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Deputies of color to caucus on common issues, resolutions

Deputies of color will unite for a second General Convention to address various issues and resolutions. At a weekend conference in Columbus in April, 48 of the more than 200 deputies of color who will be at convention began discussions to identify resolutions most pertinent to the caucus.

“We wanted to explore in broad strokes what the issues are,” said the Rev. Lloyd S. Casson of Delaware. “We represent a very broad group of people, so our concerns are not homogenous.”
The deputies who are Hispanic, Native American, African American and Asian form an ad hoc group to support one another during the convention. They first gathered three years ago.

“We are not an ongoing organization,” said Casson. “We all have caucuses of one kind or another, and this is not to supplant what those individual caucuses do. But it is to recognize that it’s important for us to have a concerted thrust at convention.” An important resolution the group will consider is the presiding bishop election, Casson said. “We’ll be looking together at the candidates and hopefully coming to a unified position as to who would most represent the whole church.”

The bishops will elect the successor to Presiding Bishop Frank T. Griswold on June 18, after which the deputies will be asked to concur. Another item of interest is Resolution A063, proposed by the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music, which would add seven people to the church’s calendar known as Lesser Feasts and Fasts on a trial basis for the next three years. One of those is in memory of the first black Episcopal bishop, James Theodore Holly of Haiti.

The group also is examining the issue of adequate funding for ethnic congregational development and maintaining the support for the historically black colleges, Casson said.