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Re: deputies of color
> Don't deputies to convention represent the church, not the community @ large?
Deputies represent ourselves. That's why we are called 'deputies,'
not 'delegates' or 'representatives.' We are elected to vote our
private consciences out of the church's conviction that we should be
open to the prompting of the Holy Spirit in the experience at General
Convention, and not bound to what we might discern to be the consensus
in the dioceses that elect us. That is why dioceses do well to elect
as deputies persons whose consciences they respect.
> I think the statistics you present represent the failure of the church in
> the minority communities, not the failure of the church to find deputies of
Quite likely. That's still a very important indictment to heed. Not
until welcome occurs at the parish level will we see significant
changes at the diocesan level and at General Convention.
When you look at my account of deputies of color related to persons of
color in the general population, you can hear echoes of "Save the
Confederate Money, Boys, Cause the South's Gonna Rise Again." See
> I would like to see statistics that show state by state percentages
> of Episcopalians of color and then show the percentages of deputies of color.
> I believe this would better reflect the polity of the church.
Yes it would, but ECUSA does not collect racial demographics of
congregations, nor does any diocese that I know of. Few corporations
would dare not know the racial demographics of their market. Go
figure. How many white Episcopalians know know which media
specifically address persons of color in their communities, and how
many predominately white Episcopal parishes take out ads in those
Some time ago a parish struggling for survival met with us on the
Standing Committee. I looked up the racial demographics and found
that their zip code has the highest concentration of Asian Americans
of any zip code in our diocese, yet when I visited the parish I saw no
evidence of Asian Americans anywhere except their Day Care Center.
Although my parish is about 70 percent persons of color, the Episcopal
Church as I encounter it in most other places is the whitest community
to which I give time. It is whiter than my family, whiter than those
who live in my apartment building, whiter than those who attend my
campus (over 60 percent of our students go home to speak another
language at night), and whiter than my city.
Yet most white Episcopalians are far more likely to encounter persons
of color at their parish on Sunday morning than in their living room
on Saturday night.
We know full well the place of color in the heavenly realm: "Man
looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart." It
appears that on matters of race most Episcopalians are vowed and
determined to put off the coming of the heavenly realm for as long as
Thank you for sharing my concerns.
L Crew, Box 30, Nwk, NJ 07101. 973-485-4503.
bcc: Deputies and Bishops Discussion