Diocesan Convention 2018

Diocesan Convention 2018 logo

Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018
Cape Cod Resort and Conference Center at Hyannis

Convention follow-up and coverage:

Those who attended the Diocesan Convention are invited to complete a short online survey, here.

Find video and text of Bishop Gates's annual address here.  View the photo gallery here.

Actions of the 233rd annual Diocesan Convention:

Actions of the 233rd annual Diocesan Convention follow below and are also attached as a PDF document at the bottom of this page.

Elections:

Clerical Member of the Cathedral Chapter
The Rev. Emily Garcia, Church of the Redeemer, Chestnut Hill

Uncontested Elections:

Clerical Member of the Standing Committee
The Rev. Dr. Elise Feyerherm, St. Paul’s Church, Brookline (4-year term)

Lay Member of the Standing Committee
William Boyce, Grace Church, New Bedford (4-year term)

Clerical Members of the Disciplinary Board
The Rev. Edwin Johnson, St. Mary’s Church, Dorchester (3-year term)
The Rev. Dr. Karen Coleman, Boston University Chaplaincy (3-year term)

Lay Member of the Disciplinary Board
Daniel Clevenger, St. Chrysostom’s Church, Quincy (3-year term)

Secretary of the Diocese
Sister Kristina Frances, SSM, Society of St. Margaret, Duxbury (1-year term)

Treasurer of the Diocese
The Rev. Stephen O. Voysey, Emmanuel Church, West Roxbury (1-year term)

Lay Member of the Cathedral Chapter
Kevin Miller, Parish of the Epiphany, Walpole (3-year term)

Members of the Board of Directors to the Barbara C. Harris Camp and Conference Center
Molly Hynes, St. Paul’s Church, Brookline (3-year term)
Christopher Kowaleski, St. James’s Church, Groveland (3-year term)

Clerical Deputy to Provincial Synod
The Rev. Dr. Karen Coleman, Boston University Chaplaincy (3-year term)

Lay Deputy to Provincial Synod
Betsy Ridge Madsen, Church of the Advent, Boston (3-year term)

Alternate Lay Deputy to Provincial Synod
Sister Kristina Frances, SSM, Society of St. Margaret, Duxbury (2-year term)

Trustees of Donations
James Coats, St. Mary’s Church, Rockport (5-year term)

Appointments to the Commission on Ministry
Through Diocesan Convention 2021:
The Rev. Dr. Richard Burden
Laura Crain
The Rev. Eric Hillegas
The Rev. Dan Horgan
The Rev. Sarah Mato

Admitted as missions in union with the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts:

St. Peter's Church, Waltham
Grace Chapel, Brockton

Approval of the 2019 Diocesan Budget:

Resolved, that the 233rd Annual Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts approve the budget of revenue and expenses for 2019 as summarized on page 7 [of the budget booklet ], including the individual parish and mission assessments for 2019 listed on pages 13-18 and the approved assessment adjustments found on the budget book insert.

Resolutions (final form)

The Church’s Response to the Opioid Crisis
Resolved, that the 233rd Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts recognizes that the recreational use of drugs, especially opioids, and resulting deaths from overdose have become a national epidemic and that the disease of addiction directly affects the members of our diocese and their loved ones; and be it further

Resolved, that the churches in our diocese partner together with those who are already doing the work of healing and support to the people affected by this epidemic to learn best practices of how to reach out and provide God’s loving mercy to those who are struggling with addiction and to the family and friends who support them in their work of recovery; and be it further

Resolved, that the 233rd Convention encourages every parish in our diocese to have Naloxone in the building and that all clergy, and other parish leadership as appropriate, be encouraged to be trained to use Naloxone in order to provide life-saving measures to God’s people.

The Use of Fair Trade Coffee at All Church Events
Resolved, that the 233rd Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts calls upon all congregations, ministries and diocesan bodies to use fair trade coffee at all church events; and be it further

Resolved, that the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts be encouraged to support goals of the fair trade coffee movement, which include: raising income levels of small-scale farmers and farm workers; more equitably distributing economic gains across the industry; encouraging environmentally sound and sustainable farming methods; promoting ethical working conditions; and increasing consumer awareness of the economic forces affecting farmers and the exploitation of workers.

Supporting Gender Identity Antidiscrimination Laws in Massachusetts
Resolved, that the 233rd Annual Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts reaffirms our belief in the full dignity of all people before God, regardless of gender identity; and be it further

Resolved, that this Convention endorses Massachusetts Ballot Question #3 in the referendum on Nov. 6, 2018, and encourages its members and all eligible voters to vote YES to maintain our Commonwealth’s public accommodations laws protecting all people from gender identity discrimination.

Planting a Paris Grove: A Resolution in Support of Creation Care
Resolved, that the 233rd Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts answer the call of General Convention 2018, Resolution A10, that “each of the eighty-five (85) camp and conference centers in the Episcopal Church establish ‘Paris Groves,’ plantings of trees at the camp and conference centers or other church-owned properties that will serve as visible witnesses to the significance of the Paris Accord and do the practical work of sequestration of carbon from the atmosphere.” Accordingly, the diocese will establish a “Paris Grove” at the Barbara C. Harris Camp and Conference Center, thus renewing our commitment to live out the principles of the Paris Climate Accord; and be it further

Resolved, that the 233rd Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts encourages its congregations, their members and visitors to the Barbara C. Harris Camp and Conference Center to support and help maintain the Paris Grove or an existing forest with time, money and prayers; and be it further

Resolved, that congregations be encouraged to use the sixth question in the Baptismal Covenant, “Will you cherish the wondrous works of God, and protect and restore the beauty and integrity of all creation?” and the response, “We will with God’s help” as authorized by General Convention 2015 for trial use (Resolution A016); and be it further

Resolved, that confirmands and persons received into the church be invited to plant or donate a tree in gratitude and as a tangible response to the sixth Baptismal Covenant question.

Seeking Immigrant Justice through Accompaniment, Advocacy and Direct Action
Resolved, that the 233rd Convention of the Diocese of Massachusetts, as people of faith and people of conscience, seeks to challenge any immigration law, policy or practice that is inconsistent with our biblical mandate not only to not “wrong or oppress a resident stranger" (Exodus 22:21), but also to love the stranger in our midst (Deuteronomy 10:19), and to affirm our conviction that love does no harm to a neighbor and that love is the fulfillment of the law (Romans 13:10); and be it further

Resolved, that our diocese joins The Episcopal Church in opposing immigrant enforcement action against those who have not committed felony crimes; and reaffirms General Convention’s support for enabling “undocumented immigrants who have established roots in the United States and are often parents and spouses of U.S. Citizens to have a pathway to legalization and to full social and economic integration in to the United States” [C009, 79th General Convention, July 2018; see also 77th General Convention 2009 resolution B006]; and be it further

Resolved, that the 233rd Convention of the Diocese of Massachusetts calls upon our members and all people of faith and conscience to challenge and resist the use of 287(g) agreements by local law enforcement agencies to serve federal immigration orders and act as an agent of Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE); and be it further

Resolved, that this convention encourages all within our diocese to connect with The Episcopal Church, sister dioceses, and local and national communities and institutions, immigrant rights groups and coalitions, and engage in educating, organizing, advocacy, direct action and other methods as deemed appropriate in each context, to ensure the safety and security of our immigrant neighbors; and be it further

Resolved, that this convention urges all Episcopal congregations and communities of eastern Massachusetts to promote and provide opportunities for their members to accompany and/or support our undocumented siblings, during this time of heightened activity against them, serving as a people of welcome, refuge, healing and offering other forms of support for those targeted for deportation due to immigration status or some perceived status of difference, and that we work alongside our friends, families and neighbors to ensure the dignity and human rights of all people; and be it further

Resolved, that we, the gathered leaders of this diocese, assist in equipping Episcopal communities, clergy and lay leaders to engage in such work that is appropriate to local contexts, capacity and discernment, with an understanding that Episcopal communities can provide these opportunities through partnering with our neighbors, local organizations and through the Episcopal City Mission’s (ECM) Relational Action Network and Immigrant Justice Legal Fund and the Bishop’s Office through the Canon for Immigration and Multicultural Ministries.

Resolution in Response to Convention Eucharist Address by the Rt. Rev. Alan M. Gates to Celebrate 20 Years of Diocesan Youth Council at Diocesan Convention
Resolved, that the 233rd Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts celebrate and recognize the 20 year anniversary of the Diocesan Youth Council’s presence at Diocesan Convention with seat, voice, and vote; and be it further

Resolved, that this Convention commend the Diocesan Youth Council’s critical work of engaging and empowering high school students in the life and governance of the Convention and the church; and be it further

Resolved, that, in response to our diocesan bishop’s address, a task force be convened to examine successful models of engagement of adults in their 20s and 30s within and beyond the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts in response to survey results signaling low involvement in the church on the part of the majority of the Diocesan Youth Council alumni and the diocese’s continued commitment to being a church for people of all ages; and be it further

Resolved, that this task force report its findings and recommendations during the 234th Annual Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts in addition to sharing these findings with the appropriate diocesan and parochial committees and staff.

Second Resolution in Response to Convention Eucharist Address by the Rt. Rev. Alan M. Gates
Resolved, that the 233rd Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts affirm that we are, first and foremost before anything else, beloved of and followers of Jesus and thus commit to endeavor to read and study individually and in our congregations the 2018 document, Reclaiming Jesus: A Confession of Faith in a Time of Crisis, co-authored by our presiding bishop, the Most Rev. Michael Curry, and to heed its call; and be it further

Resolved, that we as a body reaffirm in principle and recommit ourselves in practice to our deep commitments to reject sins against God and all of God’s children, specifically the sins of oppressions and the ideologies that support them based in race, sex, gender identity, sexuality, and language and national origin, and to reject the manipulative and hateful use of self-corroding oppression and violence, most especially of vulnerable persons, in public and political discourse, action and policy, so that we may bear witness in the wholeness of our lives that Jesus is our center and that in Christ there can be no division; and be it further

Resolved, that we as a diocese commit ourselves to one another through the continuing development of trust and transparency in our budget building and in all other aspects of our common life together; and be it further

Resolved, that we give thanks for those bodies within our own diocese who lead and guide us in the work of Jesus-centered public discipleship, with special gratitude this past year to the Mission Institute, Episcopal City Mission, the Immigration Task Force, and the Diocese of Massachusetts #MeToo Task Force for the work that has been and is being done, and to the canon for immigrant and multicultural ministries and this convention body for the hoped-for work to be done; and be it further

Resolved, that last, but hardly least, this body offers deep thanksgiving to God for our own retired suffragan bishop, the Rt. Rev. Barbara C. Harris, on this joyous occasion of the 30th anniversary of her election, during which we give thanks for her faith, courage and resilience in which she has modeled for us that no matter what, God has brought us safe thus far and will continue to lead us in the next steps of our journey.

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 2019 guidelines.

Resolved, that the TCC Standard be defined as the minimum TCC for active full-time parochial clergy and, for the calendar year 2019, is determined by the following formula:

TCC Standard = $73,166 + (150.40 x Points) + $500 x [years of service* within congregation]

Provided that the minimum TCC Standard for full-time parochial clergy is $77,678.  

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) = [$73,166 + (150.40 x Points)] x 0.60

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

TCC Standard (assistant) = [$73,166 + (150.40 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) = [$73,166 + (150.40 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.

Amendments to the Canons:

Words added are underlined and words removed are stricken through.

Amend Canon 1.1(c)
the death, retirement, resignation, transfer, deposition or suspension of clergy, together in case of deposition or suspension with the basis therefore and in case of suspension with the terms, conditions and period thereof; and

Amend Canon 3.1 
1. The Secretary.  It shall be the duty of the Secretary to give the notices and reports specified in Articles 3, 4, 10 11 and 17 18 of the Constitution, and in Canon 1, Sec. 1(b) and Sec. 1(c), Canon 2, Sec. 3. and Canon 1112, Sec. 4.; to present to the Convention the lists of clergy as required by Canon 2, Sec. 1.; to record the proceedings of all sessions of the Convention and, under the supervision of the Bishop, to see to the printing and distribution of the Journal; to certify records of the Corporation when required; and to perform such other duties as may be prescribed by the Constitution, Canons and Rules of Order, or delegated to her or him by the Bishop or Diocesan Council.  It shall also be the duty of the Secretary to maintain a list of the names and addresses of all lay and clerical delegates to the Convention and to provide the same to any delegate who requests the same in writing.

Amend Canon 10.2(d)
2 (d)    The first Diocesan Mission Strategy shall be prepared and submitted not later than the 1996 Diocesan Convention.  Thereafter, the Diocesan Mission Strategy shall be reviewed, amended, and approved by Convention at least once every three years.

2(d)    From time to time as determined by the Diocesan Council and the Bishop, but in any event no less frequently than once every five years, the Diocesan Council and the Bishop shall review the Diocesan Mission Strategy and submit it to the Convention for approval with such amendments, if any, as the Diocesan Council and the Bishop may determine are necessary or desirable.

Amend Canon 12.2
2. Eligibility  The cleric so elected shall be canonically resident in the  Diocese.  The laity so elected shall be confirmed adult communicants of this Church, in good standing in the Diocese but not necessarily domiciled in the Diocese. communicants of the Church having domicile in the Diocese.  No one shall be eligible who has reached his or her seventy-second birthday at the time of the election.

Amend Canon 13.1
The laity so elected shall be communicants of the Church, having domicile in this DioceseThe laity so elected shall be confirmed adult communicants of this Church in good standing but not necessarily domiciled in the Diocese.

Amend Canon 19.2.10
2.10  Accord.  No less than thirty days prior to the issuance of an Accord, the initiating body or party shall notify the Bishop of the intent to issue an Accord and shall confer with the Bishop concerning the proposed terms of the Accord.  The foregoing shall not apply to a proposed Accord reached between the Bishop and a respondent.

Amend Canon 19.2.11
2.11  Order.  The opportunity of the Bishop and Complainant to be heard on the proposed terms of an Order by a Conference or a Hearing Panel in accordance with Canon IV.14.7 of the Church Canons shall occur no less than thirty days prior to the issuance of the Order unless both the Bishop and the Complainant waive the aforementioned thirty-day waiting period.

For more information:

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