Executive Council has full plate

When the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church convenes June 11-14 in Parsippany, New Jersey, its members will spend time reflecting on the past, present and future shape of the Church and of the Anglican Communion, as well as considering issues of ministry and governance according to Mary Frances Schjonberg of the Episcopal News Service.

"The Church's governing body between General Conventions will, as part of its agenda, look to the past to hear a report about the effort to gather information about how the Episcopal Church may have benefited from slavery.

The Council will look to the present and the future as it discusses how the Church might reach out to Episcopalians in a small number of dioceses and parishes where the leadership is disaffected with the wider Church.

Council will consider a report and resolutions in response to portions of the communiqué issued by the Anglican Primates at the end of their February meeting in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; get a summary of responses to its invitation for Episcopalians to discuss the proposed Anglican Covenant; and will hear about the experience of one gay Anglican in Nigeria.

"I am sure that a number of international concerns will be the subject of our conversation and deliberation," said Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori. "Among them, Anglican Communion issues, of mission including the Towards Effective Anglican Mission meeting and matters of peace and justice such as our Millennium Development Goal efforts. We'll talk about how we can grow our partnerships around the Communion; as well as relationships with our covenant partners such as Brazil, Mexico and Philippines.

"The current conflict around the draft Anglican Covenant and the process for its consideration, as well as the Lambeth Conference and the House of Bishops' response to the Primates' Communiqué, will be discussed. We will also include in that discussion the conflict caused by incursion into the Episcopal Church from other members of the Anglican Communion."

"We will consider domestic issues including the federal Farm Bill and our concern about domestic poverty, as well as matters of internal governance," she continued."

The lesbian and gay members of Executive Council will meet with Bonnie Anderson and other members of the Communiqué response committee on Sunday evening.

Read it all HERE with links to more information.

Executive Council holds private conversation

A draft of a response to the Anglican Communion Primates' latest communiqué is ready for consideration by the Executive Council, the church's governing body between General Conventions. Episcopal News Service reports:

In a public plenary session, House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson said that Executive Council members would discuss during private conversation later in the day a draft report of the EC008 Task Group, requested by the Executive Council (via Resolution EC008) during its March 2-4 meeting in Portland, Oregon. (Council normally spends some time during each meeting in such private conversation.)

The EC008 Task Group document suggesting a Council response to the communiqué issued by Primates of the Anglican Communion at the end of their February meeting in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania will be discussed during an open plenary session on June 14.

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and Anderson appointed the EC008 Task Group. Resolution EC008 named Anderson, who is vice president of Council, to chair the work group. (Jefferts Schori is president of the Council.)

The Executive Council meeting, at the Sheraton hotel in Parsippany, New Jersey, began with three hours of committee meetings on the morning of June 11 and another two hours in the late afternoon with the plenary session in between. Council had dinner with representatives of the host Diocese of Newark.

During the plenary session, Jefferts Schori and Anderson reported on their activities since the March Council meeting.

Later in the afternoon, Nigerian Anglican Davis Mac-Iyalla, founder of his country's only gay-rights organization, Changing Attitude Nigeria, met with Council's International Concerns (INC) and National Concerns (NAC) committees.


Davis Mac-Iyalla, described a series of death threats that forced him to flee Nigeria. He implored the Council, "Our hope is in the Episcopal Church," "If you don't speak out for us, we don't know where we will take our voice."

The Presiding Bishop reported that she recently spent time with Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams while she was in Washington D.C. last week to testify on global warming before a U.S. Senate committee hearing.

Read more HERE.

Executive Council tours 815

Episcopal Life Online reports on the second day of the Executive Council meeting, which they spent touring the newly renovated Church Center at 815 Second Ave., New York. That street address (815) often acts as shorthand, in blogspeak, for official communications from the Presiding Bishop and the Episcopal Church.

In addition to touring the physical space, the Executive Council got to see a demonstration of Episcopal Communities software, "an online collaboration space that was developed as a way for any Church-related group to meet online, exchange documents and otherwise communicate," according to the story.

Episcopal Life Online has the rest
, including a detailed report on the renovations and the schedule for the remainder of the meeting.


Executive Council set to reject Pastoral Scheme

Resolutions from the Task Group on the Primates' Dar es Salaam Communique will be on the agenda for the Executive Council. According to Episcopal News Service

The proposed statement, and three resolutions, suggest a response to portions of the communiqué issued by the Anglican Primates at the end of their February meeting in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The communiqué contained the Pastoral Scheme and called for the Episcopal Church "to effect a moratorium on the election and consent to the consecration of any candidate to the episcopate who is living in a same gender union until some new consensus in the Anglican Communion emerges."

The proposed statement would have the Council acknowledge the communiqué as "a good-faith contribution" to the on-going discussion about Anglican identity and authority but state that the "requests of the Primates are of a nature that can only be responded to by our General Convention." The Convention next meets in the summer of 2009.

The statement would have the Council "question the authority of the Primates to impose deadlines and demands upon any of the churches of the Anglican Communion."

"Assertions of authority met by counter-assertions of polity are not likely to lead to the reconciliation we seek," the draft statement says. "Our salvation is not in the law but in the grace of God in Jesus Christ our Savior; so too with our relationships as Anglicans."

The statement would have the Council say that "the only thing we really have to offer in that relationship is who we are -- a community of committed Christians seeking God's will for our common life."

The draft statement claims unity through baptism, says that "we are, whether we wish it or not, God's gift to each other" and acknowledges that the church has historically struggled to embrace people who have been marginalized, including the current debate over the place and vocation of gay and lesbian people in the life of church.

The task group proposes three resolutions for Council. The first would receive and adopt the statement the group has drafted.

The second, titled "Commending the report of the Communion Sub-Group, " refers to the report of an Anglican Communion group which generally gave the Episcopal Church positive marks for its response to various requests to explain its decisions regarding same-gender blessings, the episcopal ordination of an openly gay and partnered priest, and its desire to remain a part of the Anglican Communion. The resolution would have the Council encourage the House of Bishops to consider the report as it prepares to meet in September.

The third resolution, "Executive Council's response to the House of Bishops' Mind of the House Resolution on the Proposed Pastoral Scheme," refers to the House of Bishops' declaration in March that a plan the Primates put forward for dealing with some disaffected Episcopal Church dioceses "would be injurious to The Episcopal Church." The bishops' resolution urged that the Executive Council decline to participate in it and the proposed statement would in fact have Council decline and "respectfully ask our Presiding Bishop not to take any of the actions asked of her by this scheme."

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson appointed the EC008 Task Group. Resolution EC008 named Anderson, who is vice president of Council, to chair the work group. (Jefferts Schori is president of the Council.)


The Executive Council will also discuss the responses from the wider church to the Draft Covenant Study Guide

Read the whole report of today's meeting Here

Executive Council declines Primates' plan

The Episcopal Church's Executive Council told the Anglican Communion June 14 that no governing body other than General Convention can interpret Convention resolutions or agree to deny "future decisions by dioceses or General Convention."
The Council declined to participate in a plan put forward by the Primates of the Anglican Communion in February for dealing with some disaffected Episcopal Church dioceses. Episcopal News Service's Mary Frances Schjonberg reports:

The statement, titled "The Episcopal Church's Commitment to Common Life in Anglican Communion," "strongly affirm[ed] this Church's desire to be in the fullest possible relationship with our Anglican sisters and brothers."

The text of the statement and its accompanying resolutions passed with limited debate.

The statement agreed with the House of Bishops, which said in March that the so-called Pastoral Scheme "would be injurious to The Episcopal Church." An accompanying resolution (EC012) also "respectfully requests the Presiding Bishop to decline as well." The statement itself "respectfully ask[s] our Presiding Bishop not to take any of the actions asked of her by this scheme."

The action came June 14 on the last day of a four-day meeting at the Sheraton hotel in Parsippany, New Jersey.

The statement, and three resolutions, form a response to portions of the communiqué issued by the Anglican Primates at the end of their February meeting in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The communiqué contained the Pastoral Scheme and called for the Episcopal Church "to effect a moratorium on the election and consent to the consecration of any candidate to the episcopate who is living in a same gender union until some new consensus in the Anglican Communion emerges."

Read the full statement HERE

Read it all HERE

Executive Council warns Dioceses

Steve Waring, in the Living Church, reports on another of the resolutions adopted by Executive Council in their meeting yesterday:

"...council approved a resolution declaring ‘null and void’ attempts by a number of dioceses to revise their constitution to qualify their accession to the Constitution and Canons of the General Convention.

‘Any amendment to a diocesan constitution that purports in any way to limit or lessen an unqualified accession to the constitution of The Episcopal Church is null and void, and be it further resolved that the amendments passed to the constitutions of the dioceses of Pittsburgh, Fort Worth, Quincy and San Joaquin, which purport to limit or lessen the unqualified accession to the constitution of The Episcopal Church are accordingly null and void and the constitutions of those dioceses shall be as they were as if such amendments had not been passed,’ council stated in Resolution NAC-023.

After the resolution was approved, the Rt. Rev. Stacy Sauls, Bishop of Lexington, said Episcopalians had all agreed to live by certain principles and rules and that council believed it would be ‘helpful to have an authoritative statement [on the matter] with respect to any litigation that might occur in the future.’"

Read the rest here.

Executive Council meeting wraps up

The Executive Council of the Episcopal Church's General Convention ended its four day meeting in Michigan on Sunday. The Executive Council took a number of actions during its meeting, including a slight rebuke to the House of Bishops taking an action beyond its authority, agreeing to commit the Episcopal Church to remaining in the Anglican Covenant process and agreeing to fund the re-organization process for the Church Center that a task force had proposed.

"As it concluded its three-day fall meeting at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Dearborn, Michigan, the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church thanked the House of Bishops for its efforts that resulted in a statement to the Anglican Communion issued in September. However, Council Resolution NAC026 said that where the bishops' statement called 'particular attention to the application of [General Convention] Resolution B033 to lesbian and gay persons, it may inappropriately suggest that an additional qualification for the episcopacy has been imposed beyond those contained in the constitution and canons of the church.'

Resolution B033, passed by General Convention in June 2006, calls upon diocesan standing committees and bishops with jurisdiction 'to exercise restraint by not consenting to the consecration of any candidate to the episcopate whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church and will lead to further strains on communion.'"

Read the rest here.

Budget changes coming for national church office

The Living Church, reporting on some of the housekeeping details taken care of at the Executive Council, pulls out the news that income is down and adjustments need to be made to the national church's budget adopted at General Convention in Columbus. Nearly a quarter of the deficit arises from the reorganization plan that was approved by Executive Council at their meeting this weekend.

"Some $1.8 million will need to be trimmed from the 2008 budget when the national Executive Council meets in Quito, Ecuador, next February.

The deficit, which includes up to $550,000 in additional expenses for staff reorganization, was discussed during meetings of Executive Council’s Administration and Finance Committee. Council met Oct. 26-28 in Dearborn, Mich.

The majority of the deficit is due to an updated forecast of revenue about 2 percent less than the $50.4 million approved in the budget by the 75th General Convention in 2006. The remainder is due to additional estimated expenses of $444,000 attributed to the Church Center staff reorganization."

Read the rest here.

Is member of Executive Council also with Southern Cone?

The newly appointed president of the Standing Committee of San Joaquin of the Province of the Southern Cone is Mr. Ted Yumoto. At present The Episcopal Church lists Yumoto as a member of its Executive Council representing Province VIII. His term runs to 2009; see here and here.

As earlier reported, on Saturday Bishop John-David Schofield removed certain members of the San Joaquin standing committee. His explanation at the time read, in part:

Therefore, this morning I received the resignation of those members of the Standing Committee who do not meet the above qualifications. Communication and correspondence related to the Standing Committee should now be directed to the new President of the Standing Committee, Mr. Ted Yumoto, at the Diocesan Offices.

Later that same day, the duly-elected president of the Standing Committee contradicted the bishop stating "The members of the committee at this morning's meeting were quite clear on this point, we did not resign, we were declared unqualified to hold office." On Monday Schofield issued a revised statement replacing the paragraph above with this:
The members of the Standing Committee were elected and seated prior to the convention’s overwhelming vote to accept the invitation of the Province of the Southern Cone. At the moment of ratification, qualification for service on Standing Committee, as well as elected and appointed diocesan leadership positions changed. Therefore, certain members of that Standing Committee who do not meet the above qualifications, by their own conscience, understood that they were not qualified to remain in those positions unless and until they can accept fully their membership in the Province of the Southern Cone. Every one of these former members of that Committee are strong, faithful and orthodox leaders within this Diocese who are taking the opportunity afforded them for discernment as parish priests and we thank them for their past, present and future service. Communication and correspondence related to the Standing Committee should now be directed to the new President of the Standing Committee, Mr. Ted Yumoto, at the Diocesan Offices.
At least two questions remain. (1) Has Mr. Yumoto resigned his position on the Executive Council of The Episcopal Church?, and, if not, (2) Does he, by his own conscience, understand that he is not qualified to serve as Schofield's new president unless and until he can accept fully his membership in the Province of the Southern Cone?

Read more »

Yumoto vacated from Executive Council position

Almost in answer to our question yesterday about whether Ted Yumoto can remain on the national Executive Council (here), Episcopal Life is reporting that the Province VIII executive committee needs nominations for a lay representative to the national Executive Council to fill the position considered vacated by Ted Yumoto:

The Rev. Jack Eastwood, Province. VIII president, said that a decision was made to vacate the seat held by Ted Yumoto of the Fresno, California-based Diocese of San Joaquin after Yumoto told them he "had voted to amend canons and the constitution of the diocese" to realign with the Argentina-based Anglican Province of the Southern Cone.

Eastwood said he was appreciative of Yumoto's "stable and consistent" leadership to Province VIII and the church over the years. But, the provincial leadership "agreed that we need to have a representative who is professing to be a member of the Episcopal Church and not some other loyalty," Eastwood said January 24.

"I'm really very sorry this is happening," said Eastwood, the retired rector of St. Paul's, Oakland. "But, we felt we needed to take this action for the province and the responsibility to represent it on Executive Council, we felt we needed to move forward on this."

Central Ecuador a model for San Joaquin

At the end of their meeting this week in Quito, members of the Executive Council sent a message saying that the Diocese of Central Ecuador may provide a model for the reconstitution of the Diocese of San Joaquin, in addition to reviewing the financial health of the Episcopal Church (which ended the year with a $1 million surplus).

The Living Church provides some background on the Ecuador situation and some notes on the announcement from the Executive Council:

The previous Bishop of Central Ecuador was deposed in 2006 for failure to provide adequate financial information over the course of a number of years. Subsequently the diocese learned that title to many of its assets–including the cathedral, the diocesan office building and a school‑were listed as personal property of the former bishop. During the meeting in Ecuador council members toured a number of diocesan outreach ministry projects and congregations. “We are gratified to see the rebirth of hope for the people of this diocese, which has emerged revitalized from the necessary inhibition and deposition of its bishop and a restructuring of the diocese under the leadership of Bishop Wilfredo Ramos-Orench, appointed by the House of Bishops as provisional Bishop,” council said. “This is a new and unfamiliar landscape for all of us,” council members said in a section of the letter referring to Episcopalians in the Diocese of San Joaquin. “We stand with you and commit ourselves to provide pastoral care, to aid in reorganization, and to support legal actions necessary to retain the assets of the diocese for ministry. We will hold clergy leaders accountable to their vows to uphold the doctrine, discipline and worship of this church, and lay leadership accountable to the fiduciary responsibilities of the offices they hold. Up to $500,000 of income from trust funds will be made available in the calendar year 2008 to support the mission work of the Diocese of San Joaquin and similarly situated dioceses.”

The whole thing, including a link to a PDF file of the letter from the Council, is here.

Executive Council wraps up work

The Executive Council of the Episcopal Church has ended its meeting in Ecuador and issued a statement to the Episcopal Church. In the letter, the Executive Council discusses the situation in the Diocese of San Joaquin in particular.

"The Executive Council issued a letter to the Episcopal Church February 14 during the final day of its four-day meeting here praising the transformation of the Diocese of Ecuador Central and saying it gives the members hope in light of the attempt of the leadership of the Diocese of San Joaquin to transfer their diocese to another province in the Anglican Communion.
'We are deeply concerned for those who want to continue as members of The Episcopal Church but now find themselves in parishes or dioceses attempting to depart,' the letter. 'To the members of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin, know we stand with you. Your struggles and needs inform our prayers, deliberations, and plans.

'This is a new and unfamiliar landscape for all of us. We stand with you and commit ourselves to provide pastoral care, to aid in re-organization, and to support legal actions necessary to retain the assets of the diocese for ministry. We will hold clergy leaders accountable to their vows to uphold the doctrine, discipline and worship of this Church, and lay leadership accountable to the fiduciary responsibilities of the offices they hold.'

The letter also summarizes the Council's time in Quito, commends Ecuador Central for its mission and ministry, and briefly discusses the financial state of the Episcopal Church."

In other news released at the meeting, the Episcopal Church's national budget is going to show a surplus due to larger than anticipated contributions by many dioceses to its common work. Council also heard reports on the ongoing process in the Communion to define a broadly acceptable Covenant.

Read the rest of the news report here.

The text of the letter (in pdf format) issued by the Executive Council can be read here.

Executive Council receives proposed revisions to disciplinary canons

Steve Hutchinson, chancellor of the Diocese of Utah and chair of the Title IV Task Force II, which is charged with revising the Episcopal Church's rules on ecclesiastical discipline, gave the Executive Council an overview of the changes proposed for action at General Convention 2009.

Episcopal Life Online reports that the task force has already proposed a draft for comment. It plans to use those comments to fine-tune the proposed revision and offer a final draft to the 76th General Convention in June 2009.

More information about the revision process, including the proposed changes to Title IV and other related canons, is here. The changes refer primarily to clergy discipline, but the task force has also proposed an addition to Title I, which would apply to lay leaders.

Hutchinson told the Council that the aim of the Title IV revision is "to try to find a model that will well serve the church and is easily understood." He said the task force's challenge is "to seek a fair balance" from the comments received during the first attempt to revise Title IV during the 75th General Convention in June 2006 and those made on the current proposed draft. He said the new proposal is rooted in the Baptismal Covenant and the need for accountability and responsibility, as well as healing and reconciliation.

He led the Council through a PowerPoint presentation of how a disciplinary case would work its way through the proposed system.

During a question-and-answer period, Sally Johnson, a consultant to the task force, said that a "fundamental shift" in the proposed revision is that the person accused of misconduct would have to tell their side of the story, something that is not required in the current Title IV. Refusing to do so can used to infer guilt, she said. Hutchinson noted that other professional-conduct models also required the accused to respond to accusations.

The emphasis on "truth-telling" may well lead to earlier and better settlements of complaints and possibly reduced costs, Johnson said.

Read more on Executive Council's meeting here.

Reports from first day of Executive Council now posted

The Executive Council of the Episcopal Church is holding its final meeting of the Triennium this week in Maine. Most of the work they will do will be focused on preparing for this summer's General Convention. Episcopal Life reports on the first day's activities.

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Executive Council reorganizes itself

Updated with Mark Harris.

Mary Frances Schjonberg of Episcopal Life Online:

The Episcopal Church's Executive Council reorganized itself October 6 in an effort to refocus its work on the mission and ministry of the Episcopal Church.

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Breaking: Executive Council to discuss Ugandan situation

A special session of the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church has been called to discuss the church's position on the "Anti-Homosexuality Bill" currently before the Ugandan Parliament. The meeting will be conducted via conference call on the afternoon of December 7, according to numerous sources.

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Executive Council to meet on Ugandan legislation

Episcopal Life reports:

A teleconference meeting of the Episcopal Church's Executive Council will take place on Dec. 7 to discuss a possible statement on Ugandan legislation that would imprison for life or execute people who violate that country's anti-homosexuality laws.

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Kearon to meet with Executive Council?

Canon Kenneth Kearon will attend the meeting of the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church that begins tonight near Baltimore, the Café has learned. Kearon recently emailed Episcopalians who participated in ecumenical dialogs on behalf of the Anglican Communion that their services were no longer required. Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, proposed removing Episcopalians from these groups because the church will not observe the moratorium he has requested, on the consecration of openly gay and lesbian Christians as bishops.

Executive Council quizzes Secretary General

Social media coverage is flowing in from the meeting of the Council with Kenneth Kearon, Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, who recently wrote letters to the Episcopal Church on behalf of the Archbishop of Canterbury .

ENS's Schjonberg and others are tweeting to #TECouncil

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Episcopal budget process: 'Irresponsible ... unpastoral ... scandalous'

At the most recent General Convention in Anaheim, as the Episcopal Church passed resolutions that affirmed that policy of allowing all persons full access to the ordination process, including that of bishops, the almost unnoticed story was the conflict surrounding the creation of the triennial budget. Recently Province III of the Episcopal Church meeting passed a resolution highly critical of the way the budget was put together. Executive Council has responded to the resolution by promising to have a conversation about these concerns based on an ongoing review of Church Center policies.

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Executive Council talks it out

Updated with Mary Frances Schjonberg's story:

The Episcopal Church's Executive Council Oct. 25 approved a reduced 2011 budget for the church and continued a discussion of church governance begun the day before. The 2011 budget is five percent lower than the version adopted by General Convention in 2009.

The budget decision came during the council's final sessions of its Oct. 23-25 meeting here.

Council spent more than a half hour discussing Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori's remarks from the previous day concerning the tensions inherent in the Episcopal Church's governance structure. Twelve members of council spoke during the conversation.

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Executive Council - redux

The news report from Executive Council raises more questions about governance and the relationship between General Convention, Deputies, Bishops, Executive Council, the presiding officers and staff. It is good to hear that the Presiding Bishop's remarks on "suicide by governance" were the subject of honest and clarifying discussion:

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Open meetings

Last weeks’ meeting of the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church sparked more conversation than such meeting usually do, much of it about Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori’s remarks about church governance and the debate about the manner in which the church should carry its debt.

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Executive Council considers restructuring

The Executive Council of the Episcopal Church (the interim governing body between General Conventions) concluded its meeting in Fort Worth yesterday and reported that a key portion of their conversation focused on responding to calls to reconsider the structure and governance of the Episcopal Church.

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Covenant subcommittee declines to release key report

ENS reports (towards the bottom of this story) that the sub-committee formulating the Executive Council's response to the proposed Anglican Covenant is refusing to release a report on whether the covenant would require changes to the Episcopal Church's Constitution and Canons.

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Release the Constitution and Canons report on the covenant

On Friday night, Episcopal News Service reported that the sub-committee of Executive Council charged with formulating that body’s response to the proposed Anglican Covenant had received a report from the Standing Commission on Constitution and Canons, advising the subcommittee on whether adoption of the covenant would require changes in our church’s constitution and canons.

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Unpersuasive arguments against releasing the report on the covenant

We have not yet succeeded in getting Executive Council to release the report it received more than four months ago from the Standing Commission on Constitution and Canons regarding the Anglican Covenant. And we are still open to receiving it directly at jim@episcopalcafe.com.

The arguments we have heard against releasing the report go something like this:

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Release the report: it's fair play

Yesterday I explained why I think Executive Council is violating the spirit, if not the letter, of our canons in refusing to release the report it received from the Standing Commission on Constitution and Canons regarding the Anglican Covenant. Today, I’d like to argue the matter on practical grounds.

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Breaking: Executive Council releases the covenant report

From the Office of Public Affairs"

The Executive Council D020 Task Force, a subcommittee of the Executive Council, has released the report from the Standing Commission on Constitution and Canons.

In a statement also released by the D020 Task Force:

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Executive Council: new approach to 2013-15 budget

The Executive Council of the Episcopal Church is preparing the 2013-15 budget for approval at General Convention (GC). Input is being solicited from across the church. Lay and clergy leaders, Deputies to GC, bishops and others are being asked to complete a survey to hear from the church about priorities for the budget. Kudos to the Executive Council for this first step to a more open process.

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Executive Council leadership responds to call for Special Convention

Amid the regular budgeting process, the opening of Executive Council's meeting in Salt Lake City included reactions to the proposal by Bishop Stacy Sauls that the Episcopal Church call for a Special Convention to deal with questions of its structure.

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Executive Council says no to Anglican Covenant

The Executive Council of The Episcopal Church met in Salt Lake City, UT over the weekend. From Episcopal News Service:

Executive Council submits General Convention resolution saying church is 'unable to adopt Anglican Covenant'

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Breaking: Executive Council receives dueling budget proposals

Updated with Episcopal News Service story.

Executive Council has received two different budget proposals from its Executive Committee.

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Executive Council pushes back on budget

Yesterday two competing budget proposals were presented to Executive Council. Today the members of Council are beginning to look closely at what was given to them, and reacting to what they're finding. They're not pleased.

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Executive Council roundup

As the church moves towards General Convention 2012, the Episcopal Church's Executive Council finished its second to last meeting with the adoption of a preliminary budget that asks each diocese for support of 19% rather than the 15% also proposed. The Executive Council message to the church indicates a hard working session as vision and programs were balanced with a shrinking base of money and members. It includes a possible funding of a special session of General Convention to re-structure governance.

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Save the twitter stream!

We learned this morning that a member of Executive Council has objected to Lelanda Lee's tweeting of the group's recent meeting, and that the issue of further tweeting has been referred the council's Government and Administration for Mission Committee for consideration at its April meeting.

Lelanda said there was no discussion of the complaint at the meeting, but that the complainant reported feeling "violated" by the tweeting.

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Report to Executive Council recommended against Development Office

The draft of the 2013-15 budget for the Episcopal Church includes an almost $3.8 million draw from the principal of the church’s endowment to fund a development office.

Drawing upon the principal of an endowment is a practice that budget makers generally frown upon, so one would like to believe that the executive team at Church Center headquarters, which has advocated this expenditure, and the Executive Council of the church, which supported it, is fairly certain that it will succeed.

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Executive Council meeting in Salt Lake City

UPDATE: report from Episcopal News Service.

Ohio Bishop Mark Hollingsworth questioned why council could not correct the “mistakes and errors” in the version of the draft budget council forwarded to the church’s Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget and Finance (PB&F) in January. He asked whether council could send that group a revised version.

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Executive Council disappointed

UPDATED: MEMO to PB&F corrected copy.

Updated. The Executive Council of The Episcopal Church has completed its last meeting before General Convention. They issued this letter today:

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@theologybird: What I wish Executive Council had said

The Rev. Robyn Barnes, a deputy to General Convention from the Diocese of Montana, kept up an active twitter stream about last week's Executive Council meeting. You can follow her as @theologybird, and view the entire collective twitter stream by following the hashtag #ExCoun.

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One more take on that letter from Executive Council

The Rev. Megan Castellan, (on Twitter @revlucymeg) a college chaplain from the Diocese of Arizona, took a long look at the Executive Council's recent letter, and decided to write the council a letter in reply. Here is some of what she had to say on her blog, Red Shoes, Funny Shirt.

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Let go of the peanuts!

You will have to read the Rev. Gay Jennings' entire sermon at the closing Eucharist of Executive Council to understand the headline on this item. Below is a passage that was especially heartening to me.

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A brief commentary on the budget commentary

Late Friday afternoon the Episcopal Church’s Office of Public Affairs released a commentary on the church’s draft budget including a foreword by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, commentary by Bishop Stacy Sauls, the church’s chief operating officer, and a line-by-line explanation of the budget produced by Kurt Barnes, the church’s treasurer, in consultation with Bishop Sauls.

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Executive Council, the PB, the COO and the budget: one member's story

Katie Sherrod, a member of Executive Council, and one of the people most responsible for keeping the Episcopal faith alive in the Diocese of Fort Worth has written an anguished in-depth account of her experiences on Executive Council during the development of the draft budget for 2012-2015:

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Executive Council begins four-day meeting

Updated at bold-facing with the Presiding Bishop's sermon at the opening Eucharist. Updated again at bold-facing with President of House of deputies opening remarks at 1:20 pm, and a report on the award made to the Rev. Canon Dr. Gregory S. Straub, who will retire as executive secretary of the General Convention of the Episcopal Church on January 1 at 1:35. Updated at 5:35 with the Presiding Bishop's opening remarks.

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Gay Jennings' Executive Council Top Ten list

We linked earlier in the day to the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings' opening remarks to the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church at her first meeting as President of the House of Deputies. But her Top Ten list of healthy working habits for members of the council is getting some social media play, and we decided it merited its own item.

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PB clarifies comment on 'thick' interpretion of General Convention

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said earlier this week that Executive Council members "can't always take General Convention decisions literally." Asked about this at a press conference today, she offered some clarification. From Episcopal News Service:

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Letter on TEC's Middle East policy stirs controversy

From Episcopal News Service:

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Tutu, Anderson, others urges Executive Council to "hold Israel accountable"

Last night the Cafe published a story from Episcopal News Service that began:

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North Carolina urges action on Palestine/Israel church policy

The Episcopal Peace Fellowship Palestine Israel Network issued this Press Release Monday January 28 reporting that the Diocese of North Carolina passed a resolution urging Executive Council action on Palestine/Israel church policy. Received via email:

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Gun trafficking legislation on Executive Council agenda

The Executive Council of the Episcopal Church begins a three-day meeting today at the Maritime Institute near Baltimore-Washington International Airport. Among the items on its agenda is a proposed resolution on gun violence.

While the resolution that emerges may touch on many aspects of the debate over how to reduce the epidemic of gun violence in our country, a clause that supports making gun trafficking a federal crime would have the most immediate impact.

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Executive Council passes resolution on gun violence

The Executive Council of the Episcopal Church has passed a resolution on gun violence, as reported on the House of Deputies page:

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Executive Council: Opening remarks from the PB and PHoD

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings, Presiding of the House of Deputies, have given opening remarks at the meeting of the Episcopal Church's Executive Council, in session until Monday near Baltimore.

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Executive Council pledges support to continuing dioceses

Mary Frances Schjonberg reports from Executive Council for Episcopal News Service:

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Executive Council awards seven Constable Grants

From the Episcopal Church's Office of Public Affairs:

The Episcopal Church Executive Council announced the recipients of the Constable Fund Grants, totaling $535,000, for the 2013 grant cycle.

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The End: commissions and committees of The Episcopal Church?

Steve Waring of The Living Church interviews President of the House of Deputies about restructuring The Episcopal Church, the Task Force (TREC), and what she sees happening to the committees and commissions of the church:

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Time to put down the prophet's mantle?

On the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, Mark Silk suggests that it is time for religious leaders to put down the mantle of prophets. He writes:

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First woman Deputy to GC Lueta Bailey on PB John Hines and UTO

Lueta Bailey, first woman seated as a Deputy to General Convention in 1970 tells the story of how the Episcopal Church Women responded to a request from Presiding Bishop John Hines for three million dollars from UTO in 1967 for the General Convention Special Program ("This is an excerpt from a forthcoming film about Bishop John Hines with the working title "Justice is the Corporate Face of Love" by Charles and Robin Sumners.):

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Staff prepares talking points on UTO controversy for House of Bishops

At the request of several bishops, the Church Center staff recently provided the House of Bishops with "talking points" regarding the recent controversy involving the board of the United Thank Offering. As you may recall four members of the UTO board resigned in protest over what they viewed as the Church Center staff's attempt to erode the independence of the UTO and weaken its relationship to the Episcopal Church Women.

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Executive Council meets this week

The Executive Council of The Episcopal Church meets this week in Chicago. Mark Harris, writing at Preludium has the agenda, some thoughts about the items on the agenda, "executive sessions" and why the UTO discussions and the out come matters:

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PB and PHoD make opening remarks at Executive Council

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings, President of the House of Deputies have offered opening remarks at the meeting of the church's Executive Council, which is meeting today through Thursday in Chicago at the headquarters of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

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TREC discusses its work with the Executive Council

Episcopal News Service reports from Executive Council on a presentation by the Task Force for Re-imagining the Episcopal Church:

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Executive Council expresses deep regrets re: UTO

Episcopal News Service reports on the Executive Council meeting and the outcome of discussions about UTO:

The Episcopal Church’s Executive Council formally moved Oct. 17 to try to heal the wounds incurred during the recent controversy over the functioning of the United Thank Offering.

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Executive Council report from Susan Snook

The Rev. Susan Snook, member of Executive Council summarizes and comments on the meeting held in Chicago last week:

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Executive Council takes up thorny governance issues

The Executive Council is taking up some difficult issues of governance at its meeting near Baltimore. Episcopal News Service has the story:

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Is Executive Council about Jesus?

After attending the February meeting of the Executive Council The Rev. Susan Snook writes in her blog:

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Deacon Terry Star has died

Update, 1:55 pm: A story from Episcopal News Service

Deacon Terry Star, a member of Executive Council and seminarian at Nashotah House has died.

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A festival of acronyms: TREC on EC, CCABs etc.

How big should the Executive Council be? How many Commissions, Committees, Agencies and Board do we need to effectively do the work of the church? The Task Force for Reimagining the Episcopal Church attempted to answer these questions in its recent paper on governance and administration. I am generally supportive of the recommendations on reducing the number of CCABs, but unsure about what the church should do regarding the size and composition of Executive Council.

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