Diocesan Convention 2013

2013 Convention logo

Actions of the 228th Convention of the Diocese of Massachusetts, which took place on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013, at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, 138 Tremont Street, in Boston, follow below and are also posted as a PDF attachment at the bottom of this page. 

Videos of the bishops' addresses are available here (Bishop Shaw's first meditation and second meditation, Bishop Harris's sermon).  Photos from the convention are posted here.

Read about Bishop Shaw's retirement announcement here.  Read more coverage of the convention here.

Questions may be directed to Laura Simons in the Office of Convention and Council at lsimons@diomass.org or 617-482-4826, ext. 406.

Find information from previous Diocesan Conventions here.

Actions of the 228th Diocesan Convention:

ELECTIONS:
Clerical Deputies to the 2015 General Convention:
The Rev. Canon Mally Lloyd, Canon to the Ordinary
The Rev. Thomas Brown, Parish of the Epiphany, Winchester
The Rev. Jane Soyster Gould, St. Stephen’s Memorial Church, Lynn
The Rev. Edwin Johnson, St. Mary’s Church, Dorchester

Lay Deputies to the 2015 General Convention:
The Hon. Byron Rushing, St. John St. James Church, Roxbury
Dr. Fredrica Harris Thompsett, St. Barnabas’s Church, Falmouth
Mr. Sam Gould, St. Stephen’s Memorial Church, Lynn
Ms. Sarah Neumann, Church of Our Redeemer, Lexington

Member of the Trustees of Donations:
The Rev. Margaret Schwarzer, Grace Church, Newton

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

Lay Member of the Cathedral Chapter:
Ms. Jennifer McCracken, Christ Church, Needham

Clerical Member of the Standing Committee:
The Rev. Pamela L. Werntz, Emmanuel Church, Boston

Lay Member of the Standing Committee:
Dr. Colin Johnstone, All Saints Parish, Brookline

The Board of Directors for the Barbara C. Harris Camp and Conference Center:
Ms. Patricia A. Scarpetti, Grace Church, Everett
The Rev. Alan Hesse, Epiphany Church, Walpole
The Rev. Natasha Stewart, Trinity Church, Bridgewater

Clerical Members of the Disciplinary Board:
The Rev. Christine Whittaker, Society of St. John the Evangelist, Cambridge
The Rev. Christopher Wendell, St. Paul’s Church, Bedford

Lay Members of the Disciplinary Board:
Mr. Thomas A. Peltz, St. John’s Church, Beverly Farms
Ms. Janis Galvin, Grace Church, Everett
Ms. Barbara J. Fenner, St. Peter’s Church, Osterville

Treasurer of the Diocese:
Mr. James Gammill, Parish of the Epiphany, Winchester

Secretary of the Diocese:
Mr. Leon A. Brathwaite II, Grace Church, Vineyard Haven

Appointments to the Commission on Ministry:
Reappointments through Convention 2016:
Ms. Ella Davila Auchincloss, Co-chair
Ms. Karon Gibson-Mueller, Co-chair
The Rev. Dr. Libby Gibson, Examining Chaplain
The Rev. Edgar Gutierrez-Duarte
Ms. Kay Ridgard
Dr. David Urion
The Ven. Pat Zifcak
Through Convention 2015:
The Rev. Miriam Gelfer
Through Convention 2014:
The Rev. Edwin Johnson
The Rev. Geoffrey Piper


RESOLUTIONS
Final form (no amendments voted)


Election of a Bishop Coadjutor
Resolved, That this 228th Convention of the Diocese of Massachusetts gives its assent and support to the Standing Committee for the conduct of an election of bishop coadjutor as follows:
1.    That the Standing Committee shall have general oversight of the entire discernment, nomination, transition, and election process; and

2.    That those lay members of the Discernment Committee and the Transition Committee who are not also lay delegates shall have seat and voice, but not vote, at the special session for election; and

3.    That the Standing Committee shall conduct a two-week petition process for the development of additional candidates, if any, after a slate is discerned by the Discernment Committee and announced.  The Standing Committee shall set minimum requirements for signatures and information needed for any petition process candidate; and

4.    That the candidates for election shall be only those persons discerned as a slate by the Discernment Committee and those persons nominated through the petition process and that, any other rule notwithstanding, no other candidate may stand for election; and

5.    That the Transition Committee, with the approval of the Standing Committee and the Secretary of Convention, shall promulgate Special Rules of Order for the Special Session, setting time and number of nominating speeches, modes and manner of communication, and whatever special rules for the Convention as may be appropriate.

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 2014 Guidelines. 

Resolved, that the TCC Standard be defined as the minimum TCC for active full-time parochial clergy and, for the calendar year 2014, is determined by the following formula:
   
TCC Standard = $63,114 + (129.74 x Points) + $500 x [years of service* within congregation]

Provided that the minimum TCC Standard for full-time parochial clergy is $67,006. 

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) = [$63,114 + (129.74 x Points)] x 0.60

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

TCC Standard (assistant) = [$63,114 + (129.74 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) = [$63,114 + (129.74 x Points)] x 0.75
+ $375 x [years of service within the congregation]

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

Approval of the 2014 Diocesan Budget
Resolved, that the 228th Annual Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts approve the schedule of 2014 Diocesan Revenues, Core and Supplemental, described in the Proposed 2014 Diocesan Budget and summarized on pages 8 and 9, including the schedule of individual parish and mission assessments for 2014 listed on pages 11 through 14, with the adjustments approved by the Assessment Coordinating Committee and Diocesan Council on page 15.

Resolved, that the 228th Annual Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts approve the schedule of 2014 Diocesan Expenses, Core and Supplemental, described in the Proposed 2014 Diocesan Budget and summarized on pages 8 and 9.

On Peace Building in the Diocese of Massachusetts
Resolved, that the 228th Convention of the Diocese of Massachusetts continue its commitment to the work of the B-PEACE for Jorge Campaign and Task Force and the ongoing antiviolence work motivated by the loving memory of Jorge Luis Fuentes;  and be it further

Resolved, that Diocesan Convention continue to encourage all congregations and members to pray and work to address and alleviate the root causes of violence within communities across the diocese, striving for justice and peace among all people, as promised in our Baptismal Covenant;  and be it further

Resolved, that Diocesan Convention call on each congregation in the diocese to engage in at least one of the following bishop’s action steps toward peace:
•    Supporting positive programs for youth;
•    Creating employment opportunities for teens and young adults;
•    Partnering with under-resourced public schools to support academic excellence;
•    Addressing needs of youth and families through support and leadership programs;
•    Working and organizing for fair, common-sense gun law reform that will keep our communities safe and prevent future tragedies;
•    Educating  congregations about the root causes of violence, and be it further

Resolved, that the Diocesan Convention support the work of the Family Support and Resources Committee of the Task Force to develop a training for trauma response and resiliency education designed for clergy and lay leaders, which will be brought before the 229th Convention for approval and implementation; and be it further

Resolved, that the Jorge Fuentes Antiviolence Task Force report back to the 229th Convention of the Diocese of Massachusetts its progress and findings, which will include success stories of local efforts in order to share the wisdom we as a diocese have acquired, and further strengthen efforts to alleviate the root causes of violence, working toward useful methods and models that the Diocese might share with other communities of faith and the wider Episcopal Church.

In Support of a Carbon Tax as a Way to Combat Climate Change
Resolved, that the 228th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts calls upon all members of congregations and affiliated organizations to support efforts to establish a carbon tax to discourage the use of fossil fuels because of their impact on climate change; and be it further

Resolved, that the 228th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts endorses Massachusetts House Bill 2532, an act providing an economic incentive to reduce carbon emissions and to generate tax revenue for the improvement and promotion of public transportation; and be it further

Resolved, that the 228th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts directs the Secretary of Convention to convey our support of House Bill 2532 to the governor of Massachusetts and every legislator representing portions of the diocese; and be it further

Resolved, that the delegates to the 228th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts are urged to encourage their parishes and individual parishioners to communicate support of a carbon tax to their respective legislators.

Calling for Environmentally Responsible Investing
Resolved, that the 228th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts calls upon all members of congregations and all affiliated organizations to, individually and in community, make a moral commitment to:
•    change our lifestyles to reduce our carbon footprint, our use of fossil fuels, and our complicity with the fossil fuel industry;
•    demand action from legislators, advocate for the enactment and enforcement of greenhouse gas reducing laws, and engage in activities, boycotts, and shareholder actions with companies, up to and including divestment; publicly witness to and create educational programs that highlight the dangers of climate change; and be it further

Resolved, that the 228th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts commends the Trustees of Donations for their ongoing engagement on climate change as a high priority, and for their work in concert with the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility and coalition members of Ceres to encourage companies in which they invest to:
•    increase the transparency of their efforts to influence climate change legislation through lobbying; and take all financially, technologically, and operationally feasible steps toward minimizing their greenhouse gas emissions; and be it further

Resolved, that the 228th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts calls on all managers of Episcopal endowments to divest by freezing all direct investments in the Carbon Tracker top 200 fossil fuel companies, as measured by proven carbon reserves; and be it further

Resolved, that the 228th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts calls on the Trustees of Donations to: initiate the research necessary to identify "best in class" fossil fuel companies committed to the reduction of their carbon footprints and the development of alternative clean energy; to provide Convention 2014 with a progress report and a plan whereby, as of November 1, 2018, none of assets of the Diocesan Investment Trust will be invested in fossil fuel companies not deemed "best in class;" and be it further

Resolved, that the 228th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts calls upon the Trustees of Donations to:
•    design an alternative investment vehicle that is free from fossil fuel production companies, one that might also include companies that offset the use of fossil fuels and/or  invests significantly in clean renewable energy;
•    conduct a survey of all managers of Episcopal endowments to gauge interest in such an alternative vehicle and the availability of assets; 
•    report to Diocesan Council, Convention, and all potential investors in the diocese the results of the survey and, if feasible, make available the alternative vehicle to investment; and be it further

Resolved, that the 228th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts calls upon all its congregations, other affiliated institutions, and their individual members to adopt policies comparable to those the Trustees of Donations have been called on to embrace, including no investments in fossil fuel companies except those deemed “best in class,” by November 1, 2018; and be it further

Resolved, that the 228th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts calls upon the Secretary of Convention to report actions taken on this resolution to the Presiding Bishop’s Office, the Episcopal Church Pension Board of Trustees, the dioceses of Province I, and the Massachusetts Council of Churches.

Resolution in Response to the Bishops’ Addresses
Resolved, that the 228th Convention of the Diocese of Massachusetts draws strength and courage, vision and clarity from Bishop Tom’s offering of the icon as a window inviting us to see the fullness of God’s glory, immensity, eternity, and deep love, which sustain us in the turbulence of our lives, a turbulence that has no power, recognizing that the immensity of God and the risen Christ have all the power; and be it further

Resolved, that we in our baptisms, gifted by the Spirit, share in power to go forth to heal and reconcile the world; and be it further

Resolved, that, in gratitude for Bishop Gayle’s honesty in preaching and in response to the challenge laid down by her, we will dare to name and confront the dynamics of racism in ourselves, our congregations, our Church, and the world.

A Resolution in Thanksgiving to God for the Episcopacy of The Rt. Rev. M. Thomas Shaw, SSJE
Resolved, the 228th Convention of the Diocese of Massachusetts express, on behalf of the entire Diocese of Massachusetts, our deep gratitude to God for our Bishop Diocesan, the Rt. Rev. M. Thomas Shaw, SSJE, in the 20th year of his episcopacy as our faithful shepherd, guide, theologian, and teacher, enlightening and leading minds into a deeper knowledge of the triune God; and be it further

Resolved, that we give deep thanks to God for Bishop Tom as defender of the poor and marginalized, advocating for those neglected, forgotten, and shunned, not only within our Church but within our Commonwealth of Massachusetts, our nation, and our world; and be it further

Resolved, that we give deep thanks to God for Bishop Tom as builder of the Church, encouraging lay ministry, building up lay leadership, raising up and nurturing children, youth, and young people for mission and ministry in the Church, calling and forming clergy, and empowering us all to grow into our full stature in Christ as we live out God’s mission and ministry in and to the world and empowering all of us to claim and live into the promises of our Baptismal Covenant; and be it further

Resolved, that we give deep thanks to God for Bishop Tom as potter and steward, molding the Church and all God’s people in Eastern Massachusetts and beyond, empowering all to grow into the dignity of our personhood; and be it further

Resolved, that we give thanks to God for Bishop Tom as witness to the transforming power of the Gospel and the love of God made known in Jesus Christ, evangelizing the Good News in word and deed to all who would hear.