Diocesan Convention 2019

Diocesan Convention 2019 graphic

Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019
Back Bay Events Center, 180 Berkeley Street, Boston,
with service of Holy Eucharist at Emmanuel Church, 15 Newbury Street, Boston

Convention follow-up and coverage:

• Watch the "Way of Love" video here.  Watch the "Embracing Brave Change" mission strategy video here.

• Find video and text of Bishop Alan M. Gates's annual address here.

• View the photo gallery here.

• Read a news summary here.

• Those who attended Diocesan Convention are invited to provide feedback via a survey, here.

• The survey distributed at Diocesan Convention from the Committee on Constitution and Canons is available for online completion here.

Actions of the 234th annual Diocesan Convention:

Actions of the 234th annual Diocesan Convention follow below, and are also available as a PDF document attached at the bottom of this page.

Elections:

Clerical Deputies to the 2021 General Convention (listed in order of election):
The Rev. Edwin Johnson, St. Mary's Church, Dorchester
The Rev. H. Mark Smith, Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Boston
The Rev. Chris Wendell, St. Paul's Church, Bedford
The Rev. Dr. Karen Coleman, Trinity Church, Boston and Boston University

Lay Deputies to the 2021 General Convention (listed in order of election):
Byron Rushing, St. John St. James Church, Roxbury
Betsy Ridge Madsen, Church of the Advent, Boston
William C. Boyce, Grace Church, New Bedford
Brian Litzenberger, Trinity Church, Concord

Clerical Member of the Standing Committee:
The Rev. Kate Elledge, Christ Church,  Cambridge

Members of the Board of Directors of the Barbara C. Harris Camp and Conference Center:
Andrew Foss, Trinity Church, Boston
The Rev. Patrick LaFortune

Uncontested Elections:

Lay Member of the Standing Committee:
Louise Gant, Church of the Holy Spirit, Mattapan

Clerical Members of the Disciplinary Board:
The Rev. Nancy Gossling
The Rev. Joel Ives, Church of Our Saviour, Brookline

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

Treasurer of the Diocese:
Tom Moore III, Trinity Church, Boston

Secretary of the Diocese:
Sister Kristina Frances, SSM, Society of St. Margaret, Duxbury

Clerical Members of the Cathedral Chapter:
The Rev. Peter Jeffrey, Church of the Good Shepherd, Reading
The Rev. Derrick Muwina, St. Peter's Church, Cambridge

Lay Member of the Cathedral Chapter:
Jennifer Hopcroft

Trustees of Donations:
Albert H. "Chip" Elfner III, Trinity Church, Boston

Appointments to the Commission on Ministry (through Diocesan Convention 2022):
Ludwick Coye
The Rev. Dr. Kapya John Kaoma
The Rev. Eric Litman
Kay S. Ridgard
The Rev. Dr. James Weiss

Approval of the 2020 Diocesan Budget:

Resolved, that the 234th Annual Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts approve the budget of revenue and expenses for 2020 as summarized on page 10 [of the budget booklet], including the individual parish and mission assessments and approved adjustments for 2020 listed on pages 15-20 [of the budget booklet].

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 2020, is determined by the following formula:

TCC Standard = $75,361 + (154.91 x Points) + $500 x [years of service* within congregation]

Provided that the minimum TCC Standard for full-time parochial clergy is $80,008.  

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) = [$75,361 + (154.91 x Points)] x 0.60

The TCC applicable to a full-time assistant rector shall not be less than:
TCC Standard (assistant) = [$75,361 + (154.91 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) = [$75,361 + (154.91 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.

Resolutions (final form):

Engaging Young Adults Fully in the Life of Our Church
Resolved, that the 234th Annual Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts calls for the creation of an advisory committee, organized by the bishop's discretion and reporting to the bishops and Diocesan Council, to oversee the work of engaging young adults fully in the life of our church; and be it further

Resolved, that this Convention urges the adoption of the recommendations of the 20s and 30s Task Force by our bishops, Diocesan Council and other leaders, including the assignment of staff time and the identification of additional funding opportunities within and beyond our diocesan budget.

Support a Requirement that All Persons Sentenced to Life-Long Prison Terms in Massachusetts Be Given the Opportunity to Seek Parole Starting at 25 Years of Incarceration
Resolved, that the 234th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts urges all members of congregations and affiliated organizations to support efforts to eliminate life without possibility of parole (LWOP) prison sentences in Massachusetts and to mandate parole review eligibility in all instances starting at 25 years of incarceration; and be it further

Resolved, that the 234th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts expresses support for legislation guaranteeing the opportunity to seek parole review after 25 years of incarceration for all persons currently serving sentences in excess of 25 years as well as for those so sentenced in the future; and be it further

Resolved, that the 234th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts expresses support for Massachusetts state Senate bill number 826 and House bill 3358, acts to reduce mass incarceration by the elimination of life without possibility of parole sentences through the requirement that all persons sentenced to terms of 25 years or more be eligible for parole review after 25 years of incarceration; and be it further

Resolved, that the 234th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts requests the secretary of Convention to convey the Convention's support of Senate bill 826 and House bill 3358 to the Governor of Massachusetts and every legislator of the diocese; and be it further

Resolved, that delegates to the 234th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts be urged to encourage their parishes and individual parishioners to communicate support for the elimination of life without possibility of parole prison sentences to their legislators.

Take the Next Step for Creation
Resolved, that the 234th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts affirms "An Episcopal Vision for Creation Care" of Presiding Bishop Curry and The Episcopal Church and calls upon all our clergy and lay members to take the Creation Care Pledge [www.episcopalchurch.org/creation] to grow a loving, liberating and life-giving relationship with the whole of God's Creation.  Each congregation is called to form a "Next Step" group that commits them to specific actions that fulfill the goals of the pledge; and be it further

Resolved, that the 234th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts calls on clergy and lay members to place the care of God's Creation at the heart of our common life by pledging to change our habits and choices in order to live more simply, humbly and gently on Earth.  Specifically, each congregation is encouraged to reduce the carbon footprints of their households and church property and to support mutual efforts by participating in programs like The Episcopal Church's "Sustaining Earth, Our Island Home" [www.sustainislandhome.org] and our own diocese's "Creation Care Tithing." [www.CreationTithe.com]

Becoming a Safe Haven Diocese
Resolved, that in response to Jesus' and numerous biblical injunctions to welcome strangers and in faithfulness to the sacred promises made in Holy Baptism to "seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbors as ourselves" and "to strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being," the 234th Convention of the Diocese of Massachusetts declares this diocese to be a Safe Haven; and be it further

Resolved, that the Diocese of Massachusetts condemns racism in all of its forms and expressions; and be it further

Resolved, that the Diocese of Massachusetts decries hateful speech as dangerous, inflammatory, irresponsible and abusive; and be it further

Resolved, that the Diocese of Massachusetts stands in solidarity with those who are vilified because of their immigration status, color of their skin, their gender, their national origin, their age, their disability, their language, their religion or whom they love; and be if further

Resolved, that the Diocese of Massachusetts, through its leadership, condones and will materially support clergy persons and lay persons within the Diocese of Massachusetts, who imitate our Lord Jesus Christ by refusing to cooperate with, or by committing nonviolent acts of interference against, operations by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, (ICE), or by providing sanctuary and seclusion from ICE to undocumented children of God within parochial or diocesan facilities, excepting instances in which the one sought by ICE has committed felony crimes.

Resolution in Response to the Bishop's Address
Resolved, that the 234th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts takes up Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s invitation to the Way of Love and engages those foundational practices of our faith–prayer, repentance and sabbath renewal–that have grounded, nourished and guided Christians for 2,000 years and that help us to know the transformative power of Christ’s love to change lives and change the world; and be it further

Resolved, that this Convention takes up the Way of Love to go and reimagine church with our young adults now, to turn and hear the witness of abuse survivors and make the church more safe and whole, and to rest in the rhythms of renewal and give God’s creation the care it needs; and be it further

Resolved, that individuals and congregations throughout our diocese pray for and find new ways to enact the Way of Love in all our shared endeavors, enacting, sharing and showing the way of love for the building of God’s realm.
 

For more information:

Questions about Diocesan Convention may be directed to Chelsea Smith, Assistant for Governance and Administration, at csmith@diomass.org or 617-482-4826, ext. 406.