The Executive Council is meeting in Linthicum Heights, MD this weekend. The Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and President of the House of Deputies Gay Jennings opened the session with addresses to the Council. You can follow the meeting on Twitter. Hashtag is #excoun.
We have not held one another to account for the life and the hope that is within us. We have embarrassed the parts of the body that lack the basic financial resources necessary to full and vigorous life as a diocese in this Church. We have often failed to respond to their cries for help. At the same time, we failed to expect the full participation of other parts of the body in response to those cries for help. We need new courage and honesty, and we may need more accurate definitions of what a diocese is, and what constitutes a missionary district. We live with a theological and ecclesiological tradition that says that a diocese has most of what is needed to be self-governing, self-sustaining, and self-propagating. If a diocese is unable to do those things, it ought to be understood as something more like what we formerly called missionary districts –parts of the body that are dependent on the larger body for support and partnership. Our current situation has a number of dioceses that are transparently dependent on churchwide resources for their growth and development – most of Province IX, the four dioceses in the United States that have large indigenous populations, the Convocation of Churches in Europe, the dioceses of Haiti and the Virgin Islands and I would add the dioceses that experienced the exodus of church leadership. We have some level of churchwide agreement that it is important to encourage and support their growth toward that ideal of a healthy diocese.
Read complete remarks here.
The President of the House of Deputies (PHoD) spoke on preparing for General Convention:
None of us knows what will happen at General Convention – who will be elected to serve as Presiding Bishop, as President or Vice President of the House of Deputies, as Church Pension Fund trustee, or any other elected position. None of us knows what will happen to the TREC proposals, or resolutions regarding marriage, or how the triennial budget will look at the end of the budget process.
The question this raises for me is, “How do we live in the meantime?” How do we live and act between now and General Convention?
Make no mistake – Executive Council has important work to do between now and when we gather in Salt Lake City. We need to complete the draft proposed budget, consider the Constable Grant applications, determine how all diocese and missionary areas can fully participate in General Convention, develop a response to the TREC proposals, evaluate mission enterprise zones, develop resolutions to submit to General Convention on a variety of subjects, assess progress on Province IX sustainability, review grant activities and procedures, make decisions about sunsetting or continuing various Executive Council committees – the list goes on.
How should we function as Executive Council to get it all done between now and then? I’ve got three suggestions. (read them here)
Posted by Ann Fontaine