent of the task force is over the age of 50. Only about 15 percent of Episcopalians, but 37.5 percent of task force members are people of color.

The task force includes the former head of the Church Pension Group and a number of members with backgrounds in corporate consulting, organizational development and clinical psychology.

Below, we have provided links to either brief biographies of the members, or, when those were not available, to news stories in which the members were quoted. In some cases, the links do not convey a sense of what the member brings to the work of the task force, and we hope to add that information throughout the day.

You can help us by telling us what you know about the members in the comments.

The Rev. Jennifer L. Adams, Diocese of Western Michigan. Adams is rector of Grace Episcopal Church in Holland, Michigan, a five time deputy to General Convention, and co-convener of the Chicago Consultation, which works on equality issues in the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion and convened a meeting of bishops and young leaders before General Convention 2012.

The Rev. William H. Allport, II, Diocese of West Texas.(Alport is rector of St. Helena’s Episcopal Church in Boerne, Texas. He and his wife Carrie founded the Meat and Potatoes Ministry Collective.

The Rev. Joseph M.C. Chambers, Diocese of Missouri. Chambers is a campus minister at Washington University in St. Louis.

Canon Judith G. Conley, Diocese of Arizona. Conley, a lay canon, is a longtime deputy to General Convention and former president of the Union of Black Episcopalians.

Bishop Michael Bruce Curry, Diocese of North Carolina. Curry is widely considered one of the best preachers in the Episcopal Church. His diocese recently assembled a slate of candidates for suffragan bishop that was notable for its youth and the high proportion of female candidates.

Bishop C. Andrew Doyle, Diocese of Texas. Doyle is one of a handful of bishops to make effective use of social media.

The Rev. Miguelina Espinal-Howell, Diocese of Newark. Howell, who was born and raised in the Dominican Republic, is rector of Church of the Epiphany in Orange, NJ.

Professor Victor A. Feliberty-Ruberte, Diocese of Puerto Rico. Feliberty-Ruberte is a dean and professor at the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico and a member of the church's Disciplinary Board for Bishops.

The Venerable Robert Anton Franken, Diocese of Missouri. Franken, a deacon, heads a consulting firm and has worked on organizational strategy with a number of dioceses.

Dr. Catharine George, Diocese of New Jersey. George is a director at McKinsey and Company, a large consulting firm.

Bishop Mary Gray-Reeves, Diocese of El Camino Real. Gray-Reeves diocese maintains an ongoing tri-province relationship with a diocese in Tanzania and one in England.

Ian L. Hallas, Diocese of Chicago. Hallas, 22, has seved as a deputy at three General Conventions. He is a student at Rice University.

Julia Ayala Harris, Diocese of Florida. Harris, is executive director of Lutheran Social Services of North Florida, and has worked in Kenya and South Sudan.

The Rev. Dr. Bradley S. Hauff, Diocese of Pennsylvania. Hauff, a Lakota Sioux, is a clinical psychologist and was one of the sponsors of legislation that led the Episcopal Church to renounce the Doctrine of Discovery.

The Rev. Leng Leroy Lim, Diocese of Los Angeles. Lim, an MBA, is an executive coach, management consultant and lives in San Francisco and Singapore.

Thomas A. Little, Esq. Diocese of Vermont. Little, a former member of the Vermont legislature is longtime chancellor of that diocese.

The Rev. Canon Craig W. Loya, Diocese of Kansas. Loya is canon to the ordinary in the Diocese of Kansas.

Sarah Miller, Diocese of Alabama. Miller an alumnus of the Episcopal Service Corps program in New Orleans is a first year seminarian at Sewanee.

The Rev. Kevin D. Nichols, Diocese of New Hampshire. Nichols is rector of St. Andrew's Church in Hopkinton.

Bishop Sean W. Rowe, Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania. When he was elected five years ago, Rowe was the youngest bishop in the Anglican Communion. He is pursuing doctoral studies in organizational development.

Margaret B. Shannon, Diocese of Texas. Shannon is a director of Matador Resources, an oil and gas exploration company.

T. Dennis Sullivan, Diocese of New York. Sullivan is former president and CEO of the Church Pension Group.

Jonathan McKenzie York, Diocese of North Carolina. York is a sophomore at Duke University and was part of the official youth presence at General Convention 2012.

The Rev. Dr. Dwight J. Zscheile, Diocese of Minnesota. Zscheile is is assistant professor of congregational mission and leadership at Luther Seminary, and author of People of the Way. He has written extensively about reorganizing the church.

The Very Rev. Peter Elliott of the Anglican Church of Canada, dean of the Diocese of New Westminster and rector of Christ Church Cathedral in Vancouver; and the Rev. Sathianathan Clarke, Th.D., of the Church of South India, who is the Bishop Sundo Kim Chair in World Christianity and professor of theology, culture and mission at Wesley Theological Seminary.

Comments (4)

7 of the 24 are women? Really? It looks like a terrific group of folks, but c'mon! Fewer than 30% of the group tasked with visioning the future of our church are women? How unfortunate.

PAMELA RW KANDT
Episcopal Women's Caucus

[Editor's note: 8, actually]

Pamela: What percentage would you like? I suspect quite a number of qualified women were either not nominated, declined nomination, or (especially) serve in other capacities in TEC. I seriously doubt that Gay Jennings and Katherine Jefferts Schori could be accurately labeled as biased towards men.

I'm a little confused. I thought that a significant % of task force members were supposed to be Episcopalians who do not primarily exercise formal Episcopal Church authority. I see very few task force members who aren't directly engaged in the denomination's present means and ways of "being church." https://www.ctepiscopal.org/Content/Restructuring_The_Episcopal_Church.asp

I'd be interested to know how many are current or former members of Executive Council.

Also, who is the chair? 24 seems in danger of being unwieldy. I'll be disappointed if one of the Rt. Revs. ends up chairing.

-Jesse

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