Chinnis was a lay person and the first woman to serve as the President of the House of Deputies, in 1991, 1994 and 1997. (For more information on Dr Chinnis see Episcopal News Service, www.episcopalchurch.org/ens.)
From Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori:
We give thanks for the ground-breaking ministry of Dr. Chinnis as President of the House of Deputies, and give thanks for her life. We hold her and her family in our prayers in this time of grief and thanksgiving for a life well lived. May she rest in peace and rise in glory, and may all who mourn find comfort in the assurance of resurrection.
The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presiding Bishop and Primate
From House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson:
Dr. Pamela Chinnis was one of my role models and has inspired my ministry. She has given me courage when the going has been rough, and I will miss being able to hear her distinctive voice speaking truth with humor and wisdom. My deepest sympathies and prayers are with her family and her friends across the church.
Dr. Chinnis was a tireless advocate for the full inclusion of women in the life and leadership of the Episcopal Church, and for that we owe her a debt of gratitude.
She also was a champion of including the voices of all the baptized in the governance system she cherished and helped to lead.
As the first woman to serve as president of the House of Deputies, Dr. Chinnis opened the 73rd General Convention by saying, âThe House of Deputies was a complete innovation when this church was organized following the American Revolution. Laity, clergy and bishops have an equal voice in determining policy, establishing our legal framework and maintaining a living liturgical life.â Her invaluable service to the Episcopal Church sought to bring these words to life, and I ask all Episcopalians to join me in giving thanks for her life and ministry among us.
The House of Deputies