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The 231st annual Diocesan Convention
Friday-Saturday, Nov. 4-5, 2016
Mansfield

Read a news summary of the convention here.

Find video and text of Bishop Alan M. Gates's address to the convention here.

Find a photo gallery here.

Actions of the 231st annual Diocesan Convention:

Actions taken by the 231st annual Diocesan Convention are listed below and also are attached as a PDF document at the bottom of this page.

Mission strategy

Pursuant to Canon 10, the Diocesan Convention approved the new diocesan mission strategy as proposed on pages H-6 through H-14 of the convention handbook, with an amendment to the “Reimagining Our Congregations” section.   Words to be added are underlined.
2. c): Reimagining our ministry with children, youth and families, so that our young members receive the foundation they need to claim their faith into adulthood in an increasingly secular culture.

The full mission strategy as adopted is available here.

Elections

Lay Deputies to General Convention (listed in order of election):*

1. The Hon. Byron Rushing
2. Dr. Fredrica Harris Thompsett
3. Mr. William C. Boyce
4. Mr. Samuel J. Gould

Clerical Deputies to General Convention (listed in order of election):*

1. The Rev. Mally Ewing Lloyd
2. The Rev. Edwin Daniel Johnson
3. The Rev. Thomas J. Brown
4. The Rev. Karen B. Montagno

*The General Convention deputy election results announced at the convention were incorrect, due to a procedural error.  These are the corrected, certified results.

Uncontested Elections:

Board of Directors, Barbara C. Harris Camp and Conference Center:
Mr. Andrew Foss, Trinity Church, Boston

Clerical Member of Standing Committee:
The Rev. Dr. Matthew P. Cadwell, Emmanuel Church, Wakefield

Lay Members of Standing Committee:
Wayne Kennard, Esq., St. Peter’s Church, Weston
Ms. Constance Perry, Trinity Church, Boston

Clerical Members of the Disciplinary Board:
The Rev. Christopher Wendell, St. Paul’s Church, Bedford
The Rev. Nancy Gossling
The Rev. Dr. Karen Coleman, St. James’s Church, Somerville

Lay Member of the Disciplinary Board:
Mr. Brian W. Litzenberger, Trinity Church, Concord

Clerical Member of the Cathedral Chapter:
The Rev. Patrick C. Ward, Trinity Church, Boston

Lay Member of the Cathedral Chapter:
Ms. Jennifer Hopcroft, Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Boston

Trustees of Donations:
Ms. Elizabeth Westvold, St. Peter’s Church, Weston

Treasurer of the Diocese:
Ms. Lisa Garcia, Parish of the Epiphany, Winchester

Secretary of the Diocese:
Mr. Leon A. Brathwaite II, St. Andrew’s Church, Edgartown

Appointments to the Commission on Ministry (through Convention 2018):

The Rev. Edgar Gutierrez-Duarte
Mr. Matthew Hutchings
Ms. Kay Ridgard
The Rev. Dr. James Weiss
The Ven. Patricia Zifcak

Resolutions (Final Form)

Clergy Compensation and Benefits

Resolved, that the diocesan Total Clergy Compensation (TCC) be defined as the total of cash stipend, utilities allowance, housing, SECA (Self Employment Contribution Act) allowance, if any, and all other cash compensation paid to an individual clergyperson.  TCC does not include benefits (e.g. pension, health or dental insurance, etc.) or reimbursements for job-related expenses as described in the 2017 Guidelines. 

Resolved, that the TCC Standard be defined as the minimum TCC for active full-time parochial clergy and, for the calendar year 2017, is determined by the following formula:

TCC Standard = $68,966 + (141.77 x Points) + $500 x [years of service* within congregation]

Provided that the minimum TCC Standard for full-time parochial clergy is $73,219. 

Points are determined as the sum of three factors, calculated from data taken from the most recent Parochial Report:

Total Current Operating Revenues (000s)            x .30
    +    Number of Current Adult Pledging Units     x .40
    +    Average Current Sunday-Attendance         x .30
    =    Total Points

The TCC applicable to a full-time rector, vicar, priest-in-charge or interim shall not be less than 100% of the TCC Standard for the congregation.

The TCC applicable to a full-time curate shall not be less than:

TCC Standard (curate) = [$68,966 + (141.77 x Points)] x 0.60

The TCC applicable to a full-time assistant rector shall not be less than:

TCC Standard (assistant) = [$68,966 + (141.77 x Points)] x 0.65
+ $350 x [years of service within the congregation]

The TCC applicable to a full-time associate rector shall not be less than:

TCC Standard (associate) = [$68,966 + (141.77 x Points)] x 0.75
+ $375 x [years of service within the congregation]

*Provided that in each case no more than 10 years of service will be considered in this calculation.

Approval of the 2017 Diocesan Budget

Resolved, that the 231st Annual Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts approve the schedule of 2017 Diocesan Revenues, Core and Supplemental, described in the Proposed 2017 Diocesan Budget and summarized on pages 6 and 7, including the schedule of individual parish and mission assessments for 2017 listed on pages 9 through 14, with the adjustments approved by the Assessment Coordinating Committee and the Diocesan Council on page 15.

Resolved, that the 231st Annual Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts approve the schedule of 2017 Diocesan Expenses, Core and Supplemental, described in the Proposed 2017 Diocesan Budget and summarized on pages 6 and 7.

Civility in Political Conversation 

Resolved, that the 231st Annual Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts calls upon all members of the diocese to refrain from all political and campaign activities that degrade the opposing candidates, parties or individuals with differing opinion, provided that this not be construed to limit any person’s exercise of free speech; and be it further

Resolved, that the 231st Annual Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts condemns the actions of politicians and political candidates that cause vitriolic division between communities; and be it further 

Resolved, that the 231st Annual Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts calls upon all members to uphold those whom they disagree with politically as children of God and brothers and sisters in Christ; and be it further 

Resolved, that the 231st Annual Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts calls upon all who are running for office in this and future campaigns, or who hold public office, to stick to the issues, and refrain from personal attack; and be it further

Resolved, that the 231st Annual Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts invites neighboring dioceses to enact similar resolutions calling for civility in political campaigns.

Reconciliation Following the Divisive Rhetoric of the Recent Presidential Election

Resolved, that the 231st Annual Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts calls upon all members of our diocese to seek reconciliation and healing of the deep divides in our country caused by the rhetoric of the most recent presidential election; and be it further

Resolved, that the 231st Annual Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts urges its parishes to engage in studies about conflict using a program such as Good News: A Scriptural Path to Reconciliation by the Rt. Rev. Steven Charleston, as recommended for use by Bishop Gates in his 2014 convention address; and be it further

Resolved, that the 231st Annual Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts invites neighboring dioceses to enact similar resolutions calling for healing and reconciliation following the divisiveness of the rhetoric from this previous election.

Peace Building in the Diocese of Massachusetts

Resolved, that the Diocesan Convention accept the call from the House of Bishops to pray and work for the end of gun violence through support for the Jorge Fuentes Antiviolence Task Force (“the Task Force”), and urge all congregations and members to engage in the specific actions prioritized by the Task Force in its B-PEACE for Jorge Campaign as follows:

1. Work and organize for fair, common-sense gun law reform that will keep our communities safe and prevent future tragedies;

2. Support positive programs for youth, create employment opportunities and work with under-resourced schools;

3. Bear witness through vigils, participation in public forums, peace walks or other public actions to the urgent need to end senseless gun violence;

4. Establish ongoing conversations and programs in communities to increase understanding about the impact and the root causes of gun violence, including the role of law enforcement; and be it further

Resolved, that the Jorge Fuentes Antiviolence Task Force continue to fulfill its charge to bring God’s peace to all people by furthering the understanding of gun violence and continuing to take action to end it, including offering resources that support congregations in their efforts and report these efforts to the 232nd Convention of the Diocese in 2017; and be it further

Resolved, that the Jorge Fuentes Antiviolence Task Force report back to the 232nd Convention of the Diocese of Massachusetts its progress and findings to strengthen efforts to alleviate the root causes of gun violence.

Keeping Housing Affordable: A Baptismal Priority

Resolved, that the 231st Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts encourage congregations to address the pressing need for affordable housing in their communities, becoming familiar with the Community Preservation Act (CPA), a state program adopted in 161 Massachusetts cities and towns, and its impact in providing new, locally controlled public funds to support affordable housing, parks and recreation, and historic preservation in those communities, and sharing information on CPA in preparation for the November 8th Referendum in Boston; and be it further

Resolved, that the congregations of the Diocese of Massachusetts are encouraged to engage in advocacy and action to identify potential housing projects and to work to ensure that Community Preservation Act funds are distributed in ways that focus on increasing affordable housing.

Response to the Bishop’s Address

Whereas, we acknowledge the testimony of the Cubs’ World Series win to the power of resurrection;  and

Whereas, the temptation is overwhelming to see our world in sports terms as always about winning or losing, not about the well-being of humanity itself; and

Whereas, “metanoia is the opposite of paranoia… Only love can cast out fear and allow us the luxury of [a true change of mind and heart which is] metanoia;” and

Whereas, we are called by our new mission strategy, yoked together with our bishop, to the metanoia of “embracing brave change” as individuals, as congregations and as a diocese; therefore

Be it resolved, that we will continue our tradition of mutuality and familial relationship between the Episcopal Church and the people of Standing Rock by joining in solidarity alongside them in continued prayer and action in defense of clean water and the sanctity of their land; and

Be it further resolved, that we the people of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, heeding our bishop’s call, commit ourselves to countering the steady undercurrent of fear by being in the world as we have always aspired to be… a human family concerned with each other’s welfare, sharing those life-giving resources which God and the earth provides, seeking no victories that require the pain and humiliation of others.  … [but] only that gentle victory over terror or despair that they have always sought.  We will claim salvation in the reconciliation of the alienated, hurting and fallen humankind with the God who loves [us], through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.”

Amendments to the Constitution

Amendment to Diocesan Constitution Article 2, Section 2 to allow all members of the Diocesan Council, as specified in Article 7, Section 1, a seat and vote at Convention (Second reading)
Words to be added are underlined and words to be removed are stricken through.
(a) The Bishops shall each have a seat and vote in the Convention. Subject to Section 4 of this Article, every cleric who is canonically resident in the Diocese, and lay members of the Diocesan Council shall be entitled to a seat and vote in Convention. all members of the Diocesan Council specified in Article 7, Section 1, excepting clergy who are not canonically resident in this diocese, and members of the Diocesan Youth Council who are at least 16 years of age, shall be entitled to a seat and vote in the Convention.

(b) Officers of the Corporation, other Members of the Diocesan Council, Diocesan Youth Council and members of the Standing Committee, and Presiding Officers of Diocesan Commissions and Committees and members of Diocesan Youth Council under the age of 16, who are not otherwise entitled to a seat and vote shall be entitled to all privileges of membership in the Convention, except the right to vote. ; provided that members of the Diocesan Youth Council of age 16 or older shall have the right to vote.

Amendments to the Diocesan Constitution Clarifying the Current Role and Structure of the Diocesan Youth Council (First reading)

Amend Article 8 as follows.
Words to be added are underlined and words to be removed are stricken through.
There shall be a Diocesan Youth Council composed of twenty members who whose members are in high school grades 9 10 through 12, and are baptized communicants of the Episcopal Church in the Diocese. Membership on the Diocesan Youth Council is by application through the Office of Youth Ministry.  Up to twenty members of the Diocesan Youth Council will be given vote at Diocesan Convention with The Diocesan Youth Council shall be composed of one voting member elected from each Deanery, as determined by the Deanery’s bylaws, and eight appointed by the Bishop. Each voting member shall be elected or appointed for a one-year term, which can be renewed by deanery vote or bishop appointment if the member continues to meet all eligibility requirements.

Amend Article 2 Section 2 as follows. Words to be added are underlined and words to be removed are stricken through.
(a) The Bishops shall each have a seat and vote in the Convention. Subject to Section 4 of this Article, every cleric who is canonically resident in the Diocese, all members of the Diocesan Council specified in Article 7, Section 1, (excepting clergy who are not canonically resident in this diocese) and voting members of the Diocesan Youth Council as outlined in Article 8 who are at least 16 years of age, shall be entitled to a seat and vote in the Convention.

(b) Officers of the Corporation, members of the Standing Committee, Presiding Officers of Diocesan Commissions and Committees and non-voting members of Diocesan Youth Council under the age of 16, who are not otherwise entitled to a seat and vote shall be entitled to all privileges of membership in the Convention, except the right to vote.

Amend Article 7 Section 1(e) as follows. Words to be added are underlined and words to be removed are stricken through.
Two youth members, who shall be between the ages of 16 and 18 inclusive at the time of their appointment, to be appointed by the Bishop of the Diocese from among members of the Diocesan Youth Council, for a term of one year which can be renewed by bishop appointment if the member continues to meet the eligibility requirements.

For more information:

Questions may be directed to Laura Simons, Office of Convention and Council (lsimons [at] diomass [dot] org or 617-482-4826, ext. 406).

Attachment
File Diocesan Convention 2016 Actions.pdf
File 2016 Convention Handbook.pdf
File Proposed 2017 Budget.pdf
File Diocesan Convention 2016 Eucharist Booklet.pdf
File October 2016 Secretary's Letter.pdf
File Mission Strategy Report to 2016 Diocesan Convention.pdf
File Journal Reports to Convention 2016.pdf
File Substitute Delegate Registration Form 2016.pdf