You are here

Hear from the GC81 Deputies

The Newark deputation, including first alternates, with Bishop Hughes, and Meredith McKeever of the Official Youth Presence. NINA NICHOLSON PHOTO
Nina Nicholson, Director of Communications
The Newark deputation, including first alternates, with Bishop Hughes, and Meredith McKeever of the Official Youth Presence. NINA NICHOLSON PHOTO

Near the end of the 81st General Convention in Louisville, KY, five deputies representing the Diocese of Newark shared their experiences and reflections. (Time: 4:56.)

Video Transcript

I'm Father George Dredden from Trinity and St. Phillip's Cathedral, your diocesan cathedral, and I am a first time delegate.

Reverend Grant Mansfield from St George's. It is also my first time here as a deputy at General Convention.

I'm Jewels Quelly. My parish is St James' in Hackettstown, and I am a first time deputy.

I'm Anne Kitch, I'm the rector of St Luke's Church in Phillipsburg, and this is my sixth General Convention, the second as a deputy from the Diocese of Newark.

Janelle Grant, I worship at St Paul's, Paterson, this is my fourth time being a part of the deputation for General Convention.

[Grant Mansfield] One of the things that I have found particularly moving is how we as a deputation have come together to support one another and to collaborate together. I give a special thanks to our fellow deputy, Laura Russell, who has been so great at helping us first timers come in, helping us navigate the legislative process, and everyone together has just come together to support one another on different legislation and different focuses. We really pulled together and said, "Our diocese sent us here to speak and to share the voice that we think needs to be heard." And so it's just been wonderful to see how we've come together in our beautiful diversity to lift up our unified voice.

[Anne Kitch] We worked hard getting ready for this. We talk to each other all the time. We really work together as a deputation, and we respect one another when we have different views on different topics.

[George Dredden] We've been a very active and engaged delegation. I think if you look, I think almost all of us have spoken. All of us have been very passionate about the various issues in which we would like to champion.

[Janelle Grant] Our deputation has become a very tight knit group, and I love the camaraderie that we have developed in such a short time together.

My passion is being with youth and lifting up youth. And the one thing that I love about this General Convention is the fact that we did have an Official Youth Presence here again. But the one thing that I love the most is that we got Meredith McKeever from Grace, Madison as one of the Official Youth Presence representatives, and to hear her get up and speak about something she was passionate about, and also to hear the other youth speak, and the fact that they had a voice to speak and be passionate, and to see their love for their church and their love for God was just beautiful, and it warmed my heart.

[Grant Mansfield] In our worship services, we've been worshiping in English and Spanish and French and Creole and Mandarin and Navajo, so many different languages. And in all of it, we get to see the beautiful tapestry that God has created in the church. We might often think that the church is just our parish experience, or maybe even our diocesan experience, but in spaces like this, we get to see that our local networks, that we build, all of our relationships, they expand out into the wider world, and we have these ripple effects that we don't even know occur. And I think that's a great gift of being able to be here and to see it, experience it, and bring that knowledge back.

[Jewels Quelly] I am really excited for the church at large in the way that so many congregations are learning to collaborate, whether that means to combine or to share services, or even if it's just talk to each other about how they can connect.

[George Dredden] It's been a wonderful experience. It's a great place to meet others. I've run into other clergy and laypersons from around the country. That's been a great place to share ideas and get ideas. And even more so is the spiritual element that really permeates everything we do, whether it was the election of our new Presiding Bishop, Sean Rowe, to the enthusiastic joy exuded by our current Presiding Bishop, Michael Curry, the revivals and other gatherings where the Holy Spirit is truly in this place. So I'm very anxious to get back to the cathedral, very anxious to get back to our diocese, where we're going to continue our group to get together and try to talk about things and see how we can continue to keep this kind of energy going forward within the diocese that we gained in the General Convention.

[Anne Kitch] It's been a great Convention. I feel a great deal of hope for the Episcopal Church, especially in our leadership.

[Grant Mansfield] So I personally thank you for entrusting me and our deputation with this responsibility and this honor and just we hope we have served you well at this 81st General Convention.