Note: For those who could not make it, a recording of the July 1 “Meet the Candidate” Zoom is available here.
Hello fellow deputies,
I hope this letter finds you and your loved ones safe and healthy. Like many of you, I have begun thinking about what to expect and what to pack as we prepare to gather for an unprecedented General Convention. One thing we know for certain is that the House of Deputies will be electing a new president (PHoD) on July 9th, which is just 11 days from today.
The role of the president of the House of Deputies has a unique place in our polity and offers a unique ministry opportunity. Canonically the role is three-fold: president of the House of Deputies (Canon I.1.1(b)), vice-chair of Executive Council (Canon I.4.2(b)), and a vice president of the Domestic and Foreign Ministry Society, which is the churchwide structure’s corporate entity (Canon I.3). Further, the PHoD makes more than 700 appointments to interim bodies, commissions, committees, etc. This is an opportunity to appoint a new generation of leaders who embody representation from across the church and who bring critical perspectives to the work and ministry of Jesus Christ. To become the church God is calling us to be, we must adapt our governance structures. It’s time to bring out the new wineskins!
I believe I am called to help bring about the change that our church must undergo to meet this moment and guide us into our future. For me, a calling is about faithfully answering yes when Jesus invites us to participate in God’s mission, and I take this sense of calling very seriously. The discernment process that has brought me to be a candidate for PHoD has been profound and personally transformative. Therefore, on March 8th I submitted my application, launched my website juliaayalaharris.com, and announced my intent to stand for election as president of the House of Deputies.
Since I announced my candidacy, we have seen many changes to the nature and scope General Convention and a lot of deputy turnover. This means I may not get a chance to meet you or your deputation prior to the PHoD election. Therefore, I created this simple letter with information that you can share with your colleagues. The points below contain links to additional information on my candidacy and/or the House of Deputies. I hope that you find this information helpful as the house discerns who will be our next president of the House of Deputies.
- You can learn more about my vision and background at my website.
- The House of Deputies interviewed each PHoD candidate and the one VPHoD candidate. You can find my 6-minute video here.
- The House of Deputies invited the PHoD candidates and the VPHoD candidate to respond to survey questions. Here are my responses.
- The House of Deputies hosted two 90-minute Candidate Forums with the PHoD candidates and the VPHoD candidate, which can be found here.
- You can always find and follow me on Facebook here.
Finally, I will be hosting a casual Meet the Candidate zoom on Friday July 1st at 4pm Eastern where you can feel free to ask me questions and get to know me a bit better. Register for the zoom here. If you would like to submit questions in advance, email them to JuliaAyalaHarris@gmail.com. I know that this is a holiday weekend and everyone is very busy. I am excited by all of the enthusiasm around the upcoming election of the PHoD and VPHoD and I look forward to seeing those of you who can make it on Friday.
Julia Ayala Harris