The Task Force to Re-imagine the Episcopal Church has released (TREC) its latest study paper. This one is on Reforms to Church Wide Governance and Administration and include
1) suggestions for General Convention: smaller deputations, less legislation, more conversations; 2) changes to the staff and Presiding Bishop’s office, and Executive Council; 3) Reforms of Committees, Commissions, Agencies and Boards. Download pdf here for details:
One TREC Sub-Committee has been focused on drafting concrete proposals for clarifying and reforming the current church wide structures of governance and administration. We offer the following study paper for conversation and feedback from the wider church.
From our first meeting, members of the Task Force for Re-imagining the Episcopal Church have been conscious of at least three often competing impulses inherent in our mandate. First, it has been clear for some time to many in the church that we need to undertake large-scale, adaptive changes in order to most faithfully and effectively proclaim the gospel of Christ and participate in God’s mission in our contemporary cultural context. Second, there are many redundant, inefficient, and simply unclear aspects of our current governance and administrative structures. Third, and perhaps most importantly, structural reform will not save the church or do the work of reaching out to the world in new ways with the transforming good news of the gospel. The church wide structures can, however, help to foster the kind of innovation and adaptation that many understand as critical to the future of The Episcopal Church, and which are already being explored and implemented in many places and at all levels of the church.
Some of these changes to our current structures might seem like an incremental rearranging of deck chairs. We believe, however, that making some of these smaller changes will be a key component to the development of structures at the church wide level that will create the space for the bold innovation and adaptive work that the current moment seems to demand This paper, therefore, offers some rough draft proposals for reforming, clarifying, focusing, and streamlining some of the extant structures. Specifically, we are suggesting technical and clarifying reforms to the General Convention, the Executive Council, the Church Center, and our current system of Commissions, Committees, Agencies, and Boards (CCABs). During the discussions, debates, and drafting of these proposals, we tried to be mindful of the principles that we articulated in our Initial Working Report on Identity and Vision, released last September.
What are your thoughts after reading the report?