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  • Writer's pictureRev. CJ Meaders

Ode to Ed Sisson: Senior Deputy at General Convention

I write to honor Senior Deputy Ed Sisson, 8-time deputy to General Convention from the Diocese of Mississippi. Ed is a parishioner St. Peter’s in Oxford, MS, and spent his career as a professor of archeology at the University of Mississippi. In the church, Ed has served many roles in his parish, the diocese, the national church. Both Ed and his wife, the Rev. Deacon Penny Sisson, are beloved, wonderful members of our diocesan family. 

Ed is a seasoned deputy, and, as such, he knows how to make an impact at Gen Con. Ed is one of the 4 members of our deputation serving on a Legislative Committee, Ed serving on the Legislative Committee for Social Justice & United States Policy, Kathryn McCormick serving on Agencies and Boards, Rev. Canon Brian Ponder serving on Title III, and Tom Fortner serving on Social Justice & International Policy. Ed's committee began meeting in March of this year via zoom and is comprised of Episcopalians from many diocese in many locations. The committee considered 42 resolutions, all of which you can see in the above link with the actions recommended by the committee. 

On Tuesday of Gen Con, the Legislative Committee for Social Justice & US Policy presented it’s report on resolution DO11. Many deputies spoke on the issue of gun violence, and the overwhelming majority spoke in support of strongly urging the US Congress to ban assault weapons. After robust discussion, it came time to vote on the resolution. 

Just as the President of the House was about to call for the vote, I heard a familiar voice yell, “point of order, madam President.” It was Ed Sisson on his way to the speaker’s booth. He reminded the House that there was an amendment to the resolution, the amendment that he himself had authored. After getting a second and being allowed to speak on the amendment, Ed explained his reasoning for adding the words “bump stocks” to be included in the list of assault weapons. Everyone from our deputation smiled with pride as we took pics of Ed at the booth, and the House voted to adopt Ed’s resolution and to adopt the resolution itself as amended. 

It was an awesome moment, and definitely one of the highlights of my convention. 

In addition to getting the resolution amended, Ed also authored his own resolution on behalf of the committee. Resolution A166 urges the Federal Government to take action on registration and purchase of firearms. That resolution was adopted by the House of Deputies and concurred by the House of Bishops. As the resolution stipulates, copies of the resolution will be given to the Executive Council, the Office of Government Relations, the President of the United States, Congress, and all diocese to consider appropriate action. 

My intent in lifting up Ed is not to raise the issue of gun policy, though I voted yes on both resolutions along with the overwhelming majority of the House. My point is to lift up his work as a deputy on General Convention. Through his work, Ed has shown new and would-be deputies the way to get things done. If you care about any issue in the church, the structures of the church provide ways for bishops, clergy, AND laity to do something about it. Following Ed, you can run to be deputy of General Convention through our diocesan council, you can serve on a Legislative Committee committee at General Convention, you can offer your own language in that committee on a particular issue, AND...

You can even call a point of order on the floor of the House just before the President of the House bangs the gavel to get your amendment adopted!

Cheers, Ed!


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Jun 30

So very nice, Cebe! This would make an excellent example for use in an Inquirer's Class.

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