President Fredrica Harris Thompsett convened the annual membership meeting of the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church (HSEC) on Friday evening, 20 June 2008, at the Desmond Tutu Center at the General Theological Seminary, New York City. At the business session of the meeting, the members approved the minutes of the 2007 membership meeting as presented by Secretary Brooks Graebner. Secretary Graebner reported 680 total members in the Society and 114 proxies received for this meeting. Patrick Mauney, chair of the Nominations Committee, presented the following slate of officers to serve again for the upcoming year: Fredrica Harris Thompsett for president, Robert W. Prichard for first vice president, Alexandra S. Gressitt for second vice president, Frederick W. Gerbrachtjr. for treasurer, and N. Brooks Graebner for secretary. He then nominated the following slate of directors, all for a second three-year term: Christopher M. Agnew, Harold T. Lewis, and Frederick Quinn. The members unanimously elected both the slate of officers and the slate of directors.
Edward L. Bond, Editor of Anglican and Episcopal History, announced the winner of this year's Nelson Burr Prize for the best article appearing in the 2007 issues of the Journal. The award goes to Nicholas M. Beasley for his article "Domestic Rituals: Marriage and Baptism in the British Plantation Colonies 1650-1780," which appeared in the September 2007 issue.
First Vice President Robert Prichard then rose to ask the Secretary to read the following resolution of courtesy:
"WHEREAS Our President, Fredrica Harris Thompsett, has recently retired from full-time teaching at Episcopal Divinity School as the Mary Wolfe Professor of Historical Theology;
AND WHEREAS the past two months have been an occasion to honor her for her many contributions to that institution and to the larger church as administrator, preacher, teacher, writer, theologian, historian, builder of networks, friend, advocate, and mentor, including the conferring upon her of an honorary degree at Virginia Theological Seminary;
AND WHEREAS the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church has also benefited greatly from her participation as a board member and her guidance as our president;
BE IT RESOLVED: That we join our voices to those at EDS, VTS, and the Episcopal Church at large and rise at this time to express our heartfelt appreciation for the ministry of our much-esteemed President, Fredrica Harris Thompsett."
The resolution was met with a standing ovation for President Thompsett.
The evening continued with a showing of highlights from the award-winning documentary Traces of the Trade: a Story from the Deep North, in which the film's maker, Katrina Browne, along with nine of her relatives, retrace the triangle trade of slaves, sugar, and rum from which her family became prosperous. In the film, the family members grapple with the implications of their new knowledge as they travel from Bristol, Rhode Island, to slave forts in Ghana, to sites of sugar plantations in Cuba, and back to Bristol.
Following the viewing, one of the family participants in the film, Dain Perry, and his wife Constance, who is African American, invited those in attendance to share their responses to the film. The Perrys are now dedicating themselves to traveling with the film and facilitating discussions aimed at racial reconciliation. For these efforts, the Perrys have recendy received the Idealist Award from Social Capital, Inc.
At the close of the discussion, the President called upon the Historiographer of the Episcopal Church, The Rev. Canon J. Robert Wright, to pronounce God's blessing upon our gathering.
This concluded the proceedings.
Brooks Graebner, Secretary
Minutes of the Annual Meeting of the Board of Directors Of the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church Saturday, 21 June 2008, Desmond Tutu Center, New York City
The annual meeting of the Board of Directors of the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church (HSEC) convened at 9:30 a. …