Dear friends,

The funeral for Mimi Doctor will be at 11 a.m. Saturday. Please come to support Titu and his family.

Church news the summer is often slow. This summer, or at least this month, will be different. The Episcopal Church’s General Convention, which meets every three years, will be held in Louisville from June 23-June 28. The General Convention’s structure mirrors that of our government (some of the same people were instrumental in starting both). There are two houses. The House of Bishops is analogous to the Senate. It is made up of all the bishops of the church. The House of Deputies is analogous to the House of Representatives. It is made up of four clergy and four lay delegates (or deputies) from each diocese in the Church. Those deputies are elected from each diocese at annual council meetings.

Resolutions and changes to the canons (laws) of the Church must pass both houses. They are debated and voted on by all attendees. Sometimes on a controversial measure someone will call for a “vote by orders” in the House of Deputies. That means the lay people vote, then the clergy vote. A measure must be approved by both. When I was a deputy from this diocese nine years ago, a “vote by orders” was called when we were discussing changing the language of the marriage canons from “a man and a woman” to “a couple.” It passed both houses, and that is now what the canons say.

What will be of greatest interest this year will be the election of a new Presiding Bishop for the Church. Technically, the presiding bishop’s job is to preside over the House of Bishops, not just at General Convention, but at regular gatherings of the bishops. In reality the job is much more than that. The Presiding Bishop is really the public face of the national Episcopal Church. The term for the job is nine years. Michael Curry is the current presiding bishop. I was there for his election nine years ago. It was very exciting.

What makes this election of particular interest for us is that Bishop Wright is one of the nominees. The election will be on June 26. All of the bishops will gather at some spot away from the convention hall. They will cast ballots until someone has a majority of the votes (there are five candidates). Once they have reached an election they will all come back to the convention center, and Michael Curry and his newly elected successor will enter the House of Deputies (the first time they will know who has been elected). The House of Deputies then votes to concur or not with the election. This is basically a rubber stamp. 

I think Bishop Wright would be excellent in this role. He’d been a good public face for the Episcipal Church. At the same time I’d hate to see him leave. So I guess we in the diocese of Atlanta win either way. You can read more about the convention at I also will be keeping up with things and will let you know any interesting things that occur.

One final word. I have long been an admirer of historian Ken Burns, whose documentaries on PBS are on topics as diverse as the Vietnam War, the National Parks, country music, and baseball. Burns was the graduation speaker at Brandeis University last month. HIs speech is one that everyone should see. The link is below. And thanks to Nancy Knight Latimore for telling me about it. It is well worth your time.

With love,


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