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GC2006: For a Cost of $9 Million! What Did Convention Do?

NEW...GENERAL CONVENTION COST $9 MILLION! WHAT DID CONVENTION DO?

Report by the Rt. Rev. James M. Stanton
Bishop of Dallas

A QUICK LOOK

I am told that the General Convention costs about $1 million per day to hold. That would be an estimate, a conservative one I should think, of $9 million for the most recent installment in Columbus.

Over those nine days, 375 different pieces of legislation (resolutions) were dealt with in one way or another. Assuming 7 hours each day for debate and action in the two Houses, that would come to a total of 63 hours, or an average of something like 10 minutes for each piece of legislation. Finally, each legislative piece would cost about $24,000 to have its moment in the sun. Only 176 resolutions were passed. That's 47% of all those submitted. That brings the value of those actions to about $51,000 each. Every member of The Episcopal Church should be concerned about this version of stewardship.

Of the 375 resolutions, 60% were concerned with organizational matters - constitution and canon changes, elections, consecrations, budget, pension and so forth. Included under this heading would be all matters having to do with the Prayer Book and liturgy (On its own, Liturgy accounted for 13% of resolutions.).

Just two committees, "National and International Concerns" and "Social and Urban Affairs," considered about 21% of the resolutions between them. The committees charged with more traditional concerns of the Church, such as Evangelism, World Mission, Education and the "Church in Small Communities" considered only 10% of the resolutions. The Special Committee assigned to deal with the Windsor Report matters took up the remaining 9% of resolutions.

ACTIONS, BY COMMITTEE:

Note: I have examined the legislative report provided by The Episcopal Church. The results reported below depend on the accuracy of that report. I have reported the actions that were concurred, with minor exceptions: when no action on a resolution was taken, I have noted that. Sometimes what we do not do is important as well. Clicking on the links will take you to the report as provided by The Episcopal Church.

01 - DISPATCH OF BUSINESS - 21 total/ 16 passed

Mostly matters internal to the business of Convention, and elections.

02 - CERTIFICATION OF MINUTES

03 - RULES OF ORDER - 9 total/ 4 passed

A003 - Amend Joint Rule 11 - concerning an audit committee.

A036 - Amend HOB rule XVIII - no proposed changes of the Constitution or Canons can be presented for an initial vote on the last day of Convention.

B017 - Amend HOB Rule - Provides rules for seat and voice for outside bishops.

D015 - Amend Joint Rules (IV.15) - After the budget is adopted, any further resolutions will be unfunded.

04 - CONSTITUTION & 05 - CANONS - 29 total/ 15 passed

Constitutional Changes:

A019 - Amend Article I.7 (Second Reading) - makes the rules, for determining where the Convention meets, a canon issue. (This is now final.)

A020 - Amend Article I.2 (Second Reading) - clarifies which bishops have seat and voice, and those who also have votes, in the House of Bishops. (This is now final.)

A021 - Amend Article VIII (First Reading) - clarifies who may be permitted to officiate on a temporary basis as an ordained minister in this Church.

D013 - Amend Article I.3 - Changes the way the PB is elected: will be done in a Joint Session of HOB and HOD. (First reading; must be adopted in 2009) would affect election in 2015.)

Canonical Changes:

A023 - Amend Canon I.1.2(n)(3) - ongoing update of Annotated C&C

A024 - Amend Canon I.9.1 - clarifies dioceses in Ninth Province

A031 - Amend Canon IV.3.21(c) - minor clarification on canon for "an Offense of Doctrine" as applied to Bishops.

A032 - Amend Canon IV.5 - clarifies procedures of an Offense of Doctrine against a bishop.

A034 - Canonical Residence Study - study authorized.

A153 - Proposed Title IV Revisions - thanks the Task Force that revised the Title IV revisions but calls for more study and provides guidelines. (Turned down the rather striking proposals made in the "Blue Book".)

B020 - Amend Canon I.15 - strikes the disciplinary portions of this Canon so that clergy in Europe will be handled under Title IV.

C047 - Amend Canon I.15 - clarifies what a Convocation in foreign lands is and what it may do.

D010 - Amend Canon I.2.2 - Changes retirement age of PB to 72, (from 70).

D045 - Amend Canon III.1.3 - to restore "equally applicable" language concerning "men and women".

A001 - 77th General Convention - cities for consideration: New Orleans, Indianapolis, Kansas City MO.

06 - STRUCTURE - 33 total/ 14 passed

A006 - Triennial Survey of Congregations - proposal for such a survey, otherwise unspecified.

A087 - Committee on Missionary Dioceses - to explore possibility of a new definition. "This committee would explore the possibilities of other definitions of "diocese" that would take into account the changing demographic situation in the world and consider new ways in which the Episcopal Church could carry out its mission."

A104 - Amend Canon I.1.2 on Standing Commissions - modifies how SCs are formed and what they can do.

A105 - Amend Canon I.1.2 - Standing Commission on Youth & Christian Formation - establishes such a Commission.

A108 - Exec Council Committees - redesignation - minor name changes.

A109 - SRI Committee Mandate - Social Responsibility in Investments, size and duties.

A110 - Review Council Committees - calls for a review of committees for recommendations to the General Convention.

A111 - Criminal Justice - Standing Commission on National Concerns to investigate criminal justice issues.

A112 - Directions for the Future - calls for a restudy of the Preamble to the Constitution with regard to our "official name" with "particular consideration of being inclusive of our overseas dioceses and parishes".

A143 - Relocation of Archives of TEC - authorizes search for and move to new location before 2010.

A151 - Funding Task Force continuation.

A154 - General Convention Resolutions - should be given to the deputies and bishops electronically 60 days before Convention (ALL filed resolutions)

A158 - Task Force on Sexual Misconduct - continues the Task Force, gathering, studying and reporting standards for institutional wellbeing in this area.

D059 - Child Care Facilities at GC - calls for these at "all future" GCs.

07 - CONSECRATION OF BISHOPS - 7 total/ 6 passed

B019 sought authorization for the election of a second Suffragan Bishop in Connecticut. No action was taken.

D027 (Love, Albany, Coadjutor) - Consent to Consecration

D035 (Reed, West Texas, Suffragan) - Consent to Consecration

D036 (Ousley, East Michigan, Coadjutor) - Consent to Consecration

D037 (Andrus, California, Diocesan) - Consent to Consecration

D038 (Beisner, Northern California, Coadjutor) - Consent to Consecration

D039 (Harrison, Texas, Suffragan) - Consents to Consecration

08 - WORLD MISSION - 8 total/ 2 passed

A114 - PASSED: Support Young Adult Service Corps

A113 - Support and expand missionaries - no action; $3,303,000

A115 - World Mission Education materials - no action; $180,000

A116 - Short-term Mission Pilgrimages - no action. Would have provided support for short mission trips; $120,000

A117 - PASSED: Seminarian Cross-cultural Formation –seeks to support "formation" of seminary students "beyond the eleven accredited Episcopal seminaries" especially outside the US in Episcopal jurisdictions; $250,000

A118 - Covenant Committees - no action - an attempt to gain greater clarity on various covenants between TEC and Provinces and dioceses in the AC.

A119 - Formalize Covenant between TEC and the Church in Brazil (separated in 1965). No action

A126 - Affirms "A Covenant for Communion in Mission," suggested by the Lambeth Commission and put forward by the ACC in Nottingham. No action.

09 - NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL CONCERNS - 47 total/ 9 passed

A010 - Affirm "Call to Partnership", a document presented to UN by Church bodies dealing with global poverty; recognize leaders in poverty and poor countries as equal partners in the fight against poverty; pursue achievement of MDGs; affirms the work of Church officers, dioceses, congregations, etc., against poverty.

A015 - Prayers for the Holy Land - calls for prayers for Christians in Diocese of Jerusalem and the Middle East; visit congregations in and receive visitors from Holy Land; work for "justice, peace and reconciliation" in the Holy Land.

A017 - Fundamental Immigration Principles - adopts "The Alien Among You" as the policy of TEC; 1) undocumented aliens should have reasonable opportunity for permanent residency; 2) Legal workers should be allowed for labor needs; 3) Close family members should be able to reunite with those lawfully present in US; 4) legal due process should be granted to all persons; 5) proportional and humane border enforcement. Deplores undue enforcement and militarization of borders; campaign to educate Episcopalian on immigrations policies and needs; resist legislation which violate "our fundamental beliefs as Christians" including "criminalization" of those providing humanitarian assistance to migrants.

B002 - Against Global Warming - calls on all Episcopalians to "seek to reduce Global Warming" largely by monitoring investments and supporting legislation.

B016 - Honoring American Service Persons - no action - would have commended the display of the American flag as a gesture to service personnel, and commends appropriate liturgical expressions for leaving or returning military.

B018 - Comprehensive Children's Policy - adopts NCC policy on Children to "ensure that all children have the opportunity to develop and flourish".

D020 - Calls on government to end the war in Iraq - states that the "just war" theory has not been satisfied; wants an "immediate plan" for stabilization of Iraq and US withdrawal of troops; claims our government's involvement has resulted in "individual and global injustices" and "indifference to the loss of countless Iraqi citizens"; and more. Calls for prayers and ways to honor our troops as the return home.

D022 - Supports the Millennium Dev Goals - there were 10 such resolutions overall!

D024 - Calls for "Gender equality for Women in the Episcopal Church".

10 - SOCIAL & URBAN AFFAIRS - 32 total/ 14 passed

A092 - Applaud Anti-racism Work - congratulates ARC for its training materials in helping to overcome racism.

A095 - Gay and Lesbian rights - opposing federal and state efforts to prohibit same-sex marriage or partnerships

A123 - Slavery and Racial Reconciliation - declares slavery a sin; TEC acknowledges its "history of participation" in this sin; express apology for its complicity in slavery and the injury done to individuals and society; calls on every diocese to study and collect and document "detailed information" on slavery in it region - and the economic benefits accrued to TEC; each diocese is to report by March 31 on its progress; the Committee will report on how we can "materially and relationally . . . achieve the spiritual healing and reconciliation that will lead us to new life in Christ". Asks the PB to declare a Day of Repentance for the whole Church and the dioceses.

A127 - Restorative Justice - claims that RJ is an "important tool in implementing a neutral articulation of the self-examination and amendment of life that is required to fulfill our baptismal covenant"; calls Exec Council to "design a study and dialogue process and materials in order to engage the people of The Episcopal Church in storytelling about historical and present-day privilege and under-privilege as well as discernment towards restorative justice and the call to fully live into our baptismal covenant"; calls on dioceses "to determine whether their call is to conduct truth and reconciliation processes in regard to other histories and legacies of racial discrimination and oppression that may be applicable in their geographic area, while not diminishing the strong call to focus on the history and legacy of slavery"; and the Anti-Racism committee will report their findings to various bodies.

A131 - Continue HIV/AIDS Standing Committee, charged with informing congregations on nature and ways of avoiding the disease.

A156 - Sexual Exploitation - reaffirms that this behavior is a "violation of our Baptismal Covenant"; each diocese to adopt policies and training to avert exploitation; diocese to report to Exec Council.

A167 - "Full and Equal Claim" for all the Baptized - reaffirms that gay and lesbian persons are full members of the Church by Baptism; apologizes for "years of rejection and maltreatment"; TEC to include openly gay and lesbian persons on every committee, commission or task force "discussing issues of sexuality"; requests the same of sister churches in AC; affirms that "our baptism" is inseparable from our "communion with one another."

C008 - Right of Workers to Organize - reaffirms the right of workers to form unions - particularly for seasonal and migrant workers. Church at all levels encouraged to be informed and act accordingly.

C011 - Reparations for Slavery - calls on Church at every level to advocate with Congress and American people to support legislation for study and "dialogue" on slavery and proposals for reparations, monetary and non-monetary.

C012 - Economic Justice - supports Network for Economic Justice, and facilitation of "training of congregations" in economic justice.

D005 - Opposing Criminalization of Homosexuality - cites several previous actions, affirms opposition to criminalization "anywhere in our world"; commends Brazil for its "courageous efforts" in this area; calls to distribute this action to all Primates of AC, US ambassador to UN, and heads of states and nations where TEC is present.

D012 - Summer Camp for Children of Prisoners - seeks a special emphasis on this at all levels, and establishes an advisory committee to assist.

D046 - Jamestown Covenant - recalls the Jamestown Covenant and asks for 2007-2017 to be designated as a "Second Decade of Remembrance, Recognition and Reconciliation" focusing on Indigenous Peoples, to "fully recognize and welcome" them into congregational life, developing outreach partnership among Indigenous Peoples.

D047 - Living Wage - actively supports right of workers to form unions; calls TEC to advocate for a "living wage" in all cities and states; urges GC planning not to hold Conventions in cities where hotel workers are non-union.

11 - CHURCH IN SMALL COMMUNITIES - 2 total/ 2 passed

A098 - Small Church Growth and Strategy - compile and distribute resources to "promote vitality" in small congregations; pursue "innovative ways" to tell stories of vitality in small congregations; celebrates Bishop Wm Davidson for support of small congregations.

D057 - Priorities for SC on small congregations - develop and offer training for small congregation leadership; converse with Pension Fund on compensation and benefits for ordained and lay workers in small congregations. Celebrate small congregations at next GC.

12 - EVANGELISM - 9 total/ 7 passed

A037 - Calls church to live out the Great Commission (Matt 28.18-20) and work toward 20/20 goals; Calls on bishops to "cast a vision of mission" by working in the HOB; speak of "what God is doing in our lives" to restore all people to unity with God; Follow "the example of radical hospitality" inviting others to join us "in praise and service"; Church Center staff directed to engage "diverse populations" - then follows the usual list of diversities; this resolution be publicized as our "commitment to evangelism"

A038 - Concerns development of strategies and action plans for mission performance; calls on church to find ways to share "best practices" and "lessons learned" regarding "mission performance."

A041 - Affirms "vital importance" of college and university ministries; affirms value of participation of students "fully in the councils of the church"; Campus ministries should be give "mission status" in dioceses; dioceses urged to plant new campus ministries; Church Center office to assist dioceses

A042 - Calls on dioceses to identify and document "projected costs and demographics including racial, ethnic, generational, and socioeconomic makeup of the targeted areas, prime opportunities for the development of new congregations; calls for a major gifts campaign to fund Church Planting initiative; allocates $475,000 over three years

A101 - Resolved, the House of Bishops concurring, that as our Baptismal Covenant calls us "to seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving [our] neighbors as [ourselves]," that each member of the 75th General Convention offer him/herself to an individual from whom he/she has become separated, asking Christ's forgiveness from that person before the close of this Convention; and be it further Resolved, That members of the 75th Convention, upon returning to their worshipping communities, invite their church to participate in a similar act of reconciliation.

B011 - Establishes a special initiative in the Lake Ponchatrain Basin Area (New Orleans and surrounding area). It is heavily bureaucratic in nature - structures, models, studies, strategies, reports.

B023 - Acknowledges "decline" in the Church reported in the Blue Book; Calls for many of the same measures as outlined above.

D058 - Dismissed "declares its unchanging commitment to Jesus Christ as the Son of God, the only name by which any person may be saved"; acknowledges "solemn responsibility . . . to share Christ."

13 - PRAYER BOOK, LITURGY & MUSIC - 50 total/ 33 passed

A057, A058, A059, A060, A061 - continued study of LF&F and calendar issues to come to next GC

A062 - Space Commemoration

A063, A064 - Trial use of Calendar additions

A065 - Change name, "The Martyrs of Lyons," to "Blandina and her Companions, The Martyrs of Lyons."

A066 - Multi Sensory Resources - development of resources for use in worship.

A067 - Rites of passage approved for publication & distribution (puberty, Driver License, etc)

A069 - Enriching our Worship Eucharistic Prayers - continue development with respect to "theological, liturgical, cultural, racial, generational, gender and ethnic diversity".

A070 - rites for Adoption of Children to be developed - next GC

A071 - Develop burial and reconciliation alternatives - nect GC

A072 - Gather and consider multi-cultural music

A073 - Praise and World music to be developed

A074 - Authorized continuing use of Enriching our Worship 1 & 2

A075 - A rite for Renewal of Ministry

A076 - Proposed alternatives to Burial rites in BCP

A077 - Made the Revised Common Lectionary the official lectionary of the Church - with provision for full implementation by First Advent 2010.

A078 - Raises concern about the need to clarify "authority" when we have so many alternative sources for worship.

A079 - Leadership program for musicians

A088 - Daily Life Liturgies - development and inclusion in Book of Occasional Services

A136 - Encourages "Enriching our Worship" for Sunday use as Appropriate

B008 - Study Dorchester Chaplains - Army chaplains of different traditions who died that other might live

C001 - Anti-Jewish Prejudice in Liturgical Texts - claims "anti-Jewish prejudice expressed in and stirred by portions of Christian scriptures," as well as liturgical texts (Good Friday).

C003 - Commemoration of Martyrs of the Sudan

C016 - Commemoration of Thurgood Marshall

C021 - Bertha and Ethelbert

C034 - Joan of Arc (May 30) included in calendar

C035 - Commemoration of Martha

C043 - Genocide Remembrance Day - Armenian Christians, also Holocaust, Bosnia, Rwanda, Darfur

D006 - May substitute Daily Office lectionary for Daily Eucharist Lectionary (LF&F) using the assigned Collect in LF&F

D069 - Supreme authority of Scripture changed to supreme authority of the triune God exercised in Scripture.

D084 - Communion of the Baptized upheld. Study commended for next GC on relation of Baptism to "Eucharistic practice"

14 - MINISTRY - 16 total/ 11 passed

A082 - Change Canons on Ministry - made more flexible

A083 - Clergy Retirement Age - study

A084 - Vacancy in Area Mission - PB becomes bishop, and may substitute

A086 - Develop materials to assist leaders to identify abuse

A089 - Pastoral Leadership effort - seeking younger leaders - discernment

A139 - Celebrate women's ministries

B001 - Wellness of clergy families (by Bp Jefferts Schori) - develop program

B005 - Commend Order of St John of Jerusalem

B006 - Develop strategies for dealing with seminarian debt

C036 - Review GOE

D019 - Pastoral Concern for Troops (Iraq, Afghan) - recommends prayer, thanks chaplains

15 - EDUCATION - 16 total/ 11 passed

A039 - Reconciliation training

A090 - Commend PEALL calling for education for all.

A132 - Eliminate stigma attached to HIV/AIDS

A134 - HIV Training - a self-driected tutorial online

A145 - Digital Archives - expand use

A150 - Continue Forward Movement Publications

C040 - Support Biblical Literacy - recognizes that the Bible has been used to support "oppression" and fosters methods of interpretation which do no lend such support.

C045 - Supports the historically black colleges

D008 - Reaffirm Theological Education Sunday

D018 - Calls for "active nonviolence training"

D043 - Dialogue on mission of the Church - at the next GC

16 - PENSION FUND - 9 total/ 9 passed

A121 - Pension Fund as n "instrument of mission"

A125 - Set up a task force on employment policies and practices

A140 - Study needs of retired women clergy

A147 - Study the feasibility of a Church wide health care system

B003 - Chaplains to the retired

D033 - Clergy wellness report

D048 - Equitable benefits for workers in small churches

D065 - Family leave pension waiver

D075 - Study retirement benefits for overseas clergy

17 - STEWARDSHIP & DEVELOPMENT - 6 total/ 2 passed

A102 - Culture of Debt - calls for training on "promote the healthy role of money" and biblical teaching "about financial matters"; calls for training stewardship leaders to instruct on these matters.

C018 - Environmental Stewardship - response to global warming is a deeply moral and spiritual issue; affirms that using fossil fuels harms air quality and public health; is contributing to global climate change; supports Interfaith Power and Light, a non-profit initiative.

18 - ECUMENICAL RELATIONS - 9 total/ 4 passed

A025 - Amend Canon I - clarifies that we are in full communion with the Old Catholic Churches of the Union of Utrecht; The Philippine Independent Church; The Mar Thoma Syrian Church of Malabar; and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

A026 - Amend Canon III.12.1(d) - a clarification of the Canons.

A055 - Interim Eucharistic Sharing with UMC - establishes such sharing with United Methodists, and permits bishops and dioceses to join in joint celebrations of the Eucharist in their jurisdictions. This is not full communion.

D080 - Episcopal-Moravian Dialogue - acknowledges continuing interim Eucharistic sharing with Moravians and continuing dialogue.

19 - COMMUNICATIONS - 9 total/ 7 passed

A047 - Amend Canon I.1.2(n)(12) - changes to a Commission on Communications

A048 - Information Technology Working Group - a task force to adopt industry best practices in technology is set up.

A049 - Adopt Open Standards for Data

A051 - Electronic CCAB Meetings - Committees, Commissions, Agencies and Boards of TEC should work over the internet or other electronic means.

A052 - Provincial Communications Specialists - creates this position for each province and specifies work.

A133 - HIV/AIDS Media Campaign - authorize the calling together of people interested in creating a promoting a campaign

D081 - Launch an Information Technology Cooperative - creates a network for technology among dioceses and congregations.

20 - MISCELLANEOUS RESOLUTIONS - 0 total/ 0 passed

22 - COMITTEES & COMISSIONS - 0 total/ 0 passed

23 - CREDENIALS

21 - PRIVILEGE & COURTESY - 13 total/ 1 passed

D097 - Thanksgiving for Pres-elect and VP-elect HOD

25 - PROGRAM, BUDGET & FINANCE - 15 total/2 passed

D031 - Budget Priorities - sets the priorities as follows: 1) Justice & Peace; 2) Young Adults, Youth & Children; 3) Reconciliation & Evangelism; 4) Congregational Transformation; 5) Partnerships (MDGs)

D079 - The Budget

26 - SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON COMMUNION - 35 total/7 passed

A159 - Interdependence in the AC - reaffirm "abiding commitment" to "the fellowship of churches that constitute the Anglican Communion" and seek to live "into highest degree of communion possible"; reaffirms "communion with the See of Canterbury, upholding and propagating the historic Faith and Order"; "commends the Windsor Report" and process; explore way there might be "consultation and participation" from leaders in AC at General Conventions

A160 - Expression of Regret - for "straining the bonds of affection" [not "breaching"], and offers "sincerest apology" to those offended "by our failure to accord sufficient importance to the impact of our actions"; asks "forgiveness".

A163 - Pastoral Care and Delegated Episcopal Oversight - affirms "centrality" of pastoral care for all members of this church, "and all who come seeking the aid of this church"; commits to "engagement and sensitive response" to a) those who agree and do not agree with the actions of this body [GC], those who feel isolated thereby, and gay and lesbian persons within and without this Church"; commend the use of DEPO with those "who do not feel able to receive appropriate pastoral care from their own bishops"; urges "maintenance of historic diocesan boundaries", "authority of the diocesan bishop", and "separate and autonomous" Provinces.

A165 - Anglican Covenant Development Process - commends WR as "a way forward"; commits TEC to "Windsor Process" of discernment of the nature and unity of the Church; commends "listening process" called for in Lambeth I.10 concerning "same-gender relationships"; commits this Church to participating fully in this listening process; identify a staff person for this responsibility.

A166 - Anglican Covenant Development Process - supports development of an Anglican Covenant, designates persons to follow the process, and notes resources to aid it.

B032 - Separate and Independent Status - "affirm that no resolution of the General Convention is intended to affect either the historic separate and independent status of the churches of the Anglican Communion or the legal identity of The Episcopal Church." (?)

B033 - On Election of Bishops - calls for bishops and SCs to "exercise restraint by not consenting to the consecration of any candidate to the episcopate whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church and will lead to further strains on communion."

END

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