Monday, August 31, 2009

Longtime Lay Leader Betty Connelly Dies

From The Living Church- (I worked with Betty at several General Conventions. She was a wonderful woman and she will be missed).

Betty Connelly, a national leader among Episcopalians during the 1980s and 1990s, died early Thursday in Newport Beach, Calif. The Rt. Rev. Jon Bruno, Bishop of Los Angeles, announced Mrs. Connelly's death in a letter to clergy and lay leaders of the diocese.

Mrs. Connelly represented the diocese as a six-time deputy to General Convention (from 1982 to 1997) and was appointed an honorary canon of the Cathedral Center of St. Paul in 1993. She was a member of Executive Council (1982-88) and of the Church Pension Fund’s board of trustees.

She was a leader in the Anglican Fellowship of Prayer and one of the diocese's representatives of the Presiding Bishop's Fund for World Relief (now Episcopal Relief and Development). She was president of Episcopal Church Women and presided at its Triennial in 1979.
“Many of us knew Betty as a trusted friend and adviser for many years, and she will be greatly missed,” Bishop Bruno wrote.

Mark Pinsky wrote about Ms. Connelly for the Los Angeles Times during the General Convention of 1985, noting how Ms. Connelly drafted a resolution calling for a committee to study the status of women, and how that resolution passed on a voice vote.
“Women have indeed come a long way on the road to equality” in the Episcopal Church, Mr. Pinsky quoted her as saying, “and it will be interesting to get an idea of just how far.

However, even more important, it is very necessary for our church to hear from those who do not feel affirmed in their ministries, and to discover ways to help them find their place in the Body of Christ.
“I would hope that the members of this House would make their wishes known so that there will be no delay in the appointment of this commission and they may begin work.”

Ms. Connelly, who was born in Los Angeles in 1924, was a graduate of Pomona College.
She is survived by Dan Connelly, her husband of 63 years; two sons, Richard of Shell Beach, Calif., and Patrick of West Chester, Pa.; one daughter, Kathi Liebermann of Newport Beach; nine grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren. A memorial Eucharist is scheduled for 11 a.m. September 12 at St. Michael and All Angels’ Episcopal Church in Corona del Mar.

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