Actions taken by the 230th annual Diocesan Convention on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Boston are listed below and also are attached as a PDF document at the bottom of this page.
Questions about Diocesan Convention may be directed to Laura Simons, Office of Convention and Council (617/482-4826, ext. 406 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
News, video and photos:
•Video and text of Bishop Douglas J. Fisher's sermon at the Nov. 13 Cathedral Church of St. Paul rededication and seating service are available here.
•Find a gallery of photos from the rededication and seating of Bishop Gates here.
•Video and text of Bishop Gates's address are available here.
• Read a news summary of the convention here.
Actions of the 230th annual Diocesan Convention:
Lay Member of the Standing Committee
Mr. John Iredale, Parish of St. Chrysostom, Quincy
Lay Deputy to Provincial Synod (3-year term)
Ms. Rebecca Alden, St. David’s Church, South Yarmouth
Clerical Deputy to Provincial Synod (3-year term)
The Rev. Karen Coleman, St. James’s Church, Somerville
Members of the Board of Directors to the Barbara C. Harris Center
Mr. Stephen A. Mascoll, St. Bartholomew’s Church, Cambridge (3-year term)
The Rev. Natasha Stewart, Trinity Church, Bridgewater (3-year term)
Clerical Member of the Standing Committee (4-year term)
The Rev. Andrew J. Stoessel, St. Michael’s Church, Marblehead
Clerical Members of the Disciplinary Board (3-year term)
The Rev. Mary Scott Wagner, Church of the Good Shepherd, Reading
The Rev. Kathleen Lonergan, St. James’s Church, Groveland
Lay Member of the Disciplinary Board (3-year terms)
Mr. Dan Clevenger, Parish of St. Chrysostom, Quincy
Clerical Member of the Cathedral Chapter
The Rev. Cameron E. Partridge, Boston University
Lay Member of the Cathedral Chapter
Ms. Mary Beth Mills-Curran, St. James’s Church, Cambridge
Trustees of Donations
Ms. Lauriann Kloppenburg, St. Anne’s-in-the-Fields Church, Lincoln
Treasurer of the Diocese
Ms. Lisa Garcia, Parish of the Epiphany, Winchester
Secretary of the Diocese
Mr. Leon A. Brathwaite II, Grace Church, Vineyard Haven
Appointments to the Commission on Ministry:
Through Convention 2016:
Ms. Ella Davila Auchincloss, Co-chair
Ms. Karon Gibson-Mueller, Co-chair
The Rev. Edgar Gutierrez-Duarte
Ms. Kay Ridgard
The Ven. Pat Zifcak
Through Convention 2017:
The Rev. Miriam Gelfer
The Rev. Dr. Libby Gibson, Examining Chaplain
The Rev. Sara Irwin
The Rev. Edwin Johnson
Mr. Graeme Mills
Through Convention 2018:
Dr. Laura Crain
The Rev. Eric Hillegas
The Rev. Daniel Horgan
The Rev. Sarah Kelb
Ms. Branwen Smith-King
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 2016 Guidelines.
Resolved, that the TCC Standard be defined as the minimum TCC for active full-time parochial clergy and, for the calendar year 2016, is determined by the following formula:
TCC Standard = $66,957 + (137.64 x Points) + $500 x [years of service* within congregation]
Provided that the minimum TCC Standard for full-time parochial clergy is $71,086.
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) = [$66,957 + (137.64 x Points)] x 0.60
The TCC applicable to a full-time assistant rector shall not be less than:
TCC Standard (assistant) = [$66,957 + (137.64 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) = [$66,957 + (137.64 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 2016 Diocesan Budget
Resolved, that the 230th Annual Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts approve the schedule of 2016 Diocesan Revenues, Core and Supplemental, described in the Proposed 2016 Diocesan Budget and summarized on pages 8 and 9, including the schedule of individual parish and mission assessments for 2016 listed on pages 11 through 16, with the adjustments approved by the Assessment Coordinating Committee and the Diocesan Council on page 17.
Resolved, that the 230th Annual Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts approve the schedule of 2016 Diocesan Expenses, Core and Supplemental, described in the Proposed 2016 Diocesan Budget and summarized on pages 8 and 9.
Relief for Persecuted Christians and Others in the Middle East
Resolved, that this 230th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts acknowledge that our brother and sister Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East and elsewhere have been persecuted by forced conversions, expulsions from their homes and murder; and that the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts advocates the prayers of the faithful on their behalf and urges support for Episcopal Relief & Development so that it may provide relief and support to our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ and others.
Support of Pilgrimages and Closer Partnerships in the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem
Resolved, that this 230th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts supports the initiatives of the Diocesan Middle East Network Working Group Committee—a member of the Global Mission Network—which encourages members of this diocese to visit the West Bank of Palestine, to witness what life is like for those living under military occupation that has continued for 50 years, and to develop relationships with the churches and institutions of our partner in mission, the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, through such pilgrimages, and be it further
Resolved, that the Middle East Network Working Group Committee encourages congregations to apply for Mission Tithe Matching Grants to provide financial assistance for diocesan mission pilgrimages to the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem.
Christian Response to Latin American Migration Crisis
Resolved, that the 230th Annual Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts expresses support for the UN Declaration of Human Rights as the standard of treatment for people who flee their countries; and be it further
Resolved, that our diocese call on the Episcopal Public Policy Network to advocate that our government revise the policy of border externalization, which is the interception of migrants who are en route to our southern border; and be it further
Resolved, that our diocese call on the Episcopal Public Policy Network to advocate that our government end the detention of asylum-seekers, after they have been found to have credible asylum claims and to pose no threat to the community, and be it further
Resolved, that our diocese call on the Episcopal Public Policy Network to advocate that the U.S. Government play a positive nonviolent role in supporting the governments of Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala to address root issues that lead the masses of people to leave their countries; and be it further
Resolved, that we commend initiatives currently supported by the diocesan Global Missions Network for Latin America such as Cristosal Foundation in El Salvador (an Episcopal human rights organization which seeks to find regional solutions), the Anglican Church of the Central American Region (IARCA) and other such organizations that work toward addressing the root causes of Latin American migration.
Response to the Bishop’s Address
Resolved, that the 230th Convention of the Diocese of Massachusetts commends the ongoing work in our diocese countering all forms of violence and racism, asks parishes prayerfully to consider participating in refugee resettlement and continues to engage the work of social justice in its many forms, not settling for “good intentions” only; and be it further
Resolved, that the 230th Convention of the Diocese of Massachusetts authorizes the mission strategy discernment process as outlined by the Mission Strategy Listening Process Design Team, for the purpose of presenting a new diocesan mission strategy to annual Diocesan Convention 2016; and be it further
Resolved, that, refusing to stand idly by, we will participate as individuals, congregations and deaneries through dedicated "deep listening" in the open listening sessions so that we can encourage and strengthen one another to walk the labyrinth of loving relationship together, one with another in Jesus Christ, who draws us in and leads us out.
Amendments to the Constitution and Canons
Amendment to Diocesan Canon 8, Section 2 to expand Commission on Ministry Membership
Words to be added are underlined and words to be removed are stricken through.
Sec. 2. Membership of the Commission The Commission on Ministry shall consist of twelve fifteen members, clergy and lay persons, who shall be appointed by the Bishop with the approval by vote of the Diocesan Convention. At the session of the Convention at which this Canon is adopted, four five members shall be appointed for terms of one year each, four five members for terms of two years each, and four five members for terms of three years each. All subsequent appointments shall be for terms of three years. All terms shall expire at the close of the first session of the regular annual Diocesan Convention in the appropriate year.
Vacancies occurring between sessions of the Convention shall be filled by appointment of the Bishop with the approval of the Commission, persons so appointed to serve until the next session of the Convention, at which appointment shall be made in the normal manner of a person to complete the unexpired portion of the term. The Bishop shall be ex officio a member of the Commission. The Bishop shall designate one two of the members of the Commission to serve as the Presiding Officers thereof.
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 (First 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.