Diocesan Convention continues work toward "embracing brave change"

Diocesan Convention 2017 congregation

This year's Diocesan Convention voted a "We Are Still In" response to climate change--calling on "congregations and every person of faith to set a moral example by making decisions of integrity in our energy choices and holding our leaders accountable to likewise reduce carbon emissions"--and it adopted a measure encouraging the formation of a diocesan network devoted to ministry with the elderly, to focus on developing resources and training that will help church leaders address the needs of aging people in their congregations.

The convention also heard recommendations from the team that has been working over the past year to organize the implementation of the "embracing brave change"-themed mission strategy adopted by last year's convention. The team's recommendations included launching a process for intentional conversation to help build relationships among congregations; implementing "Mission Match," a diocesan version of Episcopal Relief & Development's online asset mapping tool, to help connect people and congregations in collaborative ministries; and continuing work to discern a diocesan organizational structure that will more effectively balance centralized and regional support to congregations.

Read the team's written report here, and watch excerpts of the team's presentation at the convention here.

In other business, the convention approved the $8.8-million diocesan budget proposed for 2018. Down from the $9.2-million budget adopted last year for 2017, the 2018 budget takes into account new mission strategy priorities as well as a reduction in assessment income resulting from a new formula for calculating each congregation's annual contribution to the diocesan budget.  Find the 2018 budget as adopted here.

Honored at the convention were Leon Brathwaite of St. Andrew's Church in Edgartown, as he prepares to retire as secretary of the diocese after 40 years of service; and the Rev. Jane Gould, for her 31 years of leadership in the diocese, as a chaplain at MIT, rector of St. Stephen's Church in Lynn and longtime deputy to the Episcopal Church's General Convention. She is leaving Massachusetts to become the rector of St. Luke's Church in Long Beach, Calif.

About 580 people attended the annual legislative gathering, held on Nov. 4 at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Boston, including 490 voting clergy members and lay delegates. An offering of $4,996 was collected at the convention Eucharist, designated for hurricane relief in the Caribbean via Episcopal Relief & Development.

Find video and text of Bishop Alan M. Gates's annual address to the convention here.

View a photo gallery here.

Find all actions taken by the convention, including the text of resolutions and election results, here.