A summary of Executive Council resolutions

Posted Oct 22, 2016

[Episcopal News Service – New Brunswick, New Jersey] During its Oct. 20-22 meeting here the Episcopal Church’s Executive Council adopted multiple resolutions, which are summarized below.

Executive Committee of Executive Council actions ratified at this meeting
• Designate a portion of the total compensation paid to the Rev. Charles Allen Wynder Jr. as clergy housing allowance, pursuant to Internal Revenue Code Section 107 and
Internal Revenue Service Regulations S1.107 (ECEC003).

• Approve recommendation of Audit Committee to accept audited financial
statements covering the fiscal year that ended Dec. 31, 2015 (ECEC 004).

• Authorize a senior secured bridge loan to St. Augustine’s University in North Carolina of up to $1 million secured by a deed of trust of its Meadowbrook Golf Course; $500,000 be available immediately to St. Augustine’s, additional $500,000 be extended upon completion of due diligence to the satisfaction of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary treasurer, confirming the value of the property securing the loan (ECEC 005).

• Amend previously passed United Thank Offering resolution approving grants for 2017 to indicate that UTO Board will award the remainder of the 2015 Ingathering ($20,402.61) in a partial grant to the Diocese of Long Island in the 2016 regular grant cycle.

• Appoint Episcopal Church representatives to several ecumenical bodies as follows:
Anglican-Roman Catholic Dialogue in the USA
The Rev. Dr. Michael Cover, John Kiess, the Rev. Amy E. Richter, Daniel Joslyn-Siemiatkoski, the Rev. C. Denise Yarbrough
Lutheran Episcopal Coordinating Committee
The Rt. Rev. Douglas E. Sparks, the Rev. Niles Chittenden, the Rev. Nancy McGrath Green, the Rev. David W. Perry
Moravian Episcopal Coordinating Committee
The Rev. T. Scott Allen, the Rev. Dale Grandfield
Presbyterian Episcopal Dialogue Committee
The Rev. Elise B. Johnstone, Elizabeth M. Ring, Joseph G. Wolyniak
United Methodist Episcopal Dialogue Committee
Deirdre Good

Advocacy and Networking for Mission
• Affirm the following Jubilee Ministries: Church Without Walls, Jacksonville, Florida (Diocese of Florida); St. Michael’s Mission, Yakima, Washington (Diocese of Spokane); Common Ground – Terreno Común, Roswell, New Mexico (Diocese of the Rio Grande); Blessing Bag Ministry, the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection, Blue Springs, Missouri (Diocese of West Missouri); Pastoral Indigena Arawak, Estado Bolivar, Venezuela (Diocese of Venezuela); San Andres Episcopal Center, Libertador, Caracas Venezuela (Diocese of Venezuela); Community Resources Center, Chillicothe, Missouri (Diocese of West Missouri) (AN017).

• Call on U.S. president, North Dakota governor, North Dakota U.S. senators and congressman, U.S. Department of Justice and Morton County Sheriff Department to make all necessary efforts possible to immediately de-escalate military and police provocation among the camp sites of peaceful protest and witness of the Dakota Access Pipeline Project near Standing Rock Sioux Reservation; commend the work of the dioceses of North Dakota and South Dakota for its supportive leadership of the Sioux Nation’s response “to the corporate and governmental intrusion onto its sacred ground”;
call on The Episcopal Church at all levels to prayerfully and financially support the planned winter encampment, which is the Sioux Nation’s right for peaceful assembly and protest; commend ecumenical and interfaith partners, Episcopal dioceses that have offered support morally and financially, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Council and its chairman for prayerful and nonviolent presence, the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and its council, the primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, presiding bishop and his staff for their ministry of presence (AN018).

• Affirm support of Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in September 2015; pledge to continue support of and action towards the goals of eradicating poverty and fostering sustainable development by 2030 (AN020).

Finances for Mission
• Establish Trust Fund 1136, Bell Tower Endowment of the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation, Highlands, North Carolina (FFM042).

• Establish Trust Fund 1137, Episcopal Church of the Incarnation Investment Account, Highlands, North Carolina (FFM043).

• Establish Trust Fund 1138, St. George Capital Reserve Fund as an investment account for St. George Episcopal Church, Fort George Island, Florida (FFM044).

• Authorize canons to the presiding bishop for ministry within the Episcopal Church and  for ministry beyond the Episcopal Church to use income distributed during 2016 from Trust Fund 809, up to $312,500, 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 Guatemala City, Panama, in August 2016; disbursement of funds conditional upon the receipt of appropriate documentation to secure financial and operational accountability;  any balance not awarded by the canons during 2017 be reinvested (FFM045).

• Rename Trust Fund 1000, Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, Troy, Montana, to the “William A. Swanson Memorial Trust of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, Troy, Montana”(FFM046).

• Adopt revised 2017 budget for the Episcopal Church  (FFM047).

• Approve revised official Travel Guidelines for the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society (FFM048).

• Approve appointment of Grant Thornton, LLP, to audit all accounts under the management or control of the council and the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society for the year ending Dec. 31, 2016. (FFM049).

• Grant $90,000 in increments of $30,000 annually commencing in 2017 to Ah Foo Community Center in the Diocese of New York to enable the expansion of ministries to people of Chinese descent because certain board-directed trust funds have been restricted for ministry to Chinese of the Dispersion (post-Communist takeover) (FFM050).

• Set the dividend rate for 2017 for the DFMS trust fund portfolios available to support the operating budget of DFMS at $1.03 per share based on 5% the average year-end market values of the portfolio for the five years ending 2015; set the dividend rate for 2017 for trust funds in the DFMS endowment portfolio that are not available to support the operating budget of DFMS be set at $1.03 per share based on the same formula (FFM051).

• Designate a portion of the total compensation paid to clergy employees of the DFMS as revised housing allowance for calendar year 2016 and for calendar year 2017 as requested by each employee, pursuant to Internal Revenue Code Section 107 and Internal Revenue Service Regulations S1.107 up to 100% of the annual cash salary of such clergy (FFM052).

• Agree that any grant, regardless of sourcing, not designated for a specific recipient be subject to a competitive selection process to include public announcement of availability, application process, and selection or recommendation by a committee made up of the following: at least one member of the appropriate joint standing committee, at least one member of staff and at least one member of the church at large to be appointed by the presiding officers (FFM053).

• Lengthen by one day the February 2017 Executive Council meeting, and charge FFM and the treasurer’s office with adjusting the 2017 budget; FFM , GAM,General Convention Office to  examine how to plan and fund council meetings in 2018 (FFM054).

Advocacy and Networking for Mission and Finances for Mission
• Direct treasurer to refile shareholder resolution on board diversity prior to May 2017 with CACI International, a major provider of information solutions and services in support of security missions and government transformation, which has no women on its board of directors, as presented by the Executive Council Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility (AN-FFM009 revised).

• Direct treasurer to refile shareholder resolution on requesting that Chevron Corp. report quantitative indicators on all shale plays where it is operating, as presented by the Executive Council Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility (AN-FFM010 revised).

Governance and Administration for Mission
• Approve job description for chief legal officer (GAM006).

• Request the Joint Standing Committee on Nominations, in order to assure the integrity of those nominated for election to fiduciary positions within the Episcopal Church, including Executive Council and trustees of the Church Pension Fund, to screen potential nominees by asking them to respond to questions about potentially disqualifying conduct, to verify such information through appropriate public records checks, and to take such information into account in determining whether or not a person should be nominated; such conduct would include conviction of any crime (other than minor traffic or juvenile offenses), conviction of driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, findings by a court or professional disciplinary body that the nominee violated ethical or fiduciary standards of conduct applicable to their profession, findings by a court or agency that the nominee violated federal or state securities laws, including consent agreements based on such allegations, any order (including by consent) barring the nominee from practice before any state or federal agency, any protective or restraining order against the nominee to prevent abuse of another person, registration as a sex offender, any pending unresolved legal or disciplinary action; request Joint Standing Commission on Structure, Governance and Constitution and Canons to prepare and propose appropriate amendments to the canons, joint rules of order and rules of order of the House of Deputies and House of Bishops to require appropriate screening of potential nominees for Executive Council and trustees for the Church Pension Fund prior to their nomination whether the election is by General Convention, a province, or to fill a vacancy to assure the integrity of such potential nominees to serve in a fiduciary capacity (GAM007) .

Local Mission and Ministry
• Approve grants recommended by the D005 Advisory Group on Church Planting and approved for funding by the Joint Standing Committee on Local Ministry and Mission: 4 Saints’ Food Pantry, Diocese of Fort Worth, $20,000, and Slate Project, Baltimore, Diocese of Maryland, $75,000 (LMM005).

World Mission
• Ratify Sept. 22 election to the board of Episcopal Relief & Development of Mark Constantine, Meg DeRonghe, Bishop Mary Gray-Reeves and Bishop Wilfrido Ramos Orench; terms to end Dec. 31, 2019 (WM010).

• Authorize Episcopal Migration Ministries, in coordination with the presiding officers, and the Development Office, to develop a fundraising plan that includes solicitation of donations both in cash and/or in-kind, grants and other sources, and to develop a presentation of project proposal to grant makers that will not conflict with other church or mission goals and priorities; as Episcopal Migration Ministries diversifies funding beyond governmental contractual dollars to follow procedure and protocol according to FFM 067 (Oct 27, 2014) for accounting and accountability per guidelines outlined for entities within the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society (WM011).

• Approve 2017 United Thank Offering grant focus and criteria (WM012).

Complete texts of the resolutions from each council meeting are posted here after council approves the minutes of the meeting.

Previous ENS coverage of the New Brunswick meeting is here.