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About the TREC church-wide “town meeting”

About the TREC church-wide “town meeting”

The TREC town meeting was last night. It is taking a while to digest the implications. You can watch it again on-line. Some reactions below.

ENS:

After spending the evening of Oct. 2 answering questions and taking comments about its work, the Task Force for Reimagining the Episcopal Church is refining its recommendations to General Convention on structural changes to the church.

TREC’s last face-to-face meeting before its report to General Convention is due began with the 2.5-hour gathering Oct. 2. The event was webcast live from Washington National Cathedral. It is also due to be available on demand for later viewing here and here. The agenda included 10-minute presentations from some TREC members each followed by 15-minute question-and-comment periods. A 40-minute question-and-comment period rounded out the meeting. Questions, concerns and comments were taken from the audience in the cathedral as well as from people sending in questions via e-mail and Twitter.

The task force recently released a letter to the church outlining what it called “our thinking and emerging recommendations” on structural changes it will make to the 2015 meeting of General Convention. It said in that letter that its final report, due to be made public at the end of November, would “illustrate how these recommended changes would help The Episcopal Church to more effectively and efficiently address critical and urgent agenda items, with the flexibility to innovate and experiment more rapidly and to adopt bold courses of action where necessary.”

It was not clear from comments made during the Oct. 2 gathering if the proposals included in that Sept. 4 letter will remain as they are, whether others will be added or just how sweeping a scope the final report’s recommendation will have.

Lionel Deimel wrote:

TREC clearly is very concerned about the lines of authority and accountability among the general church staff, the presiding bishop, the president of the House of Deputies, and Executive Council. I am willing to believe there are problems here, but most of us who are far removed from 815 Second Avenue are unclear as to the nature of the ambiguities that the task force finds troubling. I wish that TREC would tell us the nature of the ambiguities and conflicts, so that we could evaluate proposed responses more effectively. As I understand it, a major issue here is the nature of Executive Council. At one level, I want Executive Council to be constrained by what the General Convention has said and not said. And yet, Executive Council needs a certain mandate to act between conventions in response to unanticipated developments. This is only one of the questions that needs to be clarified.

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