A summary of Executive Council resolutions

Posted Oct 27, 2014

[Episcopal News Service – Linthicum Heights, Maryland] During its Oct. 24-27 meeting here, the Episcopal Church’s Executive Council adopted multiple resolutions, which are summarized below.

Advocacy and Networking for Mission

* Condemn use of rape and other forms of sexual violence in war as a crime against humanity, including so-called “honor” killings perpetrated against victims of rape; support prosecution of such crimes against humanity as rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or other sexual violence of comparable gravity, especially when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack; support access to psychological and medical services for rape survivors; support inclusion of perspective and voices of survivors in post-conflict governance structures, peace-building, conflict prevention, and reconciliation dialogues (A&N032)

* Support legislation and non-legislative efforts calling for an end to discrimination against women’s access to healthcare, especially for contraception, pregnancy, and childbirth; support the right of women to self-determination in regard to their personal choices about healthcare, especially for contraception, pregnancy, and childbirth; support legislation and other initiatives that eliminate underlying causes of discrimination against women’s access to healthcare, which include race, employment inequality, underemployment, the male-female pay-gap, and the disproportionate number of women living in poverty arising out of inequities in education, employment, contraception, childcare, and other forms of gender-based discrimination  (A&N033)

* Support for “Net Neutrality,” also known as “Open Internet,” and opposition to a two-tiered Internet system of “fast” and “slow” lanes; affirm the right of all people and organizations, especially those that have been marginalized and suffered discrimination to have access on an equitable basis and be able to tell their stories using various modes of multimedia on the Internet; oppose allowing internet service providers from giving preferential treatment to content and content providers solely on the basis of their ability to pay; direct the Office of Government Relations to file a comment to urge the Federal Communications Committee to maintain an Open Internet, avoid rule changes that would create a two-tiered Internet system, and ensure that rules are in place to prevent internet service providers from discriminating against content providers, users, or blocked-data (normally stored in a data buffer and read or written a whole block at a time; an example is mass mailings from non-profit organizations) (A&N034)

* Express grief at the loss of life and livelihood suffered by both Palestinians and Israelis as a result of the 2014 Gaza War, commend the efforts of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and the international donor community in securing substantial funding for the rebuilding of Gaza; call upon all parties to the conflict, and their international partners, to work toward conditions in the Gaza Strip that will make peaceful and sustainable rebuilding possible; reaffirm church’s longstanding commitment to positive investment in the Palestinian Territories as indispensable for the creation of the economic infrastructure of a future Palestinian state, and request that the Economic Justice Loan Committee consider supplementing its 2013 investment in the Palestinian Territories with new economic investments designed to benefit the Palestinian people and to challenge dioceses to make similar investments; reaffirm church’s understanding that the only pathway to a just and lasting peace is a two-state solution, negotiated by Israelis and Palestinians, in which a universally recognized secure Israel, the homeland of the Jewish people, exists alongside a sovereign, viable, and universally recognized secure state for the Palestinian people, with Jerusalem as the capital of both states; both parties to refrain from unilateral actions that complicate the pathway toward negotiations; commend the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem and its bishop for their witness to peace for all Israelis and Palestinians and their work to provide for human need within their jurisdiction, including in the Gaza Strip and urge the support of all Episcopalians for those efforts; urge all Episcopalians to stand in solidarity with Israelis and Palestinians working toward peace in the land called holy by all the children of Abraham (A&N035)

* (resolution for submission to General Convention as part of Executive Council’s Blue Book Report) for 78th General Convention to: reaffirm and renew the church’s longstanding commitment to the evaluation and reform of the federal, state, and local criminal and juvenile justice systems in the United States (citing five resolutions dating from 1985);  declare support and advocate for expansion of funding for treatment, alternatives to incarceration, and reintegration services to people leaving prison, call on Episcopalians to support and participate in mentoring and accompaniment programs for those leaving prison; declare opposition to mass incarceration, which perpetuates a cycle of systemic poverty in the United States through its impact on defendants, inmates, parolees, and their families;  reaffirm and renew church’s call for a moratorium on the use of for-profit private prisons, including immigration detention centers; reaffirm and renew support for the repeal of mandatory-minimum sentences for nonviolent offenses; call for the abolition of the sentencing disparity between crack-cocaine and powder-cocaine offenses and, as an intermediate step, urge U.S. Congress to make retroactive the 2010 Fair Sentencing Act, which reduces the disparity in sentencing from previous levels;  urge states with monetary bail bond systems to reform those systems; urge policymakers to pursue legal reforms to enhance the employability of people leaving prisons; condemn offender-funded law enforcement practices and urge policymakers to create equitable post-sentencing parole systems that remove undue financial burden on the parolee as a condition for maintaining parole; condemn the practice of felon disenfranchisement, which removes the right of formerly incarcerated (or “returning citizens”) to regain the right to vote once they complete their sentence and leave prison; call for exploration and creation of restorative justice programs to transform juvenile justice systems; direct the Executive Council to convene a Criminal Justice Reform Coordinating Committee for developing educational information, advocacy tools, and church policy to assist the dioceses and church members, in their ministry to prisoners, people returning home from prisons, and their families, and  in their advocacy for comprehensive criminal justice reform at all levels of government; direct the Coordinating Committee to report to the 79th General Convention; request the Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget and Finance to consider a budget of $48,000 to support the work of such Criminal Justice Reform Coordinating Committee (AN036)

Advocacy and Networking for Mission/ Local Mission and Ministry

* Reaffirm church’s socially responsible investment policies; declare opposition to for-profit prisons and detention centers, which often set occupancy or “bed” quotas, capitalizing on the criminal, civil, or immigration incarceration of individuals, that are a leading factor in the disproportionate mass incarceration of youth and men of color; direct treasurer to avoid investment in companies that own and operate for-profit prisons and detention centers (A&N/LMM002)

* Reaffirm support of General Convention Resolution 2009-D035, Repudiation of the Doctrine of Discovery, and 2012-A128, Examine Impact of Doctrine of Discovery, and church’s work to address issues of historical trauma caused by the colonizing dispossession of the lands of indigenous peoples and the disruption of their way of life; reaffirm support of the ministry and advocacy of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society staff in the Offices of Ethnic Ministries, Government Relations, Faith Formation, Global Relations, Racial Reconciliation, Social Justice and Advocacy Engagement, and other departments as they engage grassroots, tribal, governmental, and Episcopal individuals and entities to do the ongoing work called for in repudiating and examining the impact of the Doctrine of Discovery, including historical and generational trauma from the Residential Boarding School era; reaffirm commitment to ongoing education of and advocacy with the church members regarding historical reality and impact of the Doctrine of Discovery and elimination of the doctrine’s presence in the church’s contemporary policies, programs, and structures; encourage dioceses, bishops, clergy, and lay leaders to renew their efforts of education, advocacy and self-reflection in the spirit of living into the repudiation of the Doctrine of Discovery as an active affirmation of the Baptismal Covenant and of Mark of Mission IV, which states “To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation.” (A&N/LMM003)

* Affirm “to seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbors as ourselves, and to strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being”; confess that we as a society have failed to respect the dignity of every human being, remembering recent violent deaths of black youth and lament their deaths; affirm in response to church’s adoption of the Anglican Marks of Mission, specifically Mark 4, that #BlackLivesMatter,Too; urge the church and its members to respond faithfully to the call to action that #BlackLivesMatter,Too with prayer, community dialogue and partnerships, Christian formation education, sermons and homilies, and by standing in solidarity in valuing and protecting all people of color who are discriminated against or otherwise treated unfairly and harmed because of race or their skin color of their skin; reaffirm the teachings contained in the House of Bishop’s Pastoral Letter on “the Sin of Racism,” March 1994, ; remind members of the church to answer the call of the House of Bishops in their  subsequent 2006 Pastoral Letter “A Call to Covenant,” ; direct Office of the General Convention to convey to each diocesan and mission area bishop, standing committee and diocesan council, a copy of this resolution and the two House of Bishops letters with the request that they be shared with their congregations (A&N/LMM004)

Finances for Mission

* Establish Trust Fund #1066 as an investment account for Iglesia Episcopal del Ecuador in Ecuador (FFM053)

* Establish Trust Fund #1067 for St. James Episcopal Church in Mesilla Park, New Mexico (FFM054)

* Establish Trust Fund #1068, St. David’s Episcopal Church – Lucy and Bill Pengelly Memorial Fund as an investment account for St. David’s Episcopal Church in Lincoln, Nebraska (FFM055)

* Establish Trust Fund #1069, as an investment account for St. Nicholas Episcopal Church in Midland, Texas (FFM056)

* Establish Trust Fund #1070 established as an investment account for St. Thaddaeus Episcopal Church in Chattanooga, Tennessee (FFM057)

* Approved revised official travel guidelines for the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society (FFM058)

* Set the dividend rate for 2015 for the DFMS Trust Fund portfolios available to support the operating budget of DFMS at $0.96 per share based on 5.0% the average year-end market values of the portfolio for the five years ending 2013; set the dividend rate for 2015 for Trust Funds in the DFMS Endowment Portfolio that are not available to support the operating budget of DFMS be set at $0.96 per share based on 5.0% the average yearend market values of the portfolio for the five years ending 2013 (FFM059)

* Approve the 2015 Budget for The Episcopal Church (FFM060)

* Authorize the Deputy Chief Operating Officer and Director of Mission to use income distributed during 2015 from Trust Fund No.809, up to $319,630.00, for educational and theological programs (including continuing education and individual scholarships) as recommended by the Commission on Theological Education for Latin America and the Caribbean (CETALC) at its meeting in Quito, Ecuador, in August 2014; disbursement of money will be conditional upon the receipt of appropriate documentation to secure financial and operational accountability acceptable to the Deputy Chief Operating Officer and Director of Mission and the Treasurer; any 2015 balance not awarded to be reinvested (FFM061)

* Extend thanks to those who have included The Episcopal Church in their wills and recognize the generosity of all those who endow The Episcopal Church and thus support its ministries (FFM062, FFM063)

* Establish Trust Fund #1071 as an investment account for Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Salinas, California (FFM064)

* Establish Trust Fund #1072 as an investment account for Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Salinas, California (FFM065)

* Clarify scope of policies regarding the types of gifts that may be accepted by the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society (DFMS) (FFM066)

* Agree to fundraising procedures for staff and officers of the DFMS, members of Executive Council and members of all Committees, Commissions, Agencies and Boards (FFM067)

* Grant $150,000 in increments of $50,000 annually commencing in 2014 to Li-Tim Oi Chinese Ministries in the Diocese of Los Angeles as a way to enable expansion of ministries to people of Chinese descent (money to come from income of certain board directed trust funds restricted for ministry to Chinese of the Dispersion (post-Communist takeover) (FFM068)

Governance and Administration for Mission

* Delegate to Executive Committee of Executive Council authority to act on its behalf for timely review and approve grants proposed by the United Thank Offering Board and Mission Department for the 2015 UTO grant cycle of the United Thank Offering (review and approval to be completed no later than June 15, 2015 and actions to be reported simultaneously to the board of the United Thank Offering and the Executive Council with an appropriate record of its actions (GAM020)

* Adopts Best Practices in Human Resource Management document for the DFMS (GAM021)

* Amend Article VII of the Executive Council Bylaws by inserting new Section 5 governing election and make up of Transitional Executive Committee of council (GAM022)

* Requests chief operating officer to create a plan for the implementation and translation of a program for training in the effective church wide implementation of Title IV of the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church, including the estimated expenses thereof; chief operating officer to initiate conversations with the Church Pension Group about how this work might be conducted collaboratively and expenses shared; chief operating officer present a plan for such training to the Executive Council for its review at the January 2015 meeting (GAM024)

Local Mission and Ministry

* Affirmation five entities as Jubilee Ministries including Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, Centennial, Colorado (Diocese of Colorado); Ascension Outbound, Dallas, Texas (Diocese of Dallas); The Church of the Holy Nativity, Baltimore, Maryland (Diocese of Maryland); Noah’s Ark/Generating Hope, Wapato, Washington (Diocese of Spokane); Saint Mark’s Center for Community Renewal, Keansburg, New Jersey (Diocese of New Jersey) (LMM011)

World Mission

* Express appreciation for appointments made on behalf of the Presiding Bishop, including the Rev. Honey Becker (Diocese of Hawaii) second year assignment in Diocese of Jerusalem, missioner to St Peter’s Church, Jaffa; the Rev. Michael Billingsley (Diocese of Massachusetts) chaplain of St George’s College in the Diocese of Jerusalem, accompanied by his wife, Judith; Robert Canter (Diocese of Alabama) area coordinator for the Comayaga and Santa Barbara Deaneries, Diocese of Honduras; Judith Crosby (Diocese of Virginia) Carpenters Kids in Diocese of Central Tanganyika, Church of the Province of Tanzania; the Rev. Pierre Gabaud (Diocese of Southeast Florida)  dean of the Theological Seminary in the Diocese of Haiti; the Rev. Bernard Yung (Diocese of Virginia) missionary in the Diocese of Central Philippines (WM025)

* Express appreciation for Young Adult Service Corps appointments made on behalf of the Presiding Bishop including Frederick Addy (Diocese of Dallas) in the Diocese of Costa Rica; Joseph Anderson (Diocese of Massachusetts and Missouri)  at the Asian Rural Institute (ARI) in the Nippon Sei Ko Kai, Japan; Kristina Boe (Diocese of Olympia) second year with new assignment in the Diocese of Rio de Janeiro, Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil; William Bryant (Diocese of Western North Carolina) second year with new assignment at St. Paul’s Within the Walls, in the Convocation of Churches in Europe; Paul Daniels (Diocese of North Carolina) second year at the Cathedral Church of St. Michael and St. George in the Diocese of Grahamstown, Church of the Province of Southern Africa; Justin Davis (Diocese of Virginia) with the Mission to Seafarers in the Diocese of Western Kowloon, Hong Kong; Elizabeth Duque (Diocese of Colombia) volunteer with Agape Care and Counseling in the Diocese of Maseno West, Kenya; Maurice Dyer (Diocese of El Camino Real) second year with new assignment at the Institute for Healing of Memories in the Diocese of Cape Town, Church of the Province of Southern Africa; Carolyn Hockey (Diocese of Ohio) in the Diocese of Bujumbura, Province of the Anglican Church of Burundi; David Holton (Diocese of New York) at Easter College in Baguio City in the Diocese of North Central Philippines; Kirsten Lowell (Diocese of Maine) in the Diocese of Uruguay; William Lutes (Diocese of South Dakota) with the Anglican Church of Southern Africa Environmental Network and Anglican Communion Environmental Network in Cape Town, Church of the Province of Southern Africa; Kayla Massey (Diocese of Upper South Carolina) in the Diocese of North Central Philippines; Rachel McDaniel (Diocese of West Tennessee) with Women’s and Children’s Ministries in the Diocese of Southwestern Brazil; Delaney Ozmun (Diocese of Olympia) in the Diocese of Eldoret in the Anglican Church of Kenya; Hannah Perls (Diocese of Olympia) second year at Fundación Cristosal, in the Diocese of El Salvador; Carlin Van Schaik (Diocese of Northwest Texas) second year with new assignment in the Episcopal Church in the Philippines; Perry Alan Yarborough (Dioceses of Western North Carolina and Upper South Carolina) second year assignment in the Diocese of Haiti; Ryan Zavacky (Diocese of Eastern Michigan) at Mariya uMamaweThemba Monastery with the Brothers of the Holy Cross in the Diocese of Grahamstown, Church of the Province of Southern Africa (WM026)

* Express appreciation for mission companions who faithfully completed their terms of service including Natalie Finstad (Diocese of Massachusetts) executive director/co-founder of Tatua Kenya Project in the Church of the Province of Kenya; Kyle Evans (Diocese of Pennsylvania) missioner/executive assistant to the suffragan bishop in the Diocese of Haiti; the Rev. Lura Kaval and Richard Harlow (Diocese of Maryland ) canon for development and project manager respectively in the Diocese of Honduras; Dan Tootle (Diocese of Maryland) Diocese of Haiti Schools Reorganization Project manager (WM027)

* Express appreciation for Young Adult Service Corps volunteer companions who faithfully completed their term of service including Ashley Bingaman (Diocese of Virginia) in the Diocese of Haiti; Julia Burd (Diocese of Pennsylvania) at the School of Nursing Science in Léogâne, Diocese of Haiti; Sean Brown (Diocese of Hawaii) at the Asian Rural Institute (ARI) in the Nippon Sei Ko Kai, Japan; Ashley Cameron (Diocese of Virginia) at the Episcopal Development Foundation of St. Mark in the Diocese of Santiago in the Episcopal Church in the Philippines; Rachel Carter (Diocese of East Carolina) at the Instituto Episcopal San Cristóbal in the Diocese of Panama; Margaret Clinch (Diocese of Southern Ohio) at Easter College in Baguio, Diocese of North Central Philippines; Heidi Galagan (Diocese of Wyoming) at Canon Andrea Mwaka School (CAMS) in the Diocese of Central Tanganyika, Anglican Church of Tanzania; Karen Geiger (Diocese of Virginia) with HOPE Africa in the Diocese of False Bay, Church of the Province of Southern Africa; Rebecca Gleason (Diocese of San Diego) at El Espíritu SantoBilingual School in Tela, Diocese of Honduras; Jared Grant (Diocese of Western North Carolina) two-year term with Hope Africa in the Diocese of Lesotho, Church of the Province of Southern Africa and St. Paul’s Within the Walls, in the Convocation of Churches in Europe; Claire Harkey (Diocese of Mississippi) at El Buen Pastor Bilingual School in San Pedro Sula, Diocese of Honduras; Sara Lowery (Diocese of Alabama) at the Mission for Migrant Workers in the Diocese of Hong Kong; Andrew Joyce (Diocese of Kentucky) two-year term in the Episcopal Church in the Philippines; Joseph Morin (Diocese of West Texas) at Instituto Episcopal San Cristóbal in the Diocese of Panama; William Pendleton (Diocese of New Hampshire) in the Episcopal Church of Cuba; Jacqueline Kathleen Webb (Diocese of Dallas) at the Provincial Archives of the Hong Kong Anglican Church (Episcopal) (Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui) (WM028)

* Direct the presiding officers to appoint a working group to study the reality of dioceses unable to afford to fully participate in General Convention, to identify the issues surrounding this challenge, identify funding sources available to address this challenge; working group to report to Executive Council in January 2015 (WM029)

* Approve the 125th UTO award recipients and 2015 United Thank Offering Grant Focus and Criteria [names of recipients to be publicized by the Office of Public Affairs] (WM030)

* “Stand in prayers with our sisters and brothers in Liberia, the Church of the Province of West Africa, and all countries where this virus threatens human health and societal structures and has claimed the lives of thousands; applaud the Episcopal Church in Liberia, the religious community,  grassroots organizations, and individuals in Liberia who are living the good news of Christ’s love by spreading awareness, feeding the hungry, supporting the hopeless, bringing comfort to those who mourn, and being a prophetic voice that speaks up for the most vulnerable;  applaud the clergy of the Episcopal Church in Liberia who continue to minister faithfully to the people of Liberia; applaud the Liberian Episcopalians here in the United States and our relationships that have raised hope, awareness, and materials and funds;” give thanks for the ongoing responses of Episcopal Relief & Development, the Anglican Alliance, global partners,  the U.S. military, and  World Health Organization, and United Nations bodies; challenge the world faith communities, especially the Anglican Communion, to engage the political and societal systems of their respective nations to encourage a more aggressive and generous response to the challenges of this current Ebola pandemic; commend the souls of those who have died into God’s loving care and pray for those who mourn; live in hope of the day we will celebrate the good news that this virus has been contained and we can cheer our sisters and brothers on as they rebuild their lives and their country (WM031)

* commend Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, The Episcopal Church leadership, and the entire church for many years of continuing commitment to maintaining and improving relationships with the entirety of the Anglican Communion; express appreciation for the continuing efforts to strengthen relationships and pursue healing lead by Archbishop Justin Welby within the Anglican Communion; affirm our continued support of the Anglican Communion Office and  commits to endeavoring to restore fully or increase funding in 2015 and beyond (WM032)