[Episcopal News Service – Phoenix, Arizona] During its June 10-12 meeting here, the Episcopal Church’s Executive Council adopted multiple resolutions, which are summarized below.
* Accept audited financial statements covering fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2013 (EC010).
Advocacy and Networking for Mission
* Declare that electronic cigarettes, also known as E-cigarettes, be considered tobacco products for the purposes of the church’s policies regarding socially responsible investments (A&N028).
* Invite Episcopalians to join Anglicans in Canada in observing the Seventh Sunday of Easter each year, commonly known as the Sunday after Ascension Day, as Jerusalem Sunday and on that day to give special attention to the spiritual heritage of all Christians in the land of Our Lord’s birth, death, and resurrection, and the continuing witness in our day of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem and the Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem, and commit to learning about the role of the Diocese of Jerusalem and its affiliated institutions in providing healthcare, education, and other vital social services to the communities of the Holy Land, and to supporting the ministry of those institutions; council requests that the staff of Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society’s Office of Justice and Advocacy Ministries make available appropriate resources for commemoration of Jerusalem Sunday and fulfillment of this resolution; council expresses “its solidarity with all Israelis, Palestinians, and others around the world working for peace in the land called holy by all the children of Abraham” (A&N029).
* Give thanks for the life and service of Chester Nez, one of the original Navajo Code talkers who was recruited in World War II to serve in the United States Marine Corps to help develop an unbreakable code that aided U.S. forces in the Pacific; commend and express deep gratitude for the service of all veterans and in particular the many veterans of native and indigenous descent who have sacrificed much in the service of our nation (A&N030).
* Commend the City of Seattle and other cities for passing minimum wage ordinances higher than $10.10 an hour; express disappointment at the U.S. Senate for failing to bring to debate legislation to raise the Federal Minimum Wage to $10.10 an hour and the U.S. House of Representatives for its refusal to consider at all the legislation; endorse the work of church’s Office of Justice and Advocacy Ministries on behalf of all Episcopalians in continuing their work with interreligious and ecumenical coalitions that address economic insecurity, wealth disparity, and the pursuant social inequalities in the United States; council says it is committed to this advocacy and encourages Episcopalians and dioceses to study and stand in public solidarity with our low-wage brothers and sisters in legal work actions for legislative change at the federal, state and local level that give low-wage workers greater access to the economic prosperity so many in our nation enjoy (A&N031).
Advocacy and Networking for Mission & World Mission
* Reaffirm Episcopal Church commitment to comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship as a primary solution to the plight of undocumented immigrants who have established roots in the United States as members of our communities and as substantive social, economic, and spiritual contributors to our nation; to proportional and humane immigration enforcement policies; deplore unprecedented levels of detention and deportation carried out by the [federal] Administration against individuals who pose no threat to society such as individuals who have committed reentry violations, traffic related offenses, minor criminal offenses, and actions that are retroactively considered deportable offenses, and individuals with U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident status, spouses, or parents; urge the Administration to provide for timely and readily available access to the child welfare system for detained parents, so that they have real and appropriate opportunities to make informed decisions on behalf of their children and families, increased use of alternatives to detention for those who pose no threat, elimination of detention bed mandate, which requires the federal government to detain 34,000 immigrants on a daily basis and encourages the use of detention over more humane and cost-effective alternatives; urge that, when deportations do occur, individuals be repatriated in a safe and humane manner with their belongings, during daylight hours, to secure locations, with appropriate facilities for women and children; and that, when multiple members of a family are deported, they are not needlessly separated or returned to different ports of entry from one another; urge all Episcopalians to advocate and pray for humane comprehensive immigration reform so that immigrants, their families, and their communities may know peace, safety, and respect for the dignity of all people (A&N/WM001)
Finances for Mission
* Establish Trust Fund # 1063 as the National ECW Board Scholarship Memorial Fund (FFM044).
* Establish Trust Fund # 1064 as the St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Fort Thomas, Kentucky, Donor Restricted Endowment Fund (FFM045).
* Establish Trust Fund # 1065 as the St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Fort Thomas, Kentucky, Unrestricted Endowment Fund (FFM046).
* Ratify the approval made on March 25, 2014, by the Executive Committee of Executive Council to enter into a refinancing of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society’s Credit Agreement with U.S. Bank, continuing the existing term loan and expanding the line of credit to $15 million. (FFM047).
* Authorize DFMS treasurer to enter into agreements with U. S. Bank to renegotiate the current term loan outstanding in the principal amount of $31,162,800 as of June 4, 2014, with a term of no less than five years and an effective fixed interest rate below the current 3.69 percent per annum; authorize treasurer to incorporate an interest rate swap or similar derivative instrument to reduce the effective fixed interest rate further; authorize and direct treasurer to take such further action on behalf of DFMS as is deemed necessary to effectuate the foregoing (FFM048).
* Authorize DFMS chief operating officer and treasurer in collaboration with the chairs of the joint standing committees on Finances for Mission and World Mission to negotiate a loan of up to $2.5 million to the Diocese of Honduras to enable it to further its plan of sustainability by refinancing loans the diocese has previously undertaken with external lenders; that the analysis, terms and repayment of loan shall consider and reflect the consolidated operations and assets of the consolidated activities of the diocese; that the lender and borrower agree a mutually satisfactory sustainability plan (FFM049).
* Authorize additional line of credit to the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin of $785,000 to be accessed through December 31, 2015, for support of the continuing diocese; authorize a separate additional line of credit to the diocese of $775,000 to be accessed through December 31, 2015, if necessary to support maintenance of any recovered property; lender and borrower agree on a mutually satisfactory sustainability plan that the lender and borrower regularly review; terms and conditions of this line of credit to be developed by DFMS chief operating officer and treasurer in collaboration with the chairs of Executive Council’s Joint Standing Committees on Finances for Mission and Local Mission and Ministry (LMM); that the repayment shall be secured by liquid assets of the diocese; that the diocese provide semi-annual financial reports to DFMS chief operating officer, treasurer and the chair of FFM (FFM050).
* Approves an increase in the triennial disbursement for Navajoland Area Mission of $225,000 to a total of $1.225 million, to be made available before December 31, 2015 (FFM051).
* Add $256,000 be added to the existing $863,245 in the Information Technology budget, bringing the triennial total to $1,119,245 to cover department costs, including an upgrade of DFMS technology platforms to MSOffice 365 (FFM052).
Governance and Administration for Mission
* Amend Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society Employee Handbook Policy number 110 on Anti-Fraud, Dishonest Activity, and Whistleblowing (GAM017).
* Amend Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society Employee Handbook Policy number 112 on Nepotism (GAM018).
* Adopt a revised and restated Conflict of Interest Policy Statement and Disclosure Form for the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society (GAM019).
Finances for Mission & Governance and Administration for Mission
* Directs the Finances for Mission & Governance and Administration for MissionSubcommittee on the Location of the Church Center to continue to evaluate the location Episcopal Church headquarters based on a wide range of factors including cost and financial affordability, travel and geographic accessibility, employment and justice concerns, partnership opportunities; charge subcommittee with continuing to gather all available data to complete evaluation, and to hire or retain necessary professionals and consultants to complete task; authorize subcommittee to spend up to $100,000 to accomplish work (FFM-GAM002).
Local Mission and Ministry
* Affirm the following ministries as Jubilee Ministries: Fundacion Pastraol Para La Promocion Humana, Parroquia El Buen Pastor, Cucuta (Diocese of Colombia); All Saints’ Community Center; Lakewood, New Jersey (Diocese of New Jersey); Holy Spirit Emergency Food Pantry,
El Paso, Texas (diocese of the Rio Grande) (LMM010).
* Recognize companion diocese relationship between the Diocese of Southeast Florida and the Diocese of Toliara until such time as this relationship is terminated by mutual consent (WM020).
* Recommend approval of United Thank Offering grants as listed in nava report (WM021).
* Acknowledge the good work of the Rev. Heather Melton in this new UTO grant process (WM022).
* Recommend UTO individual grant summaries prepared for Executive Council include the “Focus or Criteria” guideline(s) under which the grant application is approved by UTO (WM023).
* Affirm the good news of the 75th Anniversary of Episcopal Relief & Development and encourage all Episcopalians and Anglicans everywhere to fully participate in this season of celebration with Episcopal Relief & Development (WM024).