By G. Jeffrey MacDonald
The House of Deputies has concurred with the House of Bishops in creating a staff position for liturgy and music. The position on the presiding bishop’s staff will cost $380,000 for the triennium, according to Resolution A195, and will focus on spreading the church’s liturgical resources in digital formats.
The staff person will support work assigned to the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music in the creation, translation, and dissemination of digital versions of approved liturgies. These could eventually include resources collected via a liturgical renewal project approved by General Convention.
The vote was relatively close, with 44 percent of deputies voting against it. Because liturgy and music are central to the Episcopal Church’s life and identity, supportive deputies said, their digital distribution should be supported by professional staff. Others said the position is unnecessary.
“When staff are added, other church employees may be in danger of having their contracts closed,” said Fredrica Harris Thompsett, a deputy from Massachusetts and member of Executive Council. “I love music, but I think this is a luxury.”