Standing Committee

The Standing Committee advises the bishops, hearing bishops’ concerns and offering thoughtful and prayerful responses.  Standing Committee members also bring items of concern to the bishops for consideration and discussion.

The Standing Committee serves a number of canonical functions:

  • Reviews and approves bylaws of all congregations in the diocese and advises parishes on developing their congregational bylaws (scroll down to find the model bylaws document)
  • Provides advice and consent for any sale, lien or encumbrance upon church and church-related property in the diocese
  • Participates in the formation and ordination process of those applying for holy orders, including applicant and postulant interviews
  • Receives and considers requests for consent to the ordination of all bishops elected in the Episcopal Church
  • Mediates when clergy and their congregations dissolve their pastoral relationship

The Standing Committee has oversight of the process when the diocese undertakes to search for, elect and consecrate a new bishop.  The Standing Committee becomes the diocese’s ecclesiastical authority in a situation where there is no bishop in place. 

The four lay and four clerical members of the Standing Committee are elected to four-year terms by Diocesan Convention, one clerical member and one lay member each year.

The Standing Committee meets monthly from September through June, generally on the second Thursday of the month.

Current Standing Committee members are (with terms ending at Diocesan Convention of the year listed):

Lay members Clergy members Term Expires
Grace Knowles, Vice President The Rev. Dr. Karen Coleman, President 2024
Suzanne Owayda The Rev. Kit Lonergan 2025

James S. Dilday, Esq.

The Rev. Daniel S. Dice 2026
Kevin Miller The Rev. Walter Connelly 2027

Contact the Standing Committee

Staff contact:  Margaret Lias, Administrator for Governance and Grants, at 617-482-4826, ext. 229 or