Episcopal Church House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson announced Sept. 15 that she will nominate the Very Rev. H. Scott Kirby, retired dean of Christ Church Cathedral in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, to serve as vice president of the House of Deputies during the the 77th meeting of General Convention next year.
The vice presidency has been vacant since February 2010, when the Rev. Brian Prior, was ordained and consecrated as the bishop of Minnesota.
There are no canonical provisions for choosing an interim vice president when the office becomes vacant between conventions, Anderson said in a press release from the church's Office of Public Affairs. In nominating Kirby to serve at the 2012 General Convention, but not beyond, she is following the precedent established by Pamela Chinnis, who filled a vice presidential vacancy during her terms as president of the House of Deputies (1991-2000.)
Anderson had previously said she would follow Chinnis' lead in filling a significant vacancy in the leadership of the house, without conferring political advantage on the nominee. This was best done by nominating "a seasoned and well-respected deputy" who agreed not to run for other convention offices in the future, she said in the Sept. 15 release.
Kirby, 72 and the chair of the Diocese of Eau Claire's General Convention deputation and was first elected a deputy in 1985. That longevity makes him the house's senior deputy, according to Anderson. He has chaired the convention's Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music, and what was then known as Standing Commission on Mission, as well as the House of Deputies Committee on the State of the Church.
He was a member of the President of the House of Deputies' Council of Advice under Chinnis. Kirby has served on the Joint Standing Committee on Planning and Arrangements and the Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop. A former member of Episcopal Relief & Development's board of directors of, Kirby has also served on the Title IV Disciplinary Committee.
The House of Deputies must approve Kirby's nomination when it convenes in July 5 for an eight-day meeting Indianapolis.
"At the time of nominations for vice president to serve the house while we are in Indianapolis, deputies are free to nominate others if they wish, as the decision belongs to the House of Deputies and not to the President," Anderson wrote, in a letter released Sept. 15 to deputies and first alternates. "Certainly, it is my hope that my nomination might enable us to move quickly to the business of the convention and ensure a fair and open process for electing officers for 2015."
Kirby's successor will be elected at the convention, and begin a three-year term when the convention is adjourned.
A graduate of the General Seminary in New York City, Kirby has served parishes in the dioceses of Western New York, New Jersey, Western Kansas and Eau Claire. He is a police chaplain for the City of Eau Claire, a chaplain for the Seamen's Church Institute ministry on the Upper Mississippi and a captain in the Civil Air Patrol.