[Episcopal News Service – Linthicum Heights, Maryland] During its June 10-13 meeting here The Episcopal Church’s Executive Council adopted multiple resolutions that are summarized below.
* Establish Trust Fund 1197, Protestant Episcopal Bishop of San Joaquin for the benefit of Saint Paul’s, Bakersfield, for the Diocese of San Joaquin, California (FIN030).
* Establish Trust Fund 1198, Hunt Bequest-Kitchen STPAAS for St. Peter & All Saints Episcopal Church in Kansas City, Missouri (FIN031).
* Establish Trust Fund 1199, Hunt Bequest-Canterbury STPAAS for St. Peter & All Saints Episcopal Church in Kansas City, Missouri (FIN032).
* Establish Trust Fund 1200, Hunt Bequest-Food STPAAS for St. Peter & All Saints Episcopal Church in Kansas City, Missouri (FIN033).
* Establish Trust Fund 1201, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, for St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico (FIN034).
* Establish Trust Fund 1202, St. Paul’s KCMO Parish Endowment, for St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Kansas City, Missouri (FIN035).
* Use income and appreciation of trust funds 179.01, 240.00, 341.03 and 773.01 to benefit Voorhees College; and, if this is not possible, use income and appreciation of those trust funds to benefit other Episcopal historically black colleges; and, if this is not possible, use income and appreciation of those trust funds to support any African American Episcopalian student attending a college or university affiliated with The Episcopal Church, as the Executive Council sees fit (FIN036).
* Use a portion of accumulated appreciation not to exceed $55,000 of Trust Fund 188, Gift of John H. Hewson (1908), to fund management training for staff (FIN037).
* Authorize raising the employer base contribution from 5 percent to 8 percent of base salary, effective July 1 to make contributions to lay and clergy pension savings plans more equivalent for all lay employees of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society, or DFMS (the church’s legal and corporate entity); and authorize DFMS to pay for the Medicare supplement premium for spouses of retired lay employees who have served at least 10 years; costs be funded, as needed, from council’s “reserve for lay employee benefit-related expenses” during the 2019-2021 triennium and costs be included within the budgets adopted by General Convention in subsequent triennia (FIN038).
* Designate a portion of the total compensation paid to two DFMS missionaries for calendar year 2019 as housing allowances pursuant to Internal Revenue Code Section 107 and Internal Revenue Service Regulations S1.107 (FIN041).
* Approve the marketing and sale of two buildings and five lots in Guam, proceeds to be used for general purposes of the Episcopal Church in Micronesia (FIN042).
* Establishes a nine-member Foresight Committee to bring forward to council issues key to the effective future ministry and mission of The Episcopal Church for discussion, consultation and potential action (G008).
* Acknowledge receipt of the report of the Church Pension Fund (CPF), in its capacity as the Recorder of Ordinations, in response to Resolutions 2018-C029 (Clergy Compensation by Race) and D037 (Expand Clergy Compensation Report); ask that CPF engage in further review and modification of the proposed implementation plans, particularly addressing the issues of education, self-reporting, privacy and data protection; CPF to submit a revised proposal for implementation of the resolutions to the secretary of General Convention not less than 30 days prior to the October 2019 meeting of council (GO009).
* Direct that before council accepts any nomination to fill an unexpired term for a vacant council seat, nominees undergo the background checks and reviews described in Joint Rules of Order of the House of Bishops and House of Deputies, Section VII.21, to determine whether anything in that background check precludes the proposed nomination; before nominations are made at provincial synods for the election of lay and clergy representatives to council for 2021, each nominee’s name be submitted to the office of General Convention for the same background check and review; if it is determined by office of secretary of General Convention, in consultation with the chief legal officer, that the results should preclude a person from holding the office sought, the General Convention office shall share the determination with the proposed nominee and remit that determination, but not the background check results, to the nominator (background check information shall not be shared beyond those entities); costs of such background checks shall be covered by the General Convention budget (GO010).
* Elect the Rev. George Sherrill Jr. of the Diocese of Southern Ohio as a member of the Presbyterian Episcopal Dialogue Committee for a term ending December 31, 2021 (MB007).
* Express concern about the ongoing political and humanitarian situation in Burundi, dating from April 2015, when plans were announced to hold a referendum to revise the nation’s constitution; note with grave concern United Nations Commission of Inquiry’s finding that “reasonable grounds to believe that crimes against humanity have been committed in Burundi since April 2015” and confirming “the persistence of extrajudicial executions, arbitrary arrests and detentions, enforced disappearances, torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and sexual violence in Burundi since April 2015”; commend the work of the Anglican Province of Burundi and Archbishop Martin Blaise Nyaboho, who seek to transform, empower, and promote justice in the community; call upon all parties to the conflict, and their international partners, to work towards a peaceful resolution to the ongoing crisis; encourage the Office of Government Relations to partner with Anglicans and ecumenical partners to advocate for peace, human rights and good governance in Burundi (MB008).
* Express The Episcopal Church’s continued support for the principles of multilateralism that underpin global dialogue and concerted action in the world; encourage all member states of the United Nations to continue to support and engage in its work and functioning, including through timely payment of their dues (MB009).
* Express thanks and appreciation to Ursuline Bankhead for her presentation on implicit bias, leading the council into a deeper appreciation of this aspect of our common life as the Beloved Community; state that the Executive Council desires to continue this important work with her, with sufficient time devoted for meaningful conversations between members of that might result in transformations in the shared life of the council; Bankhead, or another facilitator with equal training, passion and insight, be requested to offer a presentation at the October 2019 council meeting that would prepare hearts and minds more fully to appreciate the experience and context of the meeting in Montgomery, Alabama; call for implicit bias training and presentations be a part of the work of the next triennium, beginning with the October 2021 council meeting, so that the new class of members will be enabled to share the fruits of this important work (MB010).
* Express grave concern and sorrow for the recent rise in easily preventable diseases due to anti-vaccination movements which have harmed thousands of children and adults; condemn the continued and intentional spreading of fraudulent research that suggested vaccines might cause harm; recognize no claim of theological or religious exemption from vaccination for our members and reiterates the spirit of General Convention policies that Episcopalians should seek the counsel of experienced medical professionals, scientific research and epidemiological evidence; call on the Office of Government Relations to advocate to the United States government for stronger vaccination mandates informed by epidemiological evidence and scientific research; urge all religious leaders to support evidence-based measures that ensure the strongest protections for our communities; ask congregations and dioceses to partner with medical professionals to counter false information, and to become educated about programs in their communities that can provide vaccinations and immunizations at reduced or no cost to those in need (MB011).
* Approve Roanridge Trust grants (MW002).
* Approve United Thank Offering grants (MW003).
* Request General Convention Office have staff or an appropriate contractor analyze information from the 2018 Parochial Reports to report to council and the wider church about the number of congregations who host or conduct worship in a language other than English (including sign language for hearing impaired congregations), the languages used and, to the extent the data can be readily gathered, information on whether these congregations have prayer books authorized by The Episcopal Church or another province of the Anglican Communion in their language, and whether these congregations have the full Scriptures in their native language; request that the report include the number of congregations lacking either or both (a) Scriptures in their native language and (b) an authorized version of the BCP in their native language, together with estimates of the cost and effort needed to assure that these resources are made available to such congregations and to those intending to begin mission work in these linguistic communities; if a full report is not available, request an interim report two weeks in advance of the October council meeting (MW004).
* Adopt policies for vaccination standards within Episcopal institutions and programs requiring them to ensure the safety of participants, including that all participants and staff participating are vaccinated in accordance with the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Immunization Schedule and/or applicable state law; outside of the United States, local health agencies, ordinances and protocols should be followed in place of the CDC Immunization Schedule; a participant may be exempted from this vaccination requirement only by presenting a certificate from a licensed physician to the staff stating that due to the physical condition of the participant one or more specified immunizations would endanger the participant’s life or health; coordinator of applicable programs and facilities should review for completeness the immunization records of all participants, staff and volunteers for the safety of all involved in the program; dioceses, parishes, schools, camps, daycare and childcare programs, and other programs at Episcopal facilities or sponsored by Episcopal institutions should strive to ensure funding is available or partner with charities to ensure that vaccinations can be made available so that no child is prohibited from participation due to financial burden of vaccination; request the chief legal officer to create a model policy for the church based on this resolution (MW005).
* Express deep concern that additional restrictions on remittances and travel, and recent efforts to marginalize Cuba will cause U.S.-Cuba relations to deteriorate further; express concern that any additional travel and financial restrictions will have a negative and harmful impact on the church’s religious activities; and that it will be increasingly difficult for our clergy to obtain visas to come to the United States from Cuba and to go to Cuba from the United States; religious exchanges, travel and engagement, particularly when there is a shared faith tradition, help sustain faith communities and contribute to religious expression and religious liberty, and bridge building, fellowship and continuing to be in relationship will allow the transformation of the political dynamics between the U.S. and Cuba; assert that the policy changes are also likely to negatively impact U.S. relations with Canada, the European Union, Latin American and Caribbean nations, and limiting the frequency and amounts of remittances will increase economic hardship for many Cuban families and will further isolate the Cuban people; reiterate The Episcopal Church’s call for an end to the embargo; and reassert a commitment to strengthening relations between the Cuban and American peoples (MW006).