A summary of Executive Council resolutions

By ENS staff
Posted Jan 24, 2018

[Episcopal News Service] During its Jan. 22-24 meeting at the Maritime Institute Conference Center outside Baltimore, Maryland, the Episcopal Church’s Executive Council adopted multiple resolutions that are summarized below.

Advocacy and Networking for Mission

Acknowledge 2018 as the 50th anniversary of the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign in this country called by the Rev. Martin Luther King and the leaders of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference; acknowledge the unfinished work of the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign, celebrate the revival of the movement as the 2018 Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival; that Executive Council, under the guidance and direction of the presiding bishop, lead our church into action, ministry and official relationship with the 2018 Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival in an effort to allow the Episcopal Church “to act faithfully on its long history of honorable General Convention and Executive Council intentions but imperfect and fragmentary practical actions in matters of poverty, racism, sexism, and economic justice”; recognize issues of poverty and justice severely affects domestic and global brothers and sisters and commit to ministry of active engagement, advocacy and support throughout the Episcopal Church (AN035).

Affirm the following new Jubilee Ministries: St. Luke’s Jubilee Center, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Stephensville, Texas (first Jubilee Ministry designation in the reorganized Diocese of Fort Worth); St. Peter’s Jubilee Ministries, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Medford, New Jersey; St. Martin’s Jubilee Center, St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, Bridgewater, New Jersey (AN036).

Declare as “reprehensible the widespread racist and unjust treatment of immigrants that has become a convenient theme of current political discourse”; affirm a series of propositions regarding immigrants in the United States: deplore any action by the U.S. government which “unduly emphasizes militarization of the border between the United States and Mexico, as the primary response to immigrants entering the United States to work”; support the goals of expanded immigration relief for youth as outlined in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA); advocate through education, communication and representation before legislative authorities the continuation of Temporary Protective Status for all persons fleeing to or currently resident in the U.S. seeking refuge from violence, environmental disaster, economic devastation, or cultural abuse or other forms of abuse; advocate for congressional consideration and implementation of comprehensive immigration reform, which will allow millions of undocumented immigrants who have established roots in the United States and are often parents and spouses of U.S. citizens to have a pathway to legalization and to full social and economic integration into the United States (AN037).

Finances for Mission

Establish Trust Funds 1163-1171 as investment accounts for the Episcopal Diocese of North Dakota (FFM095).

Establish Trust Fund 1172 as an investment account for Friends of St. Alban’s (Tokyo) Foundation Trust Fund (FFM096).

Establish Trust Fund 1173 as the Joan Grimm Fraser Legacy Fund to support a delegate from the Episcopal Church to the Anglican delegation to meetings of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women; awardee shall be determined by appropriate senior staff in consultation with the presiding bishop and the treasurer; any balance not awarded be used for the general purposes of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society (DFMS) to support programs for women (FFM097).

Designate portions of the total compensation paid to each Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society (DFMS) clergy employee for calendar year 2018 as a housing allowance pursuant to Internal Revenue Code Section 107 and Internal Revenue Service Regulations S1.107 (FFM098).

Establish Trust Fund 1174, Episcopal Diocese of Lexington Cassidy Trust Retained Equity Fund, as an investment account for the Diocese of Lexington in Kentucky (FFM099).

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 (FFM100).

Authorize withdrawal of $310,000 from three designated trust funds for the Episcopal Church of Liberia (ECL), as requested through a resolution of the Cuttington University College Board of Trustees on Dec. 21, 2017, for improvements and renovations at the college campus (FFM101).

Establish Trust Fund 1175 as an investment account for St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Newcastle, Maine (FFM102).

Accept the 2019-2021 draft budget (FFM103).

Commit to supporting the Episcopal Church’s upcoming 2018 annual appeal (FFM104).

Governance and Administration for Mission

Approve the revised Memorandum of Understanding between the United Thank Offering board and DFMS (GAM014).

Local Mission and Ministry

Approve grants recommended by the Evangelism Grants Committee (LMM013).

Approve grants recommended by the D005 Advisory Group on Church Planting (LLM014).

Approve grants recommended by the Executive Council Constable Grant Review Committee (LMM015).

World Mission

Express appreciation for the following Young Adult Service Corps appointments made on behalf of the presiding bishop in recent months: Sarah Caroline Anderson (Diocese of Mississippi), assigned to the Diocese of Rift Valley, Anglican Church of Tanzania, Oct. 10, 2017; Elizabeth Grace Bleynat (Diocese of Western North Carolina), assigned as chaplaincy assistant, Mission to Seafarers, Diocese of Western Kowloon, Hong Kong, July 31, 2017; Amelia Bjelland Brown (Diocese of Albany), assigned to the Anglican Communion Office, Sept. 18, 2017; Eleanor Duncan Campbell (Diocese of Virginia), assigned to the Diocese of Costa Rica, Sept. 5, 2017; Adrienne Davis (Diocese of Southern Virginia) second year extension with the Helpers for Domestic Helpers in Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong, Aug. 20, 2017; Alexandria Fields (Diocese of Florida) second year extension in the Diocese of Costa Rica, Dec. 12, 2017; Aspen Gomez (Diocese of Texas), assigned to the Diocese of Costa Rica, Sept. 5, 2017; Benjamin Hansknecht (Diocese of Central New York), assigned to the Visayas Area Mission, Church in the Philippines, Sept. 5, 2017; Zachary Jeffers (Diocese of Upper South Carolina), second year extension in the Diocese of Wellington, Anglican Church in New Zealand, start to be determined when visa is granted; Emily Kirk (Diocese of East Tennessee), second year extension in the Diocese of Liverpool, June 28, 2017; Kellan Lyman (Diocese of Atlanta), second year extension in the Church in the Philippines, start date to be determined; EmmaLee Rachael Schauf (Diocese of Pittsburgh), assigned to the Diocese of Liverpool, Church of England, Aug. 28, 2017; Caroline Whitley Sprinkle (Diocese of North Carolina), assigned to the Diocese of Northern Luzon, Episcopal Church in the Philippines, Sept. 5, 2017 (WM029).

Express appreciation for the following mission companions who faithfully completed their terms of service: Jere Skipper (Diocese of Washington), canon for mission with the Convocation of American Churches in Europe, Oct. 16, 2004-Jan. 31, 2017; Perry Alan Yarborough (Dioceses of Western North Carolina and Upper South Carolina) intern with the Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations and Virginia Theological Seminary Center for Anglican Communion Studies, Sept. 1, 2016-Dec. 31, 2016 (WM030).

Express appreciation for the following Young Adult Service Corps volunteer companions who faithfully completed their term of service: Naomi Zoe Cunningham (Diocese of Kansas), assigned to the American Cathedral, in the Convocation of Churches in Europe, Aug. 25, 2015-July 31, 2017; Alexa Henault (Diocese of Rhode Island), assigned to the Diocese of Costa Rica, Sept. 19, 2016-Sept. 19, 2017; Tristan Jacob Nicholas Holmberg (Diocese of Kansas), assigned to the Church of the Philippines, Sept. 24, 2015-Oct. 30, 2017; Mitchell Honan (Diocese of Connecticut) assigned to the CASB Project in Cap-Haitien, Diocese of Haiti, July 7, 2016-July 6, 2017; Katherine Jewett-Williams (Diocese of Dallas), assigned to the Diocese of Liverpool, Anglican Church of England, Sept. 11, 2016-Sept. 10, 2017; Elijah Lewis (Diocese of Upper South Carolina), assigned to the CASB Project in Cap-Haitien, Diocese of Haiti, July 7, 2016-July 5, 2017; Rachel McDaniel (Diocese of West Tennessee), assigned as a UTO-YASC intern in the Diocese of North Dakota, Sept. 1, 2016-Aug. 31, 2017; Charles Merchant (Diocese of South Carolina), assigned to the Order of the Holy Cross Monastery, Diocese of Grahamstown, Church of the Province of South Africa, Feb.16, 2017-Dec. 15, 2017; Wilmot Merchant (Diocese of South Carolina), assigned to the Asian Rural Institute (ARI), Nippon Sei Ko Kai and the Church in the Philippines, Nov. 13, 2016-Nov. 12, 2017; Brooklyn Payne (Diocese of Missouri), assigned to the Diocese of Panama, Sept.1, 2016-June 5, 2017; James Isaac Rose (Diocese of Southwestern Virginia), assigned to the Mission to Seafarers, Nippon Sei Ko Kai, Japan, Sep. 7, 2015-Aug. 4, 2017; Tristan Tucker (Diocese of Springfield), assigned to the Church in the Philippines, Sept.1, 2016-April 10, 2017; Bryan Alexis Velez Garcia (Diocese of Puerto Rico), second year extension in the Diocese of Rio de Janeiro, Anglican Church of Brazil, Dec. 19, 2015-Oct. 11, 2016 (WM031).

Commends the United Thank Offering Board for its extraordinary effort to encourage, equip and support members of the Episcopal Church, especially the 110 diocesan coordinators, and to promote the daily discipline of thanking God for blessings received and challenges offered to strengthen our efforts to become The Beloved Community; recognize the efforts of diocesan coordinators for equipping the worshipers in congregations, encouraging the spiritual discipline of giving thanks to God daily, offering alms to pay those thanksgivings forward, developing grants to innovative start-up programs, aiding and support communities in need (WM032).

Approve the United Thank Offering Young Adult and Seminarian grants for 2018 (WM033).

Join with Christians around the world in observing the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Jan. 18-25); give thanks for the life and ministry of the Rev. Paul Wattson who initiated the Octave of Christian Unity in 1908 which subsequently became the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity; encourage all Episcopalians to remember Wattson in prayer on Feb. 8 (the anniversary of his death in 1940), encourage the bishop of New York to convey Council’s greetings to Timothy Cardinal Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York and to request any further news of the cause for canonization of Wattson; encourage the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music to recommend to the General Convention that Wattson, who was ordained deacon in the Diocese of Easton in 1885 and priest in the Diocese of New York in 1886, be added to the calendar of commemorations of the Episcopal Church (WM034).


Comments (1)

  1. mike geibel says:

    So, according to the Executive Council’s proclamation AN307 on immigration, Americans and members of the Church who support enforcement of our immigration laws and a border wall are “reprehensible” and “racists.”

    There is a disturbing incivility in our national discourse. We are all to blame for using or accepting name-calling as the new “norm” and for failing to object to hateful speech, whether that hate-speech comes from politicians or from Bishops, clergy or parishioners.

    The biblical command to love the sojourner does not by itself establish how many refugees or immigrants a country should let in, who should be let in, or from where. It is not “racist” or “reprehensible” to expect former and present Presidents to enforce our federal laws. Each one of them put their hand on the Bible and took an oath to do so—not to selectively enforce only those laws they liked and to ignore those they found disagreeable. Those Americans whom the Executive Council label as “reprehensible racists,” supported Donald Trump not because they admire his vulgarity, but because they have lost hope and trust in their elected officials to enforce the Nation’s laws and to act for the benefit of Americans.

    Is it really necessary to put invectives like “reprehensible” and “racist” in a Church proclamation? First Peter 3:15 instructs Christians to defend their faith, but to do so “with gentleness and respect.” [English Standard Version] When the cause is just, there should be no reason to lace proclamations with insults and hateful labels like deplorables, reprehensible, or racist. Nor do I believe the Baptismal Covenant condones using hateful labels like misogynist, sexist, homophobe, islamaphobe, xenophobe or “Satanic” as weapons in a culture war with those who disagree with the Church’s political positions. It would appear that vitriol and apocalyptic negativism have replaced respectful dialogue as acceptable conduct. 

    The “silent majority” still exists, which includes those in the middle who may find Trump to be personally repulsive, but who also find social Marxism and open borders to be an unacceptable alternative. Putting priorities on identity politics and immigrant rights over the rights of American citizens, and then expecting someone else to pay the financial costs of your compassion, is a recipe for empty pews. Polls indicate that more than 80% of Americans want enforcement and fixing our immigration laws, and most (even Trump) favor a path to citizenship for DACA immigrants. With the Executive Council issuing political declarations to condemn all these Americans as “reprehensible racists,” it should be no surprise that parishioners are choosing to leave the Church.

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