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From Columbus: Deputies of Color convene first meeting at convention

By Daphne Mack
6/14/2006
[Episcopal News Service]  After a lengthy round of introductions that revealed national and international representation, the Deputies of Color held their first meeting June 13 to continue compiling and refining the issues most pertinent to their caucus at General Convention.

Deputies of Color — Latino, Native American, African American and Asian — is an ad hoc group formed to enable and support each other while at convention. The group first gathered at the 74th General Convention.

The Rev. Lloyd S. Casson, rector of the Episcopal Church of Saints Andrew & Matthew, Wilmington, Delaware, and one of four caucus leaders, briefed attendees on the discussions at an initial caucus meeting in April which resulted in the first draft of resolutions from the deputies. 

Casson further explained that during the April conference, legislative issues were assigned and small teams formed "who will do the work of exploring the full implications of a report or resolution coming before convention."
 
"Being in this meeting does not mean that we have to be in lock step with one another on everything," said Byron Rushing, member of the Massachusetts State Legislature. "The most important thing here is to be able to give voice to a whole group of people who have not had voice in the Episcopal Church."

Casson said the caucus will meet every other night at 10 p.m., throughout the convention.

Issues and resolutions

Resolution A063, proposed by the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music, is also being studied. It would add several people to the church calendar of saints known as Lesser Feasts and Fasts on a trial basis for the next three years (The trial basis is the standard procedure for calendar changes. The 76th convention could then be asked to make the additions permanent.) One of the seven additions would designate either March 13 or November 8 in memory of the first Black bishop in the Episcopal Church, James Theodore Holly of Haiti.

The issue of adequate funding for ethnic congregational development and maintaining support for the historically black Episcopal colleges is being addressed.

The group is also looking at resolutions A123 and A124, both proposed by the National Concerns Committee of the Executive Council. Both address aspects of slavery.

To see the texts of all resolutions, go to http://gc2006.org/legislation

Other areas of concentration are:

  • Prayer Book revision
  • Church support of the Millennium Development Goals
  • Immigration and border issues
  • Hurricane Katrina rebuilding and poverty relief 
  • Resources for domestic deeds rather than war.
  • Support for the work of Native Americans in the church and beyond
  • Asian health care
  • Latinos and styles of  worship in the church