[Episcopal News Service – Austin, Texas] Over the next three years, dioceses will have an opportunity to review the province they are currently in and explore whether they wish to become affiliated with a different province.
As approved by the 79th General Convention, Resolution A072 is an outgrowth of a review by the Task Force to Study Provinces. The task force was charged with studying the potential effects of eliminating the provinces and considering what structures might replace them that would support the ministry and mission of the church.
Rather than recommend that provinces be eliminated, the task force instead proposed allowing dioceses to align with the province that “best suits their identity and needs.”
The resolution specifically enables each diocese to “review its involvement in and relationship to its current province, and faithfully discern whether, based on its identify, gifts and needs, it may wish to explore established constitutional and canonical paths toward becoming a constituent diocese of a different province.”
In making its recommendations, the task force said that “the pattern of having some type of structure connecting the diocesan level with the church is important. Rather than invent something new, the recommendation is to look at what already exists and maximize what is working, as well as shifting what may not be working in each of the provinces.”
– Mike Patterson is a San Antonio-based freelance writer and correspondent for the Episcopal News Service. He is a member of ENS General Convention reporting team and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.