C045 Resolution regarding Commemorating Bishop Barbara Clementine Harris in the Church Calendar
Resolved, the House of Deputies concurring,
That the 80th General Convention include and enter Barbara Clementine Harris, Bishop to the Lesser Feasts & Fasts Calendar of the Church Year to be celebrated on March 13.
When Barbara Harris was confirmed in the Episcopal Church as a young girl, the bishop wore gloves so his hands would not have to touch the heads of the black people he was confirming. In spite of this demeaning and undeniably racist "welcome" to the church, Barbara Harris was undeterred in her commitment to Christ, living her life as a powerful example of faith, both as dedicated and engaged lay woman and as the first woman bishop in the Anglican Communion. Her humble but unrelenting and heroic witness to those on the margins of the church and larger society, her warmth and generous spirit and her tireless energy and humor made her one of the most beloved and noteworthy bishops in the church, if not the world.
The criterion for inclusion in the Calendar of the Church Year states: “Before a commemoration is included in the Calendar, proposers must establish that significant, enduring local and regional commemoration in corporate worship exists.” Such local commemorations have occurred in multiple locations in the Diocese of Massachusetts and across the wider church -- including (at least) Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, the National Union of Black Episcopalians, the Diocese of Western Massachusetts and the Diocese of Missouri at the consecration of Deon Johnson as Diocesan Bishop … and here in the Diocese of Los Angeles on the first anniversary of her death, March 13, 2021.