Jennings re-elected President of House of Deputies


    [Episcopal News Service – Salt Lake City] With cheers, shouts and a standing ovation from deputies June 26, the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings was re-elected president of the House of Deputies.

    “It’s been one of the greatest privileges of my life to serve the House of Deputies and The Episcopal Church I love so much,” said Jennings, the first ordained woman to hold the position.

    In a procedural move because she was unopposed for the office, Jennings yielded the chair to deputies’ vice president Byron Rushing on the second legislative day of the 78th General Convention, meeting June 25-July 3 in Salt Lake City.

    She said the Joint Committee on Nominations had presented their nominations and the floor was open for additional names for a variety of church offices, according to the rules of order. Deputies will stand for election Sunday, June 28, Jennings said.

    The Rev. Ernesto Medina, deputy from Nebraska, said Jennings “in a really graceful way, turned the chair over to Byron Rushing the vice president and asked us to refer to him as ‘Mr. President.’ He took the chair and she disappeared. Then he started through the process of nomination for the president of the House of Deputies,” Medina told Episcopal News Service.

    The chair of Dispatch of Business, the Rev. Jim Simons, deputy from Pittsburgh, offered a motion to suspend the rules and to hold the election immediately. Jennings was overwhelmingly elected by voice vote.

    “We all applauded and offered a standing ovation,” said Canon Janet Wylie, deputy from Los Angeles. “It was not a surprise because she was unopposed, but she needed to compose herself before taking the chair again.”

    Jennings said she looks forward to working with the new presiding bishop, who will be elected Saturday, June 27. “It’s a great privilege to be elected by my friends and colleagues, by my fellow deputies in the House of Deputies,” she said.