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Sunday, July 08, 2012

The Caucus Triennial Breakfast

We do this every three years. In the middle of General Convention. At 7:30. In the morning.

The Episcopal Women's Caucus Breakfast, like the Integrity Eucharist, is on everyone's General Convention "must do" list.

This morning, almost 300 people gathered to hear Bonnie Anderson, President of the House of Deputies, talk about emerging forms of leadership and to witness the debut of a documentary on the life of one of the mothers of the Caucus, Marge Christie.

I have lots more to say but first I wanted you to know about the two recipients of the annual Caucus Awards. I'll also have some pictures of the actual awards which are stunningly beautiful and hand made for the occasion by a professional glass blower.

Please join the Caucus Board as we proudly present this years recipients.
Mary Magdalene Award - 2012

The Episcopal Women’s Caucus established the Mary Magdalene Award to lift up and honor the ministry of women who work inside or outside the institutional church. 

These women lavish upon the Christ they see in others with an outrageous outpouring of their gifts, sometimes to the affront of what the institutional church might consider “meet, right and proper so to do”.

This year’s award goes to a woman with such highly developed organizational skills, she even excels in the delicate art of herding cats – especially those ‘Episco-cats’ with a passion for justice – including bishops, priests, deacons, laity and other assorted rag-tag Christians who, as Ed Rodman says, represent “what’s left of The Left”. 

Born in Washington DC, our honoree attended Western Maryland College(now McDaniel College) and Union Theological Seminary, NYC. Her list of activities and accomplishments is long and remarkable. 

She is a Founding Member Episcopal Society for Cultural and Racial Unity (ESCRU) and served as Program Assistant at the Episcopal Church Center in Christian Social Relations/Public Issues from 1967-1972.  She was National Episcopal Peace Fellowship Treasurer 1972-1981, Chair 1982-1985. Executive Secretary, 1989-2001. 

She served on the Editorial Board  ISSUES 1973-2001. She was a Member Standing Commission Anglican and International Peace with Justice Concerns-2000-2006 Co-Chair 2003-2006.

Additionally, she is a Member of
Episcopal Churchpeople for A Free Southern Africa,
Fellowship of Reconciliation
Episcopal Women's Caucus
Episcopal Urban Caucus
Union of Black Episcopalians

She has attended every General Convention in her volunteer, justice-promoting status – but never as a deputy or alternate – since1973 (except 1976).

She also assisted in the formation of the The Consultation, the umbrella for progressive Episcopal groups, and has served as Coordinator since 2001.

Mary Hotchkiss Miller
A member of St. James, Baltimore, she serves as member and secretary of the Altar Guild, Adult Forum, and the Adult Christian Education Forum; she gave her large library of peace and racial justice books to St. James and knits copiously for The St. James (After School) Academy and for the Seaman's Church Institute, New York. 

She also serves as a member of the Diocese of Maryland Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Bishop friends who know her work include PB Browning, Arthur Walmsley, Michael Curry and Eugene Sutton.

Please join me and her husband Ron, their son Timothy and the board members of The Episcopal Caucus as we proudly present this year’s Mary Magdalene Award to Mary Hotchkiss Miller.

The Joseph Award – 2012

The Episcopal Women’s Caucus established the Joseph Award to lift up and honor the ministry of men who work in quiet, unassuming ways inside or outside the institutional church. 

It’s our way of saying “Atta boy!” to those men who are feminists (yes, there are men who are feminists. Many, in fact), and subscribe to the outrageous notion that women are human beings who, as the Chinese say, “lift up half the sky”.

This year’s award goes to a man who has worked tirelessly and quietly behind the scenes. His organizational skills rival only those of the recipient of this year’s Mary Magdalene Award. 

Not only can he herd cats, he can do so with computer spread sheets.

This man assisted in the Integrity Nerve Center in 1997 and ran it in 2000, 2003, 2006 and 2009, doing so with unflappable aplomb and providing assistance not only to Integrity volunteers but freely and lovingly to constituent members of The Consultation. I, for one, find the resources afforded by The Never Center invaluable.

He is Adult Formation Coordinator in the Diocese, a member of Oasis/Rochester (Diocesan LGBT Ministry), a member of the diocesan Communications Team and a consultant to the Commission on Ministry on lay ministry and discernment.

John Clinton Bradley
In his home parish, he is an Education for Ministry mentor (has been for 12 years), led two discernment teams in his parish, manages the parish website and other technological and social media concerns, and serves as a Eucharistic Minister.  

 He is also, of course, the beloved spouse of the rector (and, his rector adds, perhaps more beloved than the rector).

This years recipient of the Joseph Award is an exemplary Christian, a man who uses his gifts in the service of Christ precisely as we Episcopalians outline that service in the Baptismal Covenant. 

We are proud and pleased to honor the Episcopal Women’s Caucus Joseph Award to John Clinton Bradley.


Kittredge Cherry said...

Thanks for these first-hand accounts of the convention. It feels like I am right there!

The awardees at the Episcopal Women’s Conference breakfast are inspiriing. I’m also eager to hear about the vote on another inspiring Episcopal woman, Pauli Murray. I hope you’ll let us readers know if she is added to the official “Holy Women, Holy Men” calendar.

Others have written extensively about her many accomplishments as a civil rights pioneer and cofounder of the National Organization for Women, but material on Murray’s sexuality is hard to find. She was attracted to women and her longest relationships were with women, so she is justifiably considered a lesbian. But she also described herself as a man trapped in a woman’s body and took hormone treatments in the 1930s, so she might even be called a transgender today.

I blogged about Rev. Murray’s queer side today at the Jesus in Love Blog:

Anonymous said...

I hear that Pauli Murray is going to be made a holy one at this convention.
Found this out at Kitt Cherry's Jesusinlove blog.

Hope it happens, she's just amazing, and the story about her today is incredible!!! --Turtle Woman