Fourth priest declares candidacy for House of Deputies vice president; election is June 27

By David Paulsen
Posted Jun 26, 2024

[Episcopal News Service] The Rev. John Floberg, a priest in the Diocese of North Dakota, has declared his candidacy for House of Deputies vice president, joining three other declared candidates in the election scheduled for June 27.

The election follows the reelection June 25 of House of Deputies President Julia Ayala Harris. Because a lay leader was elected president, the vice president must come from the clergy order, according to The Episcopal Church Canons. Unlike the president, the vice president is an unpaid, volunteer position.

The three previously declared candidates for vice president are the Rev. Charles Graves IV, a campus missioner and deputy from the Diocese of Texas; the Rev. Ruth Meyers, a Diocese of California deputy and professor at Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley; and the Rev. Steve Pankey, a Kentucky deputy and rector of Christ Episcopal Church in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

A vice presidential forum is scheduled at 7 a.m. The House of Deputies’ legislative session starts at 2 p.m.

Floberg is perhaps best known churchwide as the rector of three North Dakota congregations serving the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation during the water protection demonstrations in 2016.

The Episcopal Church was a prominent supporter of tribal demonstrators who had tried to block construction of part of an oil pipeline that they feared could threaten Standing Rock’s drinking water. Despite their objections, the Dakota Access Pipeline was allowed to cross the Missouri River just north of the reservation, and oil began pumping in June 2017.

In a personal introduction that was posted to the House of Deputies Virtual Binder, Floberg said he had “extensive experience in the life, mission and ministry of the Episcopal Church,” including as a member from 2012-18 of Executive Council, the church’s governing body between meetings of General Convention. He also formerly served on General Convention’s Joint Standing Committee on Program Budget and Finance, an experience that “introduced me to people and their stories from all nine of our provinces.

“I am known as a person who carries institutional memory that is useful as changing dynamics are considered for our common life,” Floberg said.

The vice president chairs House of Deputies sessions in the absence of the president but has far fewer canonical duties and responsibilities than the president. The vice president has a seat but no vote on Executive Council and also has a seat on the Joint Committee on Planning and Arrangements.

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


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