[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] The House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church concluded its retreat meeting today, March 17, at Kanuga Conference Center in Hendersonville, NC. The following is an account of the activities for Tuesday, March 17.
The theme for the spring meeting of the Episcopal Church House of Bishops is Fostering a culture of curiosity, compassion and courage in Christ.
The day began with Morning Prayer, presided by HOB Chaplain, the Rev. Simon Batista of Texas.
The emcee for the day was Bishop Andrew Dietsche of New York.
Bishop Jay Magness addressed the House on the work of federal ministries, chaplains and prison ministers.
Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori presided at the business meeting. Among the actions:
- 148 bishops were in attendance. Bishop Peter Lee was senior bishop at the meeting.
- A standing ovation acknowledged Bishop Duncan Gray of Mississippi upon his resignation.
- Elected to the Disciplinary Board for Bishops were Bishop Dorsey Henderson (reelected), Bishop Cate Waynick of Indianapolis (reelected), Bishop Rob O’Neill of Colorado and Bishop Nick Knisely of Rhode Island.
- The Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop (JNCPB) presented a resolution mandating that candidates nominated by petition undergo the same background check procedures as those nominated by the JNCPB. The resolution was approved.
- The HOB Pastoral Development presented a resolution of understanding on Commitments and Core Values for General Convention 2015, which was approved.
- The House approved a resolution calling for the Presiding Bishop, in consultation with the President of the House of Deputies, to appoint an independent commission to explore the canonical, environment, behavioral and procedural dimensions of matters involving the serious impairment of individuals serving as leaders in the church, with special attention to issues of addiction and substance abuse. The resolution requests that appointments to this commission include individuals with professional or personal experience with varieties of impairment, members of Full-Communion partner churches, and members of this Church. Recommendations for both action and further review, as appropriate, in order to clarify lines of authority, to ensure mutual accountability, and to promote justice, well-being, and safety within both the Church and the world were included.
- The Bishops agreed to prepare a new Pastoral Letter on Racism, to be promulgated in 2016.
- The HOB received the report of the Ecclesiology committee, entitled Re-membering and Re-imagining, a set of draft documents for further study.
- Mindful of tragic events in Pakistan, the bishops approved a resolution in support of and in gratitude for the witness of Christians in that country.
In the afternoon session, an overview of General Convention 2015 was presented by: Bishop Ken Price, secretary of HOB; the Rev. Canon Dr. Michael Barlowe, Executive Officer of General Convention; and Bishop Scott Hayashi of Utah, the host diocese. Topics included process, Virtual Binder, logistics, and hospitality and support being offered by the LDS church.
Bishop Hayashi also spoke about the march slated for Sunday morning (June 28) of General Convention sponsored by the Bishops against Gun Violence.
The day concluded with Eucharist celebrated by Bishop Ken Price with Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori preaching.
Media Briefers for Tuesday March 17