By Zachary Guiliano
The generational breadth of the Episcopal Church was on display in the House of Bishops Thursday morning. The House’s Rules of Order require a full roll call of bishops, active or retired, at the beginning of General Convention. It began with the Rt. Rev. David Richards, former suffragan bishop of Albany and retired bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Central America, who was consecrated in 1951.
A witness of a different sort came when representatives announced that the House of Deputies was open for business. The Rev. Gay Jennings, president of the House of Deputies, sent over all deputies who were born in the 1990s, and Ariana Gonzalez-Bonillas, deputy from Arizona and a rising sophomore at Wellesley College, gave a rousing greeting: “Gooood morning, House of Bishops!” Laughter and applause ensued.
Gonzales-Bonillas has already made her mark on Convention with a short article on June 21 in House of Deputy News: “A young Episcopalian ‘in love with the concept of an all-inclusive church.’”
The Episcopal Youth Presence took centrally located seats in the gallery.
Old ways and new still contend in the bishops’ social media policy. Bishops received a pamphlet on when online conversation was and was not appropriate, and Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori asked those in the gallery and press pool to observe the same rules, although they did not receive the guidelines.
The presiding bishop introduced the different chaplains for the House, as well as those appointed to count votes, noting the different areas of the country they live in. “You will be schooled in different accents each day.”
Image of Salt Palace Convention Center by jnshaumeyer, via Flickr