[Episcopal News Service – Linthicum Heights, Maryland] During its Jan. 9-11 meeting here, The Episcopal Church’s Executive Council adopted multiple resolutions, which are summarized below.
* Approve council’s Blue Book report to the 78th General Convention.
* Express gratitude for the hospitality, service and care shown this Council by the people of the Maritime Institute of Technology during our five meetings at the center this triennium; express its appreciation to Brian Senft, director of sales and marketing; John Krikorian and Rachel Geise of conference services; and the staff of Presentation Media; give thanks to the entire staff for their efforts in making council’s time in Linthicum Heights so enjoyable (unnumbered courtesy resolution).
Advocacy and Networking for Mission
* Accept and adopt the updated proxy voting recommendations made by the Executive Council Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility (A&N037).
* Accept the report made by the Executive Council Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility (CCSR) on corporate responsibility and climate change (see attachment); direct CCSR to continue to engage in shareholder activism, including corporate dialogues, proxy voting in favor of resolutions seeking changes in corporate behaviors vis-à-vis greenhouse-gas emissions and climate change, and shareholder resolutions; direct CCSR to coordinate its efforts with regard to shareholder activism on greenhouse-gas emissions climate change with The Episcopal Church’s Office of Government Relations and other religious organizations (including members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility; direct CCSR to study additional options for witness and to report back to council at its fall 2016 meeting (A&N038).
* Request that the presiding bishop and president of the House of Deputies appoint a task group to consider how The Episcopal Church can better support Historically Black Colleges and Universities, including financial, administrative, leadership, and other forms of support; task group to report its progress to Executive Council at the first meeting in 2016 (A&N039).
Finances for Mission
* Establish Trust Fund 1073 as an investment account for the Episcopal Diocese in Lexington, Kentucky (FFM069).
* Establish Trust Fund 1074 as an investment account for Trinity Episcopal Church in Staunton, Virginia (FFM070.
* Allocate 50 percent of the income from Trust Fund No. 815, The Vincent Astor fund, to the Diocese of New York and 50 percent to the Diocese of Long Island for 2015-2017 (FFM071).
* Approve modifications to the 2015 Budget for The Episcopal Church (FFM072).
* Approve draft budget for The Episcopal Church for the 2016-2018 triennium (FFM073).
* Approve creation of a Diocesan Assessment Review Committee, under the oversight of the Joint Standing Committee Finances For Mission, to work with dioceses that do not commit to pay their full assessment to The Episcopal Church in any year, to talk with diocesan leaders about the reasons for not paying the full amount, including reviewing diocesan financial statements, to encourage and work with such dioceses to create a plan for reaching the full assessment amount; presiding bishop and president of the House of Deputies shall appoint the members; Diocesan Assessment Review Committee to have authority to recommend that Executive Council grant a full or partial waiver of assessment to any diocese, allowing it to pay a lower assessment amount than levied in The Episcopal Church’s budget, based on financial hardship, an appropriate plan for reaching the full assessment over time, or other factors;
Council will have the authority to consider the Diocesan Assessment Review Committee’s recommendations and determine whether a waiver of assessment shall be granted; any diocese that does not plan to pay its full assessment amount, and has not received a waiver of assessment be asked to account in writing to Executive Council and the wider church for that choice; a diocese that does not pay its full assessment in any year, and has not received a waiver of assessment, shall not be eligible to receive any grants or loans from the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society (FFM is responsible for further practical details/refinement at the March council meeting) (FFM074).
*Authorize the Executive Officer of The Episcopal Church to make any editorial changes to council’s Blue Book report that are needed to harmonize the report with council’s actions on the 2016-2018 draft budget; that any financial requests previously contained in council’s Blue Book report be forwarded to FFM at its November 2015 meeting for consideration in allocating general budget line items to particular projects for the 2016-2018 triennium (FFM075).
Governance and Administration for Mission
* Consent to the nomination by the presiding bishop of the slate of nominees for election to The Episcopal Church Women National Board recommended by the ECW National Board Nominating Committee with the exception of the Province IX representative who shall be recommended by the Province IX Synod (GAM025).
* Extends the expiration date for the following committees of Executive Council to December 31, 2015: Episcopal News Service Resource Council and Executive Council Investment Committee (GAM026).
Local Mission and Ministry
* Affirm six entities as Jubilee Centers, including Servicios Sociales Episcopales Inc., Saint Just, Puerto Rico (Diocese of Puerto Rico); Jovenes Salvando Jovenes (Iglesia San Juan Evangelista), Tegucigalpa, Honduras (Diocese of Honduras); Trinity of Woodbridge Outreach Ministries,
Woodbridge, New Jersey (Diocese of New Jersey); Path To Shine, Smyrna, Georgia (Diocese of Atlanta); Cathedral of St. John, Denver, Colorado, (Diocese of Colorado); Denver Urban Ministries, Denver, Colorado (Diocese of Colorado) (LMM012).
* Approve Constable Fund grants for four projects, totaling $187,250 (LMM013).
* Approve resolution to General Convention celebrating the work initiated by GC2012-A073 Establish Diocesan Mission Enterprise Zones, honoring the “holy experiments emerging throughout the Church,” that the 78th General Convention continue to fund the start-up of Mission Enterprise Zones and New Church Starts with a significantly increased budget allocation over the 2012-2015 budget; that the Church continue to develop the Mission-Centered Episcopalians web-based sharing platform and to bring together mission developers for a face-to-face gathering; that diocesan leaders be encouraged to share what they learn from these Mission Enterprise Zones; that applications for partnership and funding from these new ministries will be discerned, supported and called to accountability by a 1st Mark of Mission task force appointed by the Missionary Society and The Episcopal Church’s Executive Council, with the seed money administered by the Church’s Missioner for New Church Starts and Missional Initiatives, for the 2016-2018 triennium; that the 78th General Convention request that the Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget, and Finance allocate not less than $3 million (the amount designated in council’s draft budget for the 2016-2018 triennium) to continue funding the start-up of Mission Enterprise Zones and New Church Starts to implement this resolution during the 2016-2018 triennium (LMM014).
* Celebrate U.S. government initiatives in opening up new lines of communication and dialogue with the government of Cuba in order to achieve the objective of normalizing relations between our two nations; applaud the work of the Episcopal Diocese of Cuba (a part of the Anglican Communion since 1901 and currently an extra-provincial diocese of the Communion overseen by a Metropolitan Council comprised of the Primates of the provinces of Canada, West Indies, and The Episcopal Church); look forward to renewed opportunities to enter into ministry with The Episcopal Church in Cuba, learning from them and sharing with them (WM033).