From The Living Church-
This past year during the clergy conference of the Diocese of Long Island our second day was devoted to the examination of the structures for ministry within our diocese. The day was entitled “Eisenhower is Dead,” encapsulating the notion that it is no longer productive to engage ministry in a 1950s model. The phrase has helped us all to focus on the task at hand - an engagement in ministry development that is adaptive and relevant to the present culture and future times that we believe we are called to serve in the name of Jesus Christ.
We prepare now for General Convention this summer. To do so is to tackle the enormous task of retooling the Episcopal Church for mission and ministry in changing times and circumstances. I believe that when we consider the internal structure that supports ministry (and is not ministry in and of itself); that is, the canonical, constitutional and governmental structures that support mission, we might do well to adapt the phrase: “William White is Dead.”
William White was the second Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church. He was the chief architect of the bicameral system of governance we today call General Convention. He modeled our system on the United States Congress with two houses meeting separately, one a large gathering of elected deputies of both clergy and lay people and the other all the bishops of the church.