Thank you to everyone who joined us online for our 235th annual Diocesan Convention
on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020!
Enjoy joyful greetings from congregations around our diocese
and many voices sharing our diocesan mission statement in the video above.
Convention follow-up and coverage
• Video and text of Bishop Gates's annual address are available here.
• Recordings of the livestreamed proceedings are available on our YouTube channel via these links:
- Morning session (including voting on budget and resolutions, at approximately 2:44:35 and 3:20:16 respectively)
- Afternoon session (including the Racial Justice Commission's report at approximately 20:05)
• Links to video reports and presentations:
- Barbara C. Harris Camp and Conference Center
- Mission Strategy Committee
- Diocesan Youth Council
- 2021 Budget Presentation
- Networking and Formation
- Life Together
- Immigration and Multicultural Ministries
- Creation Care Justice Network
- Young Adult Ministries
- Remembrance of the late Bishop Barbara C. Harris
• Worship resources provided for use on Sunday, Nov. 8 are still available here.
Actions of the 235th annual Diocesan Convention
Actions of the 235th annual Diocesan Convention follow below. They are also attached as a PDF document at the bottom of this page.
Clerical Member of the Disciplinary Board
The Rev. Lynn M. Campbell, St. Peter's Church, Weston
Clerical Member of the Cathedral Chapter
The Rev. Megan C. Holding, Episcopal Community of Boston College, Chestnut Hill
Clerical Alternates to General Convention (in ranked order)
The Rev. Isaac Martinez, St. Paul's Church, Brookline
The Rev. Tamra Tucker, The Crossing, Boston
Clerical Member of the Standing Committee
The Rev. Dr. Karen Coleman, Boston University, Trinity Church, Boston (4-year term)
Lay Member of the Standing Committee
Angel J. Figueroa, St. Mary's Church, Dorchester (4-year term)
Lay Member of the Disciplinary Board
Carolyn E. Beard, Emmanuel Church, Boston (3-year term)
Secretary of the Diocese
The Rev. Rachel P. Wildman, St. Paul's Church, Bedford (1-year term)
Treasurer of the Diocese
Theodore Ts'o, Church of Our Saviour, Arlington (1-year term)
Lay Member of the Cathedral Chapter
Lauren Zook, St. James's Church, Cambridge (3-year term)
Members of the Board of Directors of the Barbara C. Harris Camp and Conference Center
The Rev. Elizabeth A. Grundy, St. Peter's Church, Osterville (3-year term)
The Rev. Michael J. Hodges, Christ Church, Andover (3-year term)
Trustees of Donations
Jacquelyn S. VanderBrug, Trinity Church, Boston (5-year term)
Appointments to the Commission on Ministry (through Convention 2023)
The Rev. Edwin Johnson
The Rev. Dr. Michael Melendez
The Ven. Patricia Zifcak
Approval of the 2021 Diocesan Budget
Resolved, that the 235th annual Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts approve the budget of revenue and expenses for 2021 as summarized on page 12 [of the budget booklet], including the individual parish and mission assessments and approved adjustments for 2021 listed on pages 17-22.
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 2020 Guidelines.
Resolved, that the TCC Standard be defined as the minimum TCC for active full-time parochial clergy and, for the calendar year 2021, is determined by the following formula:
TCC Standard = $76,115 + (156.46 x Points) + $500 x [years of service* within congregation]
Provided that the minimum TCC Standard for full-time parochial clergy is $80,809.
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
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) = [$76,115 + (156.46 x Points)] x 0.60
The TCC applicable to a full-time assistant rector shall not be less than:
TCC Standard (assistant) = [$76,115 + (156.46 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) = [$76,115 + (156.46 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)
A Call for Repentance and Reparations
Resolved, that the 235th Convention of the Diocese of Massachusetts directs Diocesan Council and invites the congregations and institutions of the Diocese of Massachusetts including the Trustees of Donations, Episcopal City Mission, the Boston Episcopal Charitable Society, and others--in the name of repentance, reconciliation, and accountability to our siblings of color in our diocese--prayerfully and purposefully to explore their historic involvement in and present wealth derived from the forced labor of enslaved people; and be it further
Resolved, that in order to implement the above resolution, this Convention supports the formation and the work of the Reparations Committee of the newly formed diocesan Racial Justice Commission (a continuation of the racial reconciliation work begun in 2018), and requests that the Reparations Committee prepare a toolbox of resources and expertise to assist congregations and individual Episcopalians in the examination of their assets and their history; and be it further
Resolved, that the Diocesan Council, as well as the Trustees of Donations and the congregations and other institutions of the Diocese of Massachusetts who have accepted this invitation, are asked to report their progress and actions to the Racial Justice Commission no later than the next Convention of the Diocese of Massachusetts, November 2021; and be it further
Resolved, that the Reparations Committee of the Racial Justice Commission is asked to explore models and best practices for the creation of a Reparations Fund, and to report to the next Diocesan Convention on their recommendations for remedies including the distribution of funds from our unrestricted endowments and from our restricted endowments as may be permissible in fiscal year 2022 and beyond in acknowledgment of and repentance for the sin and legacy of slavery; and be it further
Resolved, that the Bishop of the Diocese and the Chairs of the Racial Justice Commission are asked to report to Diocesan Convention next year and in every subsequent year to provide and update on how the diocese is progressing towards full disclosure of our history and actions as the process of reparations continues.
Response to Presiding Bishop Curry's Declaration of a Climate Emergency
Resolved, that the 235th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts will call on the bishops to issue a proclamation declaring a climate emergency, thereby recognizing Bishop Curry's call to care for God's beloved world, and further recognizing that accelerating global warming and mass extinctions are destroying God's Creation, threatening to make our planet uninhabitable, and therefore committing us to embrace brave and difficult change; and be it further
Resolved, that the text of such proclamation will be determined by the bishop(s) of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts in consultation with the diocesan Creation Care Justice Network (CCJN); and be it further
Resolved, that the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts will publicize this proclamation by a letter, addressed to the congregations of the diocese and by a press release. Co-signers for the release will be sought from other Episcopal dioceses in New England, and from other faith and secular communities in Massachusetts; and be it further
Resolved, that the 235th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts encourages the communities, clergy, and laity of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, to expose the greed at the root of the destruction of God's Creation, through preaching, education, and outreach. A study of history will bring us to terms with patterns of resource overconsumption and exploitation. This ultimately liberating knowledge will form the foundation of our truly life-giving actions guided by love, gratitude, humility, and justice; and be it further
Resolved, that this shared proclamation will create a foundation for broad future collaborations.
A Call to Address the Neglect of the Seven Historically Black Churches of the Diocese and to Strengthen Their Interrelationships
Resolved, that the 235th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, in response to our mission strategy to reimagine our congregations and build relationships, commends the newly formed Racial Justice Commission (a continuation of the racial reconciliation work begun in 2018) to appoint a committee of representatives from the seven historically Black churches in our diocese to address the neglect--through overt and systemic discrimination; unequal treatment; and the disparate impace of circumscribed decision-making--of the seven historically Black churches by our diocese; and be it further
Resolved, that this committee fully represents the seven historically Black churches of our diocese and provides opportunities to address their own internalized racism, work collaboratively rather than competitively, and develop the capacity to flourish through a discernment process of deep listening and study of shared histories, mutual goals, and collaborations; and be it further
Resolved, that all important diocesan decisions about any of the seven historically Black churches that might affect the welfare of more than one Black church be discussed first at the Summit of the Seven Historically Black Churches--a monthly meeting of representatives from each of the seven historically Black churches in the diocese--or in the committee appointed by the Racial Justice Commission to address the neglect; and be it further
Resolved, that within six months this committee will communicate its discoveries and recommendations for the way forward for the seven historically Black churches of our diocese to the Racial Justice Commission for concrete implementation, and that the Racial Justice Commission will present a 12-month progress report to Diocesan Convention 2021; and be it further
Resolved, that we, the gathered leaders of the diocese at this 235th Convention, aware of the sin of racism and its dehumanizing impact, condemn racism in all its forms and expressions, and re-commend all clergy and lay persons in our diocese to work to systemically dismantle it; and be it further
Resolved, that through the Canon for Immigration and Multicultural Ministries, the Bishop's Office and this diocese will equip and empower congregations to build relationships by providing opportunities for safe, courageous conversations among all churches.
Resolution in Response to Convention Address by The Rt. Rev. Alan M. Gates
Resolved, that the 235th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts recognize that in 2020 brave change embraced us as a church and larger world, calling upon us to respond towards "every purpose under heaven"; and be it further
Resolved, that to everything there is a season, and that COVID-19 has brought with it many challenges and much suffering, especially to all who mourn loved ones who have died, and it has also opened possibilities for hope in response to forced innovation; and be it further
Resolved, that we express our deep gratitude to our bishops and diocesan staff, as well as the public health experts whom they consulted, the diocesan regathering shepherds for their spiritual and practical support during this challenging time of pandemic, and to all parishioners, lay leaders, vestry members, and clergy who have striven to meet the challenges we face; and be it further
Reserved, that we affirm the new Task Force to Re-Imagine Our Common Mission in the Commonwealth with our siblings in the Diocese of Western Massachusetts, raising up the bonds of affection that we share in a spirit of collaboration to build up and deepen our relationship across diocesan lines; and be it further
Resolved, that we affirm the bishop's call for the creation of the Collaborative Ministries Working Group to "gather stones together" in our diocese at this moment to seize the energy of collaborations already happening throughout various bodies in our diocese and share the good news of these collaborations; and be it further
Resolved, that we affirm the reconfigured and expanded Racial Justice Commission for our shared work ahead not only to recognize and confess our own sinfulness in the personal, social, and structural dimensions of racism, but also to take up our Christian responsibility to do the gospel work of racial justice in its multiple dimensions; and be it further
Resolved, that we pray to God that, called to follow the star of resurrection hope in the Way of Love, our hearts and the hearts of all people of this land are moved so that the barriers which divide us may crumble, the plywood of fear may fall, suspicions disappear, and hatreds cease; and that our divisions being healed, we may live in justice and peace through Jesus Christ our Lord (ref. Book of Common Prayer, p. 823); and be it further
Resolved, that we go forth from this Convention, empowered by the Holy Spirit, to be the Church in Community, to be the Body of Christ, who--even though masked, even though physically distant, even though gathering mostly virtually, even though sad, anxious, and tired--are loved and capable, blessed to be a blessing, serving those who need us.