House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson, in her opening and closing remarks at the recently concluded Executive Council of the Episcopal Church meeting, emphasized “…the essential role of laypeople and clergy in church governance and the Five Marks of Mission as a guidepost and measuring stick for our work in the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion.”
From the opening remarks:
Now, as you’re all aware, our governance structure’s work hasn’t been the only work happening recently. In October, Bishop Stacy Sauls presented a proposal for restructuring the church to the House of Bishops at its meeting in Quito, Ecuador. I wasn’t there- coincidentally, I was meeting with my Council of Advice at the time- and so I heard about the proposal through Episcopal News Service and my friends in the House of Bishops who were kind enough to talk with me about what was being discussed. Let me tell you candidly, and I have said this to Bishop Sauls directly, that having this proposal released to the House of Bishops before it was discussed with all of you, who are working hard on structure and budget issues, makes me worry that we are forgetting what Pam Chinnis taught us about the place of clergy and lay people in the church and the witness of our governance. I am worried about the outcome of a structure conversation that starts by leaving out clergy and lay people….
The closing remarks focused on the Five Marks of Mission:
• To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom.
• To teach, baptize and nurture new believers
• To respond to human need by loving service
• To seek to transform unjust structures of society
• To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of
Links to the pdf of the complete remarks can be found at the webpage of the President of the House of Deputies of the Episcopal Church.