A summary of Executive Council resolutions

[Episcopal News Service – Linthicum Heights, Maryland] During its Feb. 25-27 meeting here, the Episcopal Church’s Executive Council adopted several resolutions, which are summarized below.

Advocacy & Networking for Mission and Finances for Mission

Direct Treasurer as to how to vote on a series of shareholder resolutions in keeping with Episcopal Church policies as previously stated by General Convention (A&N001).

Direct Treasurer as to abstain on shareholder resolutions dealing with genetically modified organisms and labeling of products that contain genetically modified ingredients (explanation notes that General Convention has not articulated a policy on genetically modified organisms beyond calling for a study of the issues) (A&N002).

Instructs Treasurer to vote in favor of all shareholder resolutions asking companies to review and amend criteria for (i) investment in; (ii) continued operations in; and, (iii) withdrawal from specific high-risk countries (A&N003).

Express profound sorrow at the epidemic of gun violence, and urge Episcopalians to work toward comprehensive social responses that seek to stem the cycles of violence that fuel gun crime; reaffirm General Convention Resolution 2000-D004 expressing “deep concern about the repeated use of easily available hand guns and assault weapons by and against children, and call upon Episcopalians to seek ways to develop community strategies and create sanctuaries for our children, so that all may come to identify and value themselves and others as the precious children of God that they are, and that they may come to know peace in their lives and to create peace for future generations”; reaffirm General Convention Resolution 1991-D088 calling the church to advocate for “public policy and adequate funding to provide comprehensive community-based services, hospital care and research into the causes and treatment of mental illness” and emphasizes that mental-health services should be available and accessible without stigma in a variety of settings, including those who have suffered trauma from exposure to violence or violent environments; support public-policy initiatives, such as the bipartisan “Excellence in Mental Health Care Act” pending in Congress that seek to allow community-based mental healthcare providers the same opportunities to access federal funding as allowed to providers of physical healthcare; ­­reaffirm General Convention Resolution 1997-C035  urging restrictions on sale, ownership and use of firearms, particularly those that are easily concealable, and enactment of tighter restrictions on concealed weapons; reaffirm General Convention Resolution 2000-B007 acknowledging that violence in our communities is encouraged and enabled by the presence of guns and calling for Episcopalians to advocate for the removal of handguns and assault weapons from homes, communities and vehicles; urge elected officials to enact a clear and effective statute making gun trafficking a federal crime and empower law enforcement officials to investigate and prosecute straw purchasers, gun traffickers and their entire criminal networks; urge Episcopalians to examine our own cultural attitudes toward violence through efforts in congregations and communities, “to repent of our own roles in the glorification and trivialization of violence, and to commit ourselves to another way” (A&N004).

Affirms church’s commitment to pay equity in total compensation, including benefits, and non-discriminatory employment practices for women; acknowledge that the sin of racism is present in discriminatory employment practices which cause Black, Latina, and Native American/Indigenous women to fall below all women’s pay relative to men’s pay, endorse the observance of Equal Pay Day on April 9, encourage all Episcopalians to strive to transform the workforce and economic systems that perpetuate unequal pay (A&N005).

Affirm the prophetic witness of 77th General Convention in calling for a just peace for Israelis and Palestinians through Resolution B019, which, building upon 30 years of resolutions, declares “this Church’s support for a negotiated two-state solution in which a secure and universally recognized State of Israel lives alongside a free, viable, and secure state for the Palestinian people, with a shared Jerusalem as the capital of both,” and establishes strategies for the pursuit of that witness; affirms and celebrates recent recommendation of council Economic Justice Loan Committee to invest $500,000 in the Bank of Palestine in response to recommendation of Resolution B019 (the first such positive investment made by this church in the economy of the Occupied Palestinian Territories) and urge dioceses and other church entities prayerfully to consider similar investments; affirm that it is the church’s policy to engage in constructive corporate engagement policies toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict adopted by the Executive Council in October 2005 and implemented by council Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility in the intervening years; affirm that the church does not support boycott, divestment, and economic sanctions against the state of Israel nor any application of the church’s corporate engagement policies toward such ends; affirm that the church’s policy derived through General Convention Resolutions A010 (2006), A103 (1994), A149 (1991), and D008 (1991), and council’s resolve “Guiding Principles for Governmental Legislation” (February 1995); that all foreign aid from the U.S. government – including aid to Israel and the Palestinians, and to all others in the region and elsewhere – should be comprehensively and transparently accounted to the American people and held to the same standards of compliance with all applicable laws, as advocated during the last two triennia through more than a dozen letters to the Congress sent by the Presiding Bishop and other bishops and the Office of Government Relations, and embodied in the “Religious Statement on Foreign Assistance Reform,” (February 2009) adopted by an interreligious coalition co-chaired by the Episcopal Church and repeatedly communicated to the President and the Congress in the intervening years; affirm that this policy should be applied through such advocacy toward its universal adherence rather than targeted for selective application to some recipients and not others; create a B019 coordinating committee by March 15 to assure effective and thorough implementation of the policies adopted by the 77th General Convention through the resolution B019 and referred to multiple interim bodies, membership to include: presiding bishop, resident of the House of Deputies (or their designees) who shall appoint a convener from among the coordinating committee members: chair of council Joint Standing Committee on Advocacy and Networking for Mission (or designee), chair of Standing Commission on Anglican and International Peace with Justice Concerns (or designee), chair of Standing Commission on Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations (or designee), one member of the House of Bishops’ Theology Committee (or designee) as appointed by presiding bishop; such staff as may be designated by presiding bishop, committee can consult with outside experts and shall report to the Executive Council to be included as part of council’s triennial Blue Book report for 78th General Convention (A&N008).

Finances for Mission

Establish Trust Fund 1054 as an investment account for All Saints Episcopal Church, Minot, North Dakota (FFM011).

Establish Trust Fund 1055 as an investment account for Grace Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan (FFM012).

Make available $185,000 of undistributed accumulated income and appreciation calendar year 2013 from one or more of nine specific trust funds to provide financial assistance to the Episcopal Church in South Carolina (FFM013).

Authorize $250,000 line of credit to the Episcopal Church in South Carolina for the calendar year 2013 (FFM014).

Approve modifications to the 2013 budget for the Episcopal Church (FFM015).

Authorize use income distributed during 2012 from Trust Fund No.809, up to $349,911.36 available in income from dividends in 2012, for educational and theological programs (including continuing education and individual scholarships) as recommended by the Commission on Theological Education for Latin America and the Caribbean (CETALC) at its meeting in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in August 2012 (FFM016).

Executive Council shall propose a budget to the Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget and Finance of the 78th General Convention for the triennium 2016-2018 based on a framework of the Anglican Communion Five Marks of Mission and that the budget also be made available in a format that identifies corporate, canonical and program expenses (FFM017).

Governance and Administration for Mission

Disband council’s Archives Strategy Committee, Jubilee Advisory Committee and Committee on Strategic Planning, and disband the Committee on HIV/AIDS, with any remaining work being transferred to the Standing Commission on Health (GAM003).

Renew following Executive Council committees: Corporate Social Responsibility; Indigenous Ministries; the Status of Women; Science, Technology and Faith; and the Economic Justice Loan Committee (GAM004).

Local Mission and Ministry

Affirm 12 Episcopal Church congregations or programs as Jubilee Ministries, including Christ Episcopal Church and Christ Episcopal Church Community Center. Toms River, New Jersey; Center City Christian Outreach, Well of Life, Springfield, Missouri; Student Supplemental Feeding Ministry. Miles City, Montana; St. Christopher’s Food Pantry and Soup Kitchen. El Paso, Texas; The St. George’s Feeding Ministries, Fredericksburg, Virginia; Project Education South Sudan, Denver, Colorado; St. Andrew’s Refugee Ministry, Des Moines, Iowa; St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church, Honolulu, Hawaii; Trinity Episcopal Church, Hamburg, New York; Trinity Neighborhood Resources, Spokane, Washington; Loaves and Fishes Family Center Reading Club, Belmont, Michigan; St. Paul’s Saturday, Dowagiac, Michigan (LMM002).

World Mission

Express appreciation for recent appointments made on behalf of the Presiding Bishop including the Rev. Honey Becker, Diocese of Hawaii, Minister of Hospitality, Diocese of

Jerusalem; Ms. Natalie Finstad, Diocese of Massachusetts, Director “Be the Change” Program, Diocese of Kajiado, Anglican Church of Kenya; the Rev. Ted Gaiser, Diocese of Massachusetts, Business Advisor, Diocese of Colombia; the Rev. Ellen Hanckel, Diocese of Southwestern Virginia, Seminary Professor. Bishop Gwynne College, Juba, Episcopal Church of Sudan; Mr. Charles Nakash, Diocese of New Jersey, Mission Teams Co-Coordinator, Diocese of the Dominican Republic; the Rev. Patricia Powers, Diocese of Southwest Florida, Mission Advisor, Diocese of Brasilia, Anglican Church of Brazil; the Rev. Lara Shine, Diocese of Nebraska, Special Appointment, Diocese of Twic East,

Episcopal Church of Sudan and Diocese of the Dominican Republic; the Ven. Graham Smith, Diocese of Chicago, Dean of St George’s College, Diocese of Jerusalem; (WM004)

Express appreciation for recent Young Adult Service Corps appointments made on behalf of the Presiding Bishop, including Mr. Ryan Abrams, Diocese of East Carolina, Diocese of Costa Rica, Anglican Church of the Central American Region; Ms. Ashley Bingaman, Diocese of Virginia, Diocese of Haiti; Mrs. Carrie Diaz-Littauer, Diocese of New Jersey, Office and Project Manager/Administrator with the World Student Christian Federation, Geneva, Switzerland; Ms. Grace Flint, Diocese of Kentucky, St John’s Cathedral,

Diocese of Hong Kong; Mr. Jared Grant, Diocese of Western North Carolina, Hope Africa, Diocese of Lesotho, Church of the Province of Southern Africa; Mr. Andrew Joyce, Diocese of Kentucky, Episcopal Church in the Philippines; Mr. Douglas Knight & Mrs. Jennifer Knight, Diocese of Arkansas, Asian Rural Institute, Nippon Sei Ko Kai; Ms. Jennifer Korwan, Diocese of Atlanta, “Be the Change-Kenya,” Diocese of Kajiado, Anglican Church of Kenya; Mr. Benjamin Locher & the Rev. Elizabeth Locher, Diocese of Washington and Virginia respectively, Diocese of Central Tanganyika, Anglican Church of Tanzania; Ms. Holly Milburn, Diocese of Lexington, Hope Africa, Diocese

of Cape Town, Church of the Province of Southern Africa; Mr. Brian Orlay, Diocese of New York, International Communications and Marketing Development Advisor with the Carpenters Kids Program, Diocese of Central Tanganyika, Anglican Church of Tanzania; Mr. Cameron Spoor, Diocese of Texas, Assistant Teacher & Resource Center, Diocese of Grahamstown, Anglican Church of Southern Africa; Ms. Katherine Young, Diocese of Northwest Texas, Experience Program Trainee with “Let Us Walk Together Project,” Diocese of Tohoku, Nippon Sei Ko Kai (WM005).

Express appreciation for mission companions who faithfully completed their term of service, including the Rev. Oge Beauvoir, Diocese of New York, Coordinator of Leadership Education/Training Program in the Diocese of Haiti, appointment began Dec. 24, 2004, and ended June 30, 1012 (Beauvoir is now bishop suffragan in Haiti); the Rev. Michael Dresbach & Mrs. Mona Dresbach, Diocese of Massachusetts, Diocesan Manager – San Cristobal and Accountant – Catedral de San Lucas respectively, Diocese of Panama, assignment began July 30, 1999, and ended March 31, 2012; Ms. Angela Galbreath, Assistant to Partnership Program, Diocese of Haiti, assignment began Aug. 26, 2010, and ended Nov. 30, 2012; Dr. Gerry Hardison, MD & Dr. Nancy Hardison, PHD, Diocese of San Diego, Medical Director at Maseno Mission Hospital and Instructor at St Philip’s Theological College respectively, Diocese of Maseno North, Anglican Church of Kenya, assignments began Jan. 1, 2002, and ended June 30, 2012; the Rev. Christopher Morck & Mrs. Patricia Morck, Diocese of Massachusetts, Psychological & Pastoral Associate and Coordinator & Diocesan Librarian respectively, Diocese of Central Ecuador, assignments began Oct. 9, 2006, and ended Sept. 30, 2012; the Rev. Heather Mueller, Diocese of Hawaii, Warden of St George’s College, Diocese of Jerusalem, appointment started Jan. 1, 2011, and ended Jan. 31, 2012; the Rev. Robert North & Mrs. Karen North, Diocese of Chicago, Development Consultant & English Teacher respectively, Diocese of Nzara, Episcopal Church of Sudan, assignment started July 28, 2011, and ended Oct. 31, 2012.; the Rev. Suzanne Peterson, Diocese of Iowa, Public Policy & Advocacy Officer of the Province & Bishop’s Correspondence Manager; Province of the Church in Southern Africa, assignment started Sept. 17, 1988, and ended Jan. 31, 2013;  Mr. Peter Prewandowski, Diocese of Western Massachusetts, Primary Teacher at Canon Andrea Mwaka Primary School, Diocese of Central Tanganyika, Anglican Church of Tanzania, assignment started April 9, 2003, and ended March 31, 2012; the Rev. Robert Snow & Mrs. Ellen Snow, Diocesan Administrator & Deacon and Diocesan Coordinator of & Assistant to the Bishop respectively, Diocese of the Dominican Republic, assignment started Jan. 1, 1999, and ended Sept. 30, 2012; the Rev. Pamela Strobel, Provincial Financial Admin & Parish Priest, Diocese of Boga, Anglican Church of Congo, appointment started June 20, 2011, and ended June 30, 2012. Ms. Susan Williams, Assistant to the Director at Bella Vista Children’s Home, Diocese of Panama, appointment started Aug. 1, 1997, and ended Jan. 31, 2013 (WM006)

Express appreciation for Young Adult Service Corps volunteer companions who faithfully completed their term of service, including Ms. Erika Almquist, Diocese of Massachusetts, Community Health Coordinator, Diocese of El Salvador, appointment began Sept. 21, 2011, and ended Oct. 31, 2012; Ms. William Brooks, Diocese of Virginia, International Communications & Marketing Development Advisor, Carpenter’s Kids, Diocese of Central Tanganyika, Anglican Church of Tanzania, appointment started Oct. 17, 2010, and ended Aug. 31, 2012; Ms. Brittany Kathleen Clark, Diocese of Tennessee, Diocese of Hong Kong,  appointment started July 20, 2011, and ended on June 30, 2012. Ms. Nicole Groome, Diocese of Virginia, Asian Rural Institute, Nippon Sei Ko Kai, appointment began Sept. 7, 2011, and ended Oct. 31, 2012; Ms. Karen Langley, Diocese of Oklahoma, Assistant Project Coordinator, Itipini Project, Diocese of Mthatha, Church of the Province of Southern Africa, appointment began on Aug. 14, 2011 and ended Aug. 31, 2012; Mr. An Ngo, Diocese of Utah, Communications Officer, Diocese of Mexico, assignment began Sept. 2, 2011, and ended Oct. 31, 2012 (WM007).

Recognize the continuing companion diocese relationship between the Diocese of Western North Carolina and the Diocese of Durgapur for a period ending on Feb. 27, 2016, unless extended or terminated by mutual consent (WM008).

Comments

  1. The Rev. Dr. Jim Shumard says:

    I hope this gets to the Restructuring Committee

    Here I sit!

    95 Theses of Reform for The Episcopal Church,
    Okay maybe just a dozen but here I sit at my computer!

    It may be easier to use existing structures to reform how an institution functions rather than to re-structure. I offer these theses to the Restructuring Committee in order to create a conversation among the ‘trinity’ of church institutions: General Convention, Dioceses, and Congregations.

    1. MIND OF THE CHURCH: Require a two-thirds majority vote on everything at GC. A 50% plus 1 majority only shows a divided mind. Fewer resolutions will pass and that could be a good thing since most resolutions are remembered for less time than a sermon.

    2. CONNECT THE PEW TO GC: CREATE A VIRTUAL HOUSE: The make-up and work of GC needs to have a more formal accountability and connection to the people in the pew. One of the following structures could serve as a “third house” and vote online to confirm or defeat resolutions: Diocesan Standing Committees, Executive Committees/Councils, and/or Convocational Groups.

    3. TERM LIMITS with the option of serving additional terms. Bishops can serve six, nine or ten years, and be eligible for re-election. Now-a- days, we seek bishops who can do, as well as be. If things are going great then they can stand for re-election along with new nominees. If things are not going great then a new bishop can be elected without a Standing Committee trying to get rid of a bishop. Dioceses might take a chance on younger nominees if they did not think they would be stuck with them for forty years.

    4. FLEXIBLE MANDATORY AGE OF “RETIREMENT/RESIGNATION:” Change the mandatory age for priests who have been ordained less than thirty-five years, to age 76 or older. Age 72 might be reasonable for someone ordained in their twenties or thirties. However, the majority of newly ordained clergy over the last twenty years were ordained at middle-age and older and they still have passion and energy to make a difference. Age 76 is the new 56! This gives them more career options and more time in the Pension Fund as well. People have served as President of the USA and as Pope who were older than 72.

    5. FULL-TIME PRESIDENT, HOUSE OF DEPUTIES: This allows the President to work with 815 in perfecting the function of the House of Deputies, working with Committees and Commissions to assure they are functioning to serve the congregations, dioceses, and national church. This is an outward and visible symbol of our representative polity which shows that we take laity, priests and deacons seriously. It may address the impression that the PB may have too much power.

    6. JOINT MEETINGS: Merge the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies, when meeting at GC. Always vote by houses. Some of the Standing Commissions already meet and vote this way. Both houses get to listen to and share in the wisdom of the other. The House of Bishops gets to meet many times between Conventions so they have already built camaraderie.

    7. PENSION ISSUES: Reform the system so rectors who have served large parishes and want to get back to small ones, can see their HAC (Highest Average Compensation) continue to increase with the cost of living even though they have chosen to take a much smaller salary. This is good for the clergy and good for the congregations. Golden handcuffs do not benefit the larger congregations or the clergy who serve them and small churches rarely get the benefit of seasoned clergy.

    8. RELOCATE 815 TO ATLANTA: This is a no-brainer. Real estate is cheaper; weather is better year round; Atlanta is a west of NYC and has one of the least expensive airports to get to; and one can take a $2 ride on the rapid transit from the airport..

    9. LIFELONG LEARNING: Require those making resolutions to include an educational piece to help local clergy educate their congregations. If it is important enough to take up valuable time at GC then it needs to be important enough to share with the congregations. Too often we clergy are left on our own to deal with the fall-out of GC while deputies go home in peace. Those making resolutions could be required to demonstrate how this will make a difference in the lives of Episcopalians or the World.

    10. A LIGHTHOUSE TO THE WORLD: There is a joke told about clergy vesting rooms. One will find a picture of the pope in a Roman Catholic vesting room, a picture of Jesus in a Protestant vesting room and a mirror in an Episcopal vesting room. It might be time to have a clear window to the world in our vesting rooms. I wonder how TEC would function if we began to see ourselves as a modern lighthouse of faith for the world, a lighthouse that both illumines, calls and invites. I wonder what would happen if we called apostles (bishops) to help us focus outward.

    11. BISHOP ELECTIONS: All bishops are confirmed by Standing Committees and not by GC. [I think we may have already passed that resolution but I like most Episcopalians, cannot remember any resolutions but the most controversial.] And I was at the last GC!

    12. WHATEVER! I am sure there are more areas needing reform so fill in the blank, plus I needed at least an even dozen ideas!

    For what it’s worth.

    Jim Shumard+

    The Rev. Dr. James B. Shumard
    Rector, St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, Waynesboro, Georgia
    The Diocese of Georgia
    Past Deputy, Alternate and Volunteer to General Convention

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