Deputies’ Perspective: Showing Up

The Rev. Georgina Hegney, Deputy to the 79th General Convention of The Episcopal Church and interim rector of Grace Episcopal Church in Utica, takes note of resources offered at General Convention to support immigrants, refugees and those caught up in the criminal justice system. 

See all reflections from CNY’s General Convention deputation at

The Exhibit Hall opened today, offering information and opportunity. The booth shared by Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM) and the Episcopal Public Policy Network (EPPN) caught my eye with posters that spoke to two of my life experiences: refugee resettlement and working inside our broken criminal justice system.

Many of our communities are home to immigrants who have fled their homeland to ensure life itself for their children and loved ones. They are important contributors to the cultural flavor of the cities and towns we call home. And too often our laws have criminalized behaviors that are symptoms of deeper problems. Punishment in the name of personal safety has become the norm. Our criminal justice system cries out for reform!

One of the ways our church responds to our neighbors in need is through policy in the form of legislation that passes through General Convention. We are called to extend a helping hand: to feed, to clothe, to house, and to visit. With the support of EMM and EPPN we can all “show up.” Offer a hand, sound the call, and spread the light of Christ!

Featured in the image above: pictured at the 79th General Convention are (L-R): The Rev. Georgina Hegney, Clergy Deputy; Ms. Felicity Hallanan, Lay Deputy; The Rev. Dn. Charles Stewart, Clergy Deputy; Ms. Ernestine Patterson, Lay Deputy; The Very Rev. Joell Szachara, Clergy Deputy; The Rt. Rev. Dr. DeDe Duncan-Probe, Bishop of Central New York; The Rev. Dr. Dena Cleaver-Bartholomew, Clergy Deputy; Ms. Carol Forrester, Lay Deputy; Ms. Melody Chilson, Guest; Ms. Karen Anderson, Lay Deputy. Not pictured: Dr. Sandra Michael, Lay Deputy; Ms. Penny Dugas, Delegate to the Triennial Meeting of the Women of the Church.

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