Young Adult Caucus seeks deadline extension on House of Deputies leadership elections

By David Paulsen
Posted Apr 25, 2024

[Episcopal News Service] The House of Deputies’ Young Adult Caucus has called on the secretary of General Convention to extend the application deadline for deputies interested in running for president or vice president, though with the 81st General Convention less than two months away, the window for new applications appears to have closed.

The request was sent to the Rev. Michael Barlowe, the General Convention secretary, in the final hours before the April 24 deadline and posted to the Young Adult Caucus’ website. It followed an April 21 announcement by the Rev. Rachel Taber-Hamilton, the current House of Deputies vice president, that she intended to challenge House of Deputies President Julia Ayala Harris in the president election.

“This deadline extension will allow for meaningful discernment amongst deputies considering service as the president or vice president of the House of Deputies,” the caucus’ leaders said. And because Episcopal Church Canons require the president and vice president to be from different orders, clergy and lay, “we must ensure a robust slate of candidates of both orders is available to fill the vice presidential role.”

Barlowe, in his written response to the caucus, said he had previously extended the deadline from Feb. 21 to April 24 because he shared the caucus’ “desire for a broad discernment for leadership.” He is unable to extend the deadline further, however, because the Joint Rules of Order require submissions at least 60 days before General Convention to allow enough time to conduct background checks.

“It may be possible, at General Convention, for a motion to be made to set aside the Joint Rule, and so allow nominations of persons whose background checks were requested after the deadline required by the rule,” Barlowe added in his response, which was provided to Episcopal News Service.

No other deputies have yet declared candidacies for president or vice president, though more could come forward in the coming weeks, if they applied by the April 24 deadline.

Barlowe outlined the elections process earlier this year in a message to deputies. In it, he indicated that anyone who submitted to a background check must declare as a candidate for president by June 24 or vice president by June 27, the second and fifth legislative days of the 81st General Convention in Louisville, Kentucky. The presidential election is set for June 26 and the vice presidential election for June 28.

– David Paulsen is a senior reporter and editor for Episcopal News Service based in Wisconsin. He can be reached at