(Updated with statements)
Dr. Pamela Chinnis, 30th President of the House of Deputies, died last evening (the 24th) at 6:31 p.m. Dr. Chinnis, a lay person, was the first woman to serve as President of the HOD. She is remembered for her many achievements, writings and service to this Church she loved so much.
Current House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson, the second woman to lead the approximately 880-member house, said in a statement that Chinnis “…has given me courage when the going has been rough, and I will miss being able to hear her distinctive voice speaking truth with humor and wisdom….She also was a champion of including the voices of all the baptized in the governance system she cherished and helped to lead.”
Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said “we give thanks for the ground-breaking ministry of Dr. Chinnis as president of the House of Deputies, and give thanks for her life. We hold her and her family in our prayers in this time of grief and thanksgiving for a life well lived. May she rest in peace and rise in glory, and may all who mourn find comfort in the assurance of resurrection.”
(from statement released by Episcopal News Service)
“Dr. Chinnis’ proactive advocacy for LGBT inclusion literally changed the face of The Episcopal Church,” said Integrity President the Reverend Dr. Caro Hall.
“In 1993, as the church looked toward its 1994 General Convention in Indianapolis, Dr. Chinnis became the first President of the House of Deputies to address an Integrity gathering. At that historic meeting she promised to appoint “out” gay and lesbian deputies to legislative committees at the upcoming convention and pledged personal vigilance for “the whole issue of gay and lesbian rights,” speaking, she said, “as the mother of a gay son.”
Please keep her family in your thoughts and prayers. May she rest in eternal peace.