We don’t have much by way of details yet, but scuttlebutt from the House of Bishops suggests that it may be worth discussing whether the Episcopal Church would be better served if General Convention abolished the Houses of Bishops and Deputies and met unicamerally.
What are your thoughts? I don’t have a well developed opinion on this issue in the abstract, and would like to hear from people who pay attention to this sort of thing.
Obviously, the composition of this body would matter. How many bishops, how many clergy, how many laity? Also, diversity might be an issue because if we are to include all of the bishops, or even all diocesan bishops in the new assembly, we start with a very white, very male and possibly rather old group.
Also, if the bishops continued to meet twice a year (as they do now) and the other members of the unicameral assembly met only at General Convention, power in the church would shift away from convention and toward the bishops’ meeting. I don’t currently object to the bishops meeting twice a year–Being a bishop is a lonely job.–but if it became the primary place at which policy could be discussed, formulated and then brought as a package to the convention, I think it would be very difficult for lay people and clergy to play a significant role in the governance of the church.
On the other hand, the Lutherans meet unicamerally, if I am not mistaken, and if it works for them (Does it? I don’t know.) maybe it can work for us.
Just to lay my own cards on the table, disclosure wise, my communications firm does work for the President of the House of Deputies, and, at the moment, four bishops.