The Executive Council of TEC met this week, from the 8th until the 10th, at the Oak Ridge Hotel & Conference Center in Chaska MN. The Episcopal News Service has compiled and published a summary of the resolutions adopted by the Executive Council over the three days.
Advocacy and Networking for Mission
- Acknowledge receipt of the Episcopal Historically Black Colleges and Universities Task Group’s report from its April 2016 meeting; affirm support for Voorhees College in Denmark, South Carolina, as evidenced by the following steps: commitment to a mutual fund development program with Voorhees strengthen and build their institutional advancement program; assist Voorhees in recruitment efforts among Episcopal and non-Episcopal high school students, in collaboration with the Union of Black Episcopalians, especially with scholarship assistance; General Convention increased the church’s block grant support allocation for Voorhees to $274,167 per annum over the 2016-2018 triennium; utilize its administrative resources and ties to support Voorhees through communication and public relations to enhance the college’s ministry and recognition throughout the church (AN008).
- Acknowledge receipt of the Episcopal Historically Black Colleges and Universities Task Group’s report from its April 2016 meeting; affirms support for St. Augustine’s University in Raleigh, North Carolina, as evidenced by the following steps: commitment to a mutual development program to raise significant resources for St. Augustine’s to be used in areas of operations and scholarship; assist St. Augustine’s recruitment efforts among Episcopal and non-Episcopal high school students across the country in collaboration with the Union of Black Episcopalians; General Convention increased the church’s block grant support for St. Augustine’s to $274,167 per annum over the 2016-2018 triennium; utilize its administrative resources and ties to support St. Augustine’s through communication and public relations to enhance the university’s ministry and recognition throughout the church (AN009).
- Reaffirm its recognition that the process of voting and political participation is an act of Christian stewardship, and renew its call to the president and to U.S. Congress to restore and repair the Voting Rights Act; recognize the need for policy to delineate fair limitations on the influence of corporate interests in elections; urge Episcopalians to engage in legislative advocacy for campaign finance reform and other efforts to increase transparency in election finance and to reduce the influence of special interest money in politics (AN010).
- Commit to the moral, economic, and geophysical challenges of global eco-justice; commit to developing the goals of Resolution A030-GC2015-Stewardship of Creation as an important and essential challenge to the church; supports development of eco-justice sites in Alaska, Louisiana, and Dominican Republic as well as regional advisory groups to network and facilitate these sites; fund the continuing participation of Advisory Council on the Stewardship of Creation in national and international global climate change discussions (AN011).
- Instructs the executive officers or their authorized representatives to explore all reasonable and prudent financial strategies available to the church (including but not limited to secured loans, lines of credit, advance funding, land purchase) in order to support the ongoing educational ministries of St. Augustine University and Voorhees College; report of the above exploration, including recommendations for action, be made to Executive Committee of Executive Council or to Executive Council no later than the next regular council meeting (AN012).
- Continue to support establishment of a living wage, confirming the long-standing policy of the Episcopal Church to support fair, just, and living wages for all hourly employees (see General Convention resolutions: 1997, D082; 2000, A081; 2003, A-130; 2006, D047 & C008; 2012, D028; 2015, C048 affirming just and living wages and the rights for workers to organize); continue to encourage support of national and local living wage campaigns; advocate for increasing U.S. federal minimum wage to $15 an hour indexed to inflation, for wage adjustments for tipped employees to enable them to earn a living wage; continue to support efforts of labor to organize; commend states and municipalities that have already taken action on fair and living wages; all expressions and organizations of the Episcopal Church should lead by example and strive to ensure all of its employees earn a minimum of $15 an hour (AN013).
- Reaffirm the Episcopal Church’s support of local, state and federal laws that prevent discrimination based on gender identity or gender expression as set forth in General Convention Resolution 2009-D012; voice opposition to all legislation that seeks to deny the God-given dignity, legal equality, and civil rights of transgender people, including North Carolina’s discriminatory Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act; voice its opposition to all legislation, rhetoric and policy rooted in fear-based argument that protecting transgender people’s civil rights in the form of equal access to public accommodation puts other groups at risk; call upon the governor and legislators of North Carolina to repeal the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act and call upon all other local, state and federal officials to enact legislation that prevents discrimination of all kinds based on gender identity or gender expression; encourage Episcopalians to work against legislation that discriminates against transgender people and for legislation that prevents such discrimination, and to communicate the church’s position to courts, policymakers and others across the United States (AN014).
- Welcome and celebrate the Federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) public release of proposed rules and regulations intended to better protect consumers and govern the payday loan industry; encourage dioceses, parishes, agencies and Episcopalians to review the proposed rules and regulations, and participate in the open-comment period sponsored by the CFPB in order to express faith and justice concerns regarding payday-type lending as expressed in General Convention resolutions B009-2009 and A081-2012 (AN015).
- Recognize poverty in the United States as “a blot on the character of our nation” and that as Christians, apart from loving God and loving our neighbors as ourselves, there is no higher mandate than a commitment to the poor, the widow, the child, the stranger, the sick, or the prisoner; applaud Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and the House of Representatives’ Task Force on Poverty, Opportunity, and Upward Mobility for their initiative on poverty as contained in “A Better Way; our Plan for America” – a plan offered on hunger and poverty, and the policies required to end them in the United States – “in a chaotic time in our nation when conversation about the poor and marginalized is desperately needed”; call for bipartisan conversation and commitment to policies that alleviate poverty and hunger in the United States with programs encourage a focus on childhood education and criminal justice reform recognizing that the racial inequities, supports efforts to reduce inefficiencies in federal poverty programs, opposes any type or form of “block grants” to states of federal that effectually reduces access to those programs to those who are legally entitled ; encourage all Episcopalians to be advocates with policy makers at the local, state and federal level to make eliminating poverty a national conversation and form a commitment to the social safety net in our nation and that the secretary shall communicate this resolution to appropriate leaders of Congress (resolution does not endorse the plan) (AN016).
Finances for Mission
- Accept revised Investment Policy Statement of the Domestic & Foreign Missionary Society, revised May 2016 (FFM038).
- Designate a tax-deductible housing allowance for 2016 requested the Rt. Rev. F. Clayton Matthews pursuant to Internal Revenue Code Section 107 and Internal Revenue Service Regulations S1.107 (FFM039).
- Accept list of projects identified in the June 8, 2016, presentation by the Development Officer as areas of focus, including Haiti, Archives of the Episcopal Church, Navajoland Area Mission and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (FFM040).
- Because Executive Council Investment Committee strongly recommends that in the Episcopal Church’s 2019-2021 budget, Executive Council and the Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget & Finance shall seriously consider reducing the annual draw on investment income to 4.5 percent by 2021 in the following manner: 4.85 percent, 4.70 percent, and 4.5 percent in each of the years 2019, 2020, and 2021; total draws, including any special requests, shall not exceed these percentages (FFM041).
Finances for Mission and Governance and Administration for Mission
- Authorize up to $3.3 million be made available for the duration of the Archives of the Episcopal Church building project to cover costs identified for capital campaign implementation, collection preparation, physical move, regular and consulting staff, and other operational expenses, utilizing sources to be identified by the treasurer (GAM-FFM001).
Governance and Administration for Mission
- Amend Executive Council by-laws with an article on conflicts of interest and recusal (GAM001).
- Amend Executive Council by-laws with an article on meetings by electronic means (GAM002(rev)).
Local Mission and Ministry
- Set Sustainability Grant funds of $1.5 million (budget line item 167) for the four principal dioceses engaged in Native American ministry (Alaska, Navajoland, North Dakota, and South Dakota), as follows: youth ministry (for North and South Dakota, to be administered by North Dakota), $630,000; solar panels (North Dakota), $45,000; excavator (backhoe) for Standing Rock Reservation, North and South Dakota (to be administered by North Dakota), $28,000, $28,000; Hozhou Center renovation project (Diocese of Navajoland), $325,000; Alaska Native Episcopal Council (Diocese of Alaska), $40,000; missioner for leadership development (Diocese of South Dakota), $57,000; Bishops’ Native Collaborative (to be administered by Diocese of Montana), $375,000; and $23,000 shall be transferred from budget line item 169 to budget line item 167 to pay organizational expenses related to the sustainability grants (LMM004).
Local Mission and Ministry and Finances for Mission
- Give thanks to God for the renewal and new life evident in the Diocese of Fort Worth; commend diocese’s progress and resolve as it develops new ministries and church planting; grant $107,500 to the diocese for its evangelism and church growth ministries in 2016, and $55,000 each in 2017 and 2018; and encourage the diocese to apply for a grant for church planting through the Resolution D005 church planting process. The Episcopal Church will partner with the diocese in pursuing other avenues of grant funding and fundraising (LMM-FFM001).
- Express appreciation for the following appointments made on behalf of the Presiding Bishop in recent months: Kyle Evans (Diocese of Pennsylvania) Episcopal Volunteer in Mission, St. Barnabas Agricultural College in northern region of Diocese of Haiti; Janet O’Flynn and the Rev. Donnel O’Flynn (Diocese of Central New York) acting dean and English instructor respectively, Episcopal University of Haiti, Diocese of Haiti; the Rev. Stephen and Rhonda Robinson (Diocese of Atlanta) canon for education, Diocese of Honduras (wife Rhonda accompanied him); Dan Tootle (Diocese of Maryland) Episcopal Volunteer in Mission, St. Barnabas Agricultural College in northern region of Diocese of Haiti; Perry Alan Yarborough (Dioceses of Western North Carolina and Upper South Carolina) in addition to serving two years as a YASC Volunteer in the Diocese of Haiti, note status change to Episcopal Volunteer in Mission (WM004).
- Express appreciation for the following Young Adult Service Corps appointments made on behalf of the presiding bishop in recent months: Thomas Balch (Diocese of West Virginia) assigned in Diocese of Cape Town, Church of the Province of South Africa; Catherine Carscadden Belous (Diocese of Virginia) assigned in Church of the Philippines; Mary Grace Benhase (Diocese of Georgia) assigned at St. John’s Cathedral, Hong Kong; Elizabeth Martin (Eliza) Brinkley (Diocese of North Carolina) assigned with CASB Project in Cap-Haitien, Diocese of Haiti; Andrew James Cameron (Diocese of Virginia) assigned at St. John’s Cathedral, Hong Kong; Naomi Zoe Cunningham (Diocese of Kansas) assigned at the American Cathedral, Paris, Convocation of Churches in Europe; James David Fitzpatrick (Diocese of Hawaii) assigned in the Diocese of Panama; Alejandra Garcia-Gonzalez (Diocese of Delaware) assigned in the Diocese of Costa Rica; Charles Graves (Diocese of Southern Ohio) assigned at St. Paul’s Within the Walls, Rome, Italy, Convocation of Churches in Europe; James Anthony Guandique (Diocese of Los Angeles) assigned with the Fundación Cristosal, Diocese of El Salvador; Timothy Gardner Hamlin (Diocese of New York) assigned at Order of the Holy Cross Mariya uMama weThemba Monastery in the Diocese of Grahamstown, Church of the Province of South Africa; Tristan Jacob Nicholas Holmberg (Diocese of Kansas) assigned in the Church of the Philippines; Annie Marie Jacob (Diocese of Virginia) assigned in the Diocese of Liverpool, England; Rachel McDaniel (Diocese of West Tennessee) extended her assignment for a second year in the Diocese of South Western Brazil; Jacob Ryan Nastruz (Diocese of Iowa) assigned in the Diocese of Johannesburg, Church of the Province of Southern Africa; Lacey Leigh Oliver (Diocese of Tennessee) assigned with HOPE Africa in the Diocese of Cape Town, Church of the Province of Southern Africa; Eric Matthew Panter (Diocese of Texas) assigned in the Church of the Philippines; James Isaac Rose (Diocese of Southwestern Virginia) assigned with the Mission to Seafarers, Nippon Sei Ko Kai, Japan; Andrew Stevenson Russell (Diocese of Virginia and Diocese of Southern Virginia) assigned with the Carpenters Kids, Diocese of Central Tanganyika, Church of the Province of Tanzania; Paola Andrea Sanchez Figueroa (Diocese of Puerto Rico) assigned at St. Paul’s Within the Walls, Rome, Italy, Convocation of Churches in Europe; Ellen Sofia Sandin (Diocese of Los Angeles) in the Diocese of Southern Brazil, Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil; Rachel Lynn Schnabel (Diocese of Southwest Florida) assigned in the Diocese of Brasilia, Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil; Katherine Elizabeth Snow (Diocese of Virginia) assigned in the Diocese of Costa Rica; Emilie Jeannette Street (Diocese of Mississippi) assigned at El Espíritu Santo Bilingual School in Tela, Diocese of Honduras; Bryan Alexis Velez Garcia (Diocese of Puerto Rico) assigned in the Diocese of Rio de Janeiro, Anglican Church of Brazil; Eleanor Grace “Elly” Withers (Diocese of North Carolina) assigned in the Diocese of Panama (WM005).
- Express appreciation for the following mission companions who faithfully completed their terms of service: the Rev. Michael Billingsley (Diocese of Massachusetts) chaplain of St. George’s College, Diocese of Jerusalem, accompanied by his wife, Judith; Judith Crosby (Diocese of Virginia) assigned with Carpenters Kids, Diocese of Central Tanganyika, Church of the Province of Tanzania; Zachary Drennen (Diocese of West Virginia) assigned as educational liaison with Elewana Education Project, Diocese of Katakwa, Church of the Province of Kenya; Ted Gaiser (Diocese of Massachusetts) assigned as business adviser, Diocese of Colombia; the Rev. Dr. Sandra McCann, M.D., and Dr. Martin McCann, M.D. (Diocese of Atlanta), started their ministry as theological educator and medical educator, respectively, in the Diocese of Maseno North, later moved to the Diocese of Central Tanganyia, Church of the Province of Tanzania; Mr. Thomas Wilson and Mrs. Dianne Wilson (Diocese of Massachusetts) assigned with El Maizal, Diocese of El Salvador; and the Rev. Bernard Yung (Diocese of Virginia) assigned as missionary, Diocese of Central Philippines (WM006).
- Express appreciation for the following Young Adult Service Corps volunteer companions who faithfully completed their term of service: Frederick Addy (Diocese of Dallas), Diocese of Costa Rica; Joseph Anderson (Diocese of Massachusetts and Missouri), Asian Rural Institute (ARI), Nippon Sei Ko Kai, Japan; Kristina Boe (Diocese of Olympia), Diocese of Sao Paulo, and Diocese of Rio de Janeiro, Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil; William Bryant (Diocese of Western North Carolina), chaplaincy assistant, Hong Kong, later assistant coordinator, St. Paul’s Within the Walls, Rome, Italy, Convocation of Churches in Europe; Paul Daniels (Diocese of North Carolina), Cathedral Church of St. Michael and St. George, Diocese of Grahamstown, Church of the Province of Southern Africa; Justin Davis (Diocese of Virginia), chaplaincy assistant, Mission to Seafarers, Diocese of Western Kowloon, Hong Kong; Maurice Dyer (Diocese of El Camino Real), Order of the Holy Cross Mariya uMama weThemba Monastery, Diocese of Grahamstown, later at the Institute for Healing of Memories, Diocese of Cape Town, Church of the Province of Southern Africa; Charlotte File (Diocese of Indianapolis), education and international exchange program assistant, Kiyosato Educational Experiment Project (KEEP), Diocese of Yokohama, Nippon Sei Ko Kai, Japan; Grace Flint (Diocese of Kentucky), Diocese of Hong Kong; Carolyn Hockey (Diocese of Ohio), Diocese of Bujumbura, Province of the Anglican Church of Burundi, later Order of the Holy Cross Mariya uMama weThemba Monastery, Diocese of Grahamstown, Church of the Province of Southern Africa; David Holton (Diocese of New York), Easter College in Baguio City, Diocese of North Central Philippines; William Lutes (Diocese of South Dakota), Anglican Church of Southern Africa Environmental Network and Anglican Communion Environmental Network, later moved to serve with HOPE Africa, Diocese of Cape Town, Church of the Province of Southern Africa; Joel Antonio Martínez (Diocese of the Dominican Republic), Spanish Reformed Church; Delaney Ozmun (Diocese of Olympia), Diocese of Eldoret, Anglican Church of Kenya; Hannah Perls (Diocese of Olympia), Fundación Cristosal, Diocese of El Salvador; Carlin Van Schaik (Diocese of Northwest Texas), Anglican Church of Korea, and later in Diocese of Northern Luzon, Episcopal Church in the Philippines; and Ryan Zavacky (Diocese of Eastern Michigan), Order of the Holy Cross Mariya uMama weThemba Monastery, Diocese of Grahamstown, Church of the Province of Southern Africa (WM007).
- Approve criteria for the United Thank Offering young adult/seminarian grants (WM008).
- Approve United Thank Offering domestic and overseas grants (public announcement to be released the week of June 12 following notification of recipients and those who did not receive a grant) (WM009).