The 79th General Convention of the Episcopal Church begins July 5 in Austin TX, and your deputation from the Diocese of Southern Ohio has worked hard to get ready! Your deputies were elected in 2016 by Diocesan Convention and charged with the responsibility of considering the work of the church from the time of their election to the time that the next deputation is elected. We are also charged with reporting back to our home diocese the events of the GC and of making ourselves available to discuss and answer questions with the members of the church.
So as General Convention begins, we wanted to send out a quick hello and invite you to communicate with us throughout the process and beyond!
We asked each member of the deputation to answer a few brief questions that will help the diocese get to know them better.
1. Give us a quick tour of your experiences within the Church
2. What Committee (if any) are you following or serving on at GC79?
3. What is something you’re really looking forward to about GC79?
4. What do you think will be the most lively debate at GC79?
5. What else do you want the diocese to know about you?
6. What’s your favorite hymn?
The Rev. Canon Scott Gunn, Clergy Deputy C1, Deputation Chair
Christ Church Cathedral, Cincinnati
1. I’ve been a deputy three times (2009, 2012, 2015), a parish priest, active in diocesan leadership in two dioceses, and I serve at Forward Movement, a ministry of the wider Episcopal Church.
2. Evangelism and Church Planting
3. Enjoying our church in greater diversity, all united in discerning how we are called to make disciples in our time and our place.
4. Issues around the budget and liturgical revisions, including same-sex marriage provision
5. I hope people will feel free to contact me with questions or comments before, during, or after General Convention. That, and I blog about most of the General Convention resolutions (www.sevenwholedays.org)
6. I bind unto myself today (Hymn 370)
Debby Stokes, Lay Deputy L4, Deputation Co-Chair
St. Philip’s, Columbus
1. Current chair of the Racism Task Force in Southern Ohio, served on several Standing Commissions for the Episcopal Church, Lay Licensed Preacher for the Diocese of Southern Ohio, Lay Eucharistic Minister and Visitor, Altar Guild member, choir member, Deputy to General Convention for a number of years.
2. Legislative Committee on reviewing the past resolution on the Prayer Book and Marriage resolutions
3. Seeing old friends and meeting new ones. Conversations that will be held on tough issues.
6. His Eye is on the Sparrow
Meghan Western, Lay Deputy L2
St. James, Clintonville (Columbus)
1. I am a cradle Episcopalian from the Diocese of SW Florida, and since moving to Columbus in 1998, I have attended St. Stephen’s and St. James, which is to say I’ve lived many sides of the liturgical coin! I have been an choir member and an altar server/thurifer since childhood, have served on Vestry, and currently serve on Diocesan Council. This is my first time as a Deputy to General Convention.
2. Hoping to follow Social Justice and US Policy
3. I’m looking forward to meeting people from across TEC and the world as a member of the Episcopal Branch of the Jesus Movement.
4. I anticipate that the Prayer Book Revision discussions will be quite rousing.
5. I am a performing artist by trade, a wife and mother by love and God’s will, and a loudmouth when it comes to situations of importance! I’m tweeting the CG experience @littledeputydso
6. Picardy (Let All Mortal Flesh)
Cathy Bagot, Lay Deputy L1
1. Vestry, Licensed Worship Leader, Commission on Ministry (retired), Commission on Congregational Life, Standing Committee, Bexley Seabury Seminary Trustee (retired)
2. Following Formation and Diocesan and Congregational Health
3. Participating in discussions and decisions that will help people experience the love of God and follow Jesus in our current world, focusing on the kingdom in our midst.
4. All things liturgical
5. I’m a “connector” so I’m really looking forward to meeting people from around the church
6. So many hymns … so little time …
The Rev. Canon Manoj M. Zacharia, Clergy Deputy C2
Christ Church Cathedral, Cincinnati
1. As a cradle Anglican, my memory of faith began as a seven year old acolyte at Grace Episcopal Church (Orange County, New York.) Subsequently, we began becoming more active at the St. Thomas Mar Thoma Church (which was consecrated by The Rt. Rev. Paul Moore, Bishop of New York.) My discernment for ordained ministry occurred in a context of prayer following stints on Congressional staff and Wall Street. My theological training was at the Mar Thoma Seminary, India, and The General Theological Seminary.
I have served as as a cleric in four (4) churches in communion with the See of Canterbury (Mar Thoma, Church of South India, Anglican Church of Canada, The Episcopal Church.) Prior to coming to the Diocese of Southern Ohio, I was rector of a flourishing multi-cultural congregation in the Diocese of Newark. I have served on the Board of the World Student Christian Federation, Staten Island Council of Churches, Canadian Council of Churches, Budget and Finance (Newark,) Diocesan Council (Newark), Constitution and Canons Committee (Newark), The Standing Commission on Ecumenical and Inter-religious relations (2012-2015), and EIRC (Southern Ohio.)
2. Ecumenical and Inter-religious
3. Engaging in the deliberate and prayerful process of embracing and living into the Jesus movement!
4. That depends on where one wants to focus. I am passionate about global mission and ecumenical matters.
5. I love Southern Ohio!
6. Strengthen for service, Lord (312)
Harold Patrick, Lay Alternate 1
St. Matthew’s, Westerville
1. I am a cradle Episcopalian and have been a member of nine different dioceses in eight different states. I am a member of the vestry, Chair of Partners in Ministry in Liberia, Co-Chair Refugee Outreach Committee, Delegate to Diocesan Convention, Member of Diocesan Council, Chair of Budget Committee, Member of Blended Congregations Task Force, and Alternate Deputy to General Convention.
2. Racial Justice and Reconciliation
3. Seeing how we each individually respond to the call of the same Spirit.
5. I am joined in Holy Matrimony with God and Cherie.
6. I am the bread of life. It is a tradition in our family and will be the last hymn that I will not hear.
The Rev. Paula M. Jackson, Clergy Deputy C3
Church of Our Saviour/La Iglesia de Nuestro Salvador, Cincinnati
1. Fifth term as GC alternate or deputy for DSO. Have served in DioKY and DSO with Commissions/Departments on Youth/YAdults, Education, Liturgy, Sexuality, Latino Ministry, Social Justice.
2. Social Justice & US Policy, Social Justice for Women
3. Working with the Committees to help TEC articulate our best witness in today’s world
4. There are always lively and respectful conversations on many topics. One to which I look forward is the ongoing necessary evolution of our common worship in a multicultural and multilingual society.
5. I plan to continue my practice of posting a brief bilingual note each night of Convention– check my FaceBook page or the FB Group of Church of Our Saviour/La Iglesia de Nuestro Salvador.
6) Two favs: Lift Every Voice/Levanten Cada Voz, and I Bind Unto Myself/Me Ato a Mí
The Rev. John Agbaje, Clergy Alternate 2
St. Andrew’s, Cincinnati
1. Rector of St. Andrew’s, Cincinnati, deputy to General Convention in Anaheim, CA. Deputy alternate in Indianapolis, Dean of Convocation in the Diocese of VA.
3. Representing the diocese and learning about how the Church works when we all gather together.
4. I will wait and see.
5.That I am a team player and that I will bring back my experience to the group and to St. Andrew’s
6. Blessed Assurance
The Rev. Richard ‘Dick’ Burnett, Clergy Alternate 1
1. Ordained a priest for 35 years, rector of Trinity, Columbus for 20 years, active in community ministry and ecumenical/Interreligious relations in Columbus, and state/nationally.
2. Ecumenical & Interreligious Relations
3. Work related to #MeToo justice and racial truth-telling & reconciliation
4. Prayer Book revision/renewal
5. Naturally an Owl (night worker and socializer) but with GC legislative committee work and hearings I also become a Lark for two weeks!
6. All my hope on God us founded #665
The Rev. Jason Prati, Clergy Deputy C4
All Saints, New Albany
1. I have been a priest for over 16 years being ordained in the Roman Church. I was received as an Episcopal priest in 2013. I am currently serving as the Rector of All Saints Church in New Albany, OH. I am member of the Commission on Ministry, the Liturgy and Music Commission as well as the “Big Read” Committee. I am also a co-founder of a new intentional community called The Community of Mary, Mother of the Redeemer.
2. Credentials Committee
3. I am really looking forward to seeing the diversity and catholicity of our Communion alive and vibrant at GC as well as getting to know my sisters and brothers from all walks of life and places who are excited about the Jesus Revolution!
4. My deepest hope is that we will have a lively discussion on Evangelism as we continue to allow the Holy Spirit to set us on fire in bringing the message of the redemptive love of Jesus Christ to the world.
5. I am a full-fledged Harry Potter fan! Evangelizing through the imagination is a powerful tool in bringing others in to the Jesus Movement: this Revolution of Love that conquers death! Accio awesomeness!
6. Alleluia, Sing to Jesus
Elizabeth (Lissa) Barker, Lay Deputy L3
St. Patrick’s, Dublin
1. Lay Reader, Lay Eucharistic Minister, Choir, Stephen Minister, Parish Nurse, Diocesan Council (1st VP) Lay Deputy(Salt Lake City) Lay Deputy Alternate (Indianapolis), EFM Mentor, Vestry (former)
2. Committee 5 World Mission
3. Meeting people from other Dioceses and seeing the vitality of this church
4. US Constitutional Amendment 2 debate; Relationship with the Anglican Church worldwide
5. I have done mission work all over the world, I am a fierce advocate of health and wellness education, I am a Family Nurse Practitioner, I am a veteran of 36 years in the United State Navy, a Professor of Clinical Nursing (emeritus) of The Ohio State University College of Nursing
6. Amazing Grace
Compiled by Meghan Western, Lay deputy L2 from St. James, Clintonville