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Convention materials are attached as PDFs at the bottom of this page, including the Handbook and the 2023 budget as approved.
Convention follow-up & coverage
Actions of the 237th annual Diocesan Convention follow below.
Clerical Deputies to General Convention (ranked in order of election):
The Rev. Edwin D. Johnson
The Rev. Dr. Karen Coleman, Boston University Chaplaincy and Trinity Church, Boston
The Rev. Isaac P. Martinez, Queer and Trans People of Color Church Plant, Allston
The Rev. Chris Wendell, St. Paul's Church, Bedford
Lay Deputies to General Convention (ranked in order of election):
William C. Boyce, Grace Church, New Bedford
Betsy Ridge, Church of the Advent, Boston
Brian W. Litzenberger, Trinity Church, Concord
Kevin D. Miller, Epiphany Church, Walpole
Clerical Member of Standing Committee:
The Rev. Daniel S. Dice, Church of St. John the Evangelist, Duxbury (4-year term)
Lay Members of Standing Committee:
James S. Dilday, St. Cyprian's Church, Roxbury (4-year term)
Grace Knowles, St. Andrew's Church, Ayer (2-year term)
Clerical Members of Disciplinary Board:
The Rev. Dr. Matthew P. Cadwell, Old North Church, Boston (3-year term)
The Rev. Sarah Robbins-Cole, St. Andrew's Church, Wellesley (3-year term)
Lay Member of Disciplinary Board:
Patrick M. Groulx, Trinity Church, Melrose (3-year term)
Deputy to Provincial Conference:
Jeffrey A. Mills, St. John's Church, Newtonville (3-year term)
Treasurer of the Diocese:
Theodore Y. T. Ts'o, Church of our Saviour, Arlington (1-year term)
Secretary of the Diocese:
The Rev. Rachel P. Wildman, Trinity Church, Canton and Trinity Church, Stoughton (1-year term)
Clerical Member of Cathedral Chapter:
The Rev. Andrew M. Suitter, St. Elizabeth's Church, Sudbury
Members of the Board of Directors of the Barbara C. Harris Camp and Conference Center:
William C. Boyce, Grace Church, New Bedford (3-year term)
Rachel S. Collins, Parish of St. John the Evangelist, Hingham (3-year term)
Member of the Trustees of Donations:
The Rev. Margaret K. Schwarzer, St. Andrew's Church, Wellesley (5-year term)
Commission on Ministry Appointments through Convention 2025:
The Rev. Virgilio Fortuna
Dr. Melva James
The Rev. Dr. Kapya Kayoma
The Rev. Dr. James Weiss
Approval of the 2023 Diocesan Budget
Resolved, that the 237th Annual Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts approve the budget of revenue and expenses for 2023 as summarized on page 14 [of the budget book], including the individual parish and mission assessments and approved adjustments for 2023 listed on pages 19-22 [of the budget book].
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 2022 Guidelines.
Resolved, that the TCC Standard be defined as the minimum TCC for active full-time parochial clergy and, for the calendar year 2023, is determined by the following formula:
TCC Standard = $80,750 + (165.98 x Points) + $500 x [years of service* within congregation]
Provided that the minimum TCC Standard for full-time parochial clergy is $85,730.
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) = [$80,750 + (165.98 x Points)] x 0.60
The TCC applicable to a full-time assistant rector shall not be less than:
TCC Standard (assistant) = [$80,750 + (165.98 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) = [$80,750 + (165.98 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 (in final form)
Establishing the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts Reparations Fund
Resolved, that this 237th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts calls for the creation of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts Reparations Fund as a part of our effort to address our legacy of the wealth accumulated through the enslaved labor of Africans and Afro-Caribbeans on our behalf and for our use today; and be it further
Resolved, that the diocese hereby commits that authority for making disbursements from this fund be in the hands of a body made up predominantly of people from the communities suffering generations of harm, a body whose composition and guiding principles will be presented by the Racial Justice Commission for approval at the Diocesan Convention of 2023; and be it further
Resolved, that an initial pool of resources totaling approximately $3,000,000 be established for generating investment income for the Reparations Fund; and be it further
Resolved, that the first part of this pool comes from an investment of 15% of Diocesan Council-designated and unrestricted agency funds, which were approximately $1.8 million as of June 30, 2022, with this initial investment being set aside from other diocesan funds into this new fund no later than December 31, 2023; and be it further
Resolved, that the second part of this pool comes from 15% of the draw the diocese receives from the Trustees of Donations on unrestricted trusts held by them on behalf of the diocese to the Diocesan Fund, which were approximately $10.4 million as of June 30, 2022, beginning in 2024 and until the body of the Reparations Fund exceeds a value of $11,100,000; and be it further
Resolved, that this Convention urges the Bishop Diocesan to commit annually the draw from 15% of the unrestricted bishop-directed funds, which were approximately $7.4 million as of June 30, 2022, as the third part of the initial pool for this new diocesan Reparations Fund; and be it further
Resolved, that this Convention urges the Trustees of Donations to commit annually the draw from 15% of the unrestricted trusts held by them on behalf of the diocese, which were approximately $10.4 million as of June 30, 2022, to this pool from which the fund can draw and thereby expanding the initial foundation of these Reparations Funds; and be it further
Resolved, that this Convention urges all worshiping communities and affiliated organizations in the diocese to commit a percentage of their endowments or other resources to this work, either by contributing to the diocesan Reparations Fund or by creating their own; and be it further
Resolved, that this Convention urges individual Episcopalians and others to prayerfully consider what commitment they might feel called to make from their own financial resources to this fund; and be it further
Resolved, that in order to build up this fund, this Convention commits the diocese to invest from operating income to the body of this fund, beginning with the 2025 operating budget, a sum no less than 3% of the total revenues received through parochial assessments in the year prior, until the body of said fund exceeds $11,100,000; and be it further
Resolved, that this 237th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts commits the diocese, our governing bodies, and our leadership to continue fostering opportunities to engage in truth telling and repair, in hopes of racial reconciliation in the context of the diocese and its communities; and urges our congregations and affiliated organizations to do likewise.
Equipping Ordained Leaders for the Work of Becoming the Beloved Community
Resolved, that the 237th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, concurring with the 80th General Convention of the Episcopal Church, affirms that “striving to become the Beloved Community of Jesus is central to our baptismal vocation in God’s mission, and every Episcopalian is called to a lifelong vocation of racial justice and equity and the dismantling of white supremacy”; and be it further
Resolved, that this Convention affirms our call to improve our work of raising and forming ordained leaders in the Church equipped to companion us in this work, including building deep relationship and facilitating essential hard conversations; and be it further
Resolved, that, beginning with all individuals received into the ordination process in 2024 and thereafter, the formation process for ordination will include a significant experience of cross-cultural ministry in at least one internship, contextual education placement, or other supervised practicum placement in a context that will embed them in a worshiping community or other Episcopal context whose dominant racial, ethnic, and/or linguistic make-up is unfamiliar to the ordinand at the time of the placement; and be it further
Resolved, that the specific placement needs of the postulants and candidates for ordination to be determined by the Bishops, in consultation with the Commission on Ministry, as well as the Office of the Canon for Ordained Vocations, the Racial Justice Commission, the Office of Immigration and Multicultural Ministries, and other diocesan bodies that can help develop an ongoing list of suitable options; and be it further
Resolved, that these placements will be augmented by facilitated peer groups among postulants and candidates for ordination within the diocese, the intent being to form clergy who are able to engage in and lead difficult conversations within community, with these peer groups ideally meeting monthly for a year and that people connected to the evaluative process for the postulants and candidates for ordination be exempted from serving as facilitators; and be it further
Resolved, that these placements complement and do not replace the canonically required (didactic) Anti-Racism Training; and be it further
Resolved, that because participating in an Anti-Racism training designed for people who are white does not address the experience of people of color and may well be harmful to them, we commend all efforts of our Bishops and the Commission on Ministry to include, among the offerings they recommend, courses designed specifically for people of color, such as Healing from Internalized Oppression offered by The Episcopal Church; and be it further
Resolved, that in recognition of the fact that we as the Episcopal branch of the Body of Christ in eastern Massachusetts live and move and have our being in increasingly multilingual ways, that all parish leaders, lay and ordained, be encouraged to develop proficiencies in multiple languages as appropriate in their ministry contexts, and that the diocese through its Office of Immigration and Multicultural Ministries be expected to develop a pool of resources to assist in such learning; and be it further
Resolved, that this Convention affirms the work that our Bishops, the Commission on Ministry, the Office of the Canon for Ordained Vocations, the Office of Immigration and Multicultural Ministries, and the Racial Justice Commission have begun in their efforts to increase cultural competence among our ordinands and that the actions called for in this resolution are merely small parts of the broader, deeper work to which we are all called; and that members of these bodies be convened to create a working group, under the authority of the Bishop Diocesan, to determine the timing and specifics of this undertaking, with this joint working group reporting the progress of their work to the Diocesan Conventions of 2023 and 2024; and be it further
Resolved, that the Racial Justice Commission will work with the Commission on Ministry and Office of the Canon for Ordained Vocations to support the implementation of these placements and facilitated peer groups, including working with the Budget Committee to see that this program be adequately funded beginning in 2024.
Establishing Minimal Assessable Compensation for Permanent Deacons - 2022
Resolved, that this 237th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts affirms it to be the policy of the diocese for each Permanent Deacon to be provided with minimal compensation of $25.00 per month, with assessments of 18% ($4.50) monthly to be forwarded to the Church Pension Fund on their behalf.
Support and Engage with the Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival
Resolved, that the 237th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts affirms the action by the Executive Council of The Episcopal Church, which acknowledged the unfinished work of the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign, and celebrates the revival of the movement as the Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival under the leadership of the Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis and the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, working in partnership with Repairers of the Breach and the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights, and Social Justice; and be it further
Resolved, that the Diocese of Massachusetts joins the Executive Council, under the guidance and direction of the Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church, to lead our church into action, ministry, and official relationship with the Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, in an effort to allow The Episcopal Church to act faithfully on its long history of honorable General Convention and Executive Council intentions but imperfect and fragmentary practical actions in matters of poverty, racism, sexism, economic justice, and militarism; and be it further
Resolved, that the Diocese of Massachusetts concurs with the Executive Council, which recognizes these issues of poverty and justice are interconnected and cannot be siloed out, and as they severely affect our domestic and global brothers and sisters, commit to ministry of active engagement, advocacy, and support throughout The Episcopal Church; and be it further
Resolved, that individuals, congregations, and deaneries in the Diocese of Massachusetts join in solidarity with the Massachusetts Poor People’s Campaign and participate through education, formation, engagement, support, and actions to provide avenues for us to live into our mission strategy (236th Diocesan Convention), especially “Our Goals and Actions” numbers 1 - Invite robust Christian formation at all points of life, 5 - Commit to our growth as people who live in right relationship with one another, 6 - Work together against the climate crisis, and 7 - Influence public policy by advocating for justice for all people and for the creation; and be it further
Resolved, that individuals, congregations, and deaneries in the Diocese of Massachusetts be encouraged to join the Episcopal Dioceses of Massachusetts and Western Massachusetts Poor People’s Campaign Network, and participate in activities such as the monthly preaching webinars, weekly Bible study based on We Cry Justice led by the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, public witness, and actions of solidarity with the campaign at the local, state, and national level.
Fostering Right Relationship: The Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, Indigenous Episcopalians and Our Indigenous Neighbors
Resolved, that the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts in its 237th Convention pledges to acknowledge that we live, work and worship on the ancestral land of Indigenous Peoples; to make public statements that acknowledge such in an appropriate manner whenever possible; and to commit to sharing with Indigenous Peoples the responsibility to be caretakers of this land, on behalf of those who will come after; and be it further
Resolved, that the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts educates ourselves regarding past and present relationships and interactions with Indigenous People in our midst and with our Indigenous neighbors; and be it further
Resolved, that the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts builds on the work recently begun by a special working group of the Subcommittee on Reparations of the Racial Justice Commission to explore and implement appropriate ways to foster right relationship with Indigenous Episcopalians and with our Indigenous neighbors; and be it further
Resolved, that the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts works with Indigenous People and communities to designate one Sunday in 2023 and every year thereafter—and provide suitable worship resources for that day—to honor the people indigenous to the lands we now know as the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts as well as those Indigenous People currently living in our midst, both in our congregations and in our communities; and be it further
Resolved, that this Convention exhorts the Racial Justice Commission, the Indigenous Peoples Justice Network of the Diocese of Massachusetts and the Diocese of Western Massachusetts, and the Province 1 Indigenous Peoples Justice Network to support the diocese in the work required by this resolution.
Resolution to Appoint Assistant Bishop
Resolved, that this 237th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, pursuant to Title III, Canon 12, Section 5(a) of The Episcopal Church, and having received the required consent of the Standing Committee of the diocese, approves the creation of the position of Assistant Bishop of the diocese, and authorizes the Bishop Diocesan, with the advice of the Executive Committee of the Diocesan Council and consent of the Standing Committee, to appoint an eligible bishop for the position.
Resolution in Response to Convention Address by The Rt. Rev. Alan M. Gates, Oct. 29, 2022
Resolved, that this 237th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts embraces God’s call to us as followers of Jesus to be known by our love, manifesting hope and compassion, and resisting the temptations of cynicism and derision that delight perversely in the errors, sufferings, and “Storrowings” of others; and be it further
Resolved, that this 237h Convention commits to manifesting the call of love with one another, building each other up, as we continue to respond to and reimagine church in response to and as a consequence of COVID; and be it further
Resolved, that this 237th Convention opens our hearts and minds to transformation so that we may be known through our demonstrated material love as we seek, through the establishment of a diocesan reparations fund, to create a sanctuary for all people in which we commit to healing the body of Christ, repairing relationships, and creating a new moral imaginary.
Resolution in Thanksgiving to God for the Episcopacy of The Rt. Rev. Gayle E. Harris
Resolved, that this 237th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, on behalf of the entire diocese, expresses our profound gratitude to God for our Bishop Suffragan, the Rt. Rev. Gayle E. Harris, in the 20th year of her episcopacy, for her faithfulness to our part of the Jesus Movement and her support and love of the people of God in eastern Massachusetts; and be it further
Resolved, that we give thanks for the deep witness of Bishop Gayle in so many ministries of our church in, for example:
- her support and oversight of the formation and ministry of our vocational deacons;
- her deep care to our retired clergy both directly and through the coordination of the Chaplains to Retired Clergy, Spouses, and Survivors;
- her championing of Palestinian Christians, especially through her leadership of countless diocesan Holy Land pilgrimages;
- her support and promotion of global mission partnerships of our diocese around the world;
- her personal engagement with youth of the diocese through pre-confirmation retreats, the triennial Episcopal Youth Event, and championing youth engagement in our common life at all levels;
- her leadership of the Massachusetts Council of Churches;
- her deep support, care, advocacy, and inspiration to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities, and to immigrant communities in our diocesan life; and
- her non-stipendiary evangelism for Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, through the constant ministerial presence of her episcopal assistants Piccola and Topaz; and be it further
Resolved, that we give thanks for the many gifts God has given her and her sharing of them with us, including her gifts of intelligence, acuity, wisdom, honesty, strength, forbearance, preaching, story-telling, spirituality, seriousness of purpose, commitment to justice and God’s preferential option for those who are oppressed, pastoral sensitivity, musicality, humor, and faith, hope, and love; and be it further
Resolved, that we affirm the insight and approbation of our Presiding Bishop, the Most Rev. Michael B. Curry, who shared this with the Resolutions Committee: “Bishop Gayle has both a pastor's heart and a prophet's voice. She cares about and responds to the pastoral needs of the clergy of the diocese and bishops of the wider church. She has been a voice and a participant in advocating for causes that can help to make beloved community more possible in our midst”; and be it further
Resolved, that we will miss Bishop Gayle and her formal role in our lives, and we wish her Godspeed and much joy in her retirement.