General Convention 2015
Some Structural Changes to the Episcopal Church
OK – this report will probably reflect one of the less “sexy” reflections of what took place at General Convention. As most of you know, our bishops elected and the House of Deputies confirmed the election of the Rt. Rev. Michael Curry (Bishop of North Carolina) to be the new Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church. Bishop Curry will begin this new ministry on November 1.
The number of Standing Commissions that study issues and make recommendations for the life of this church has been reduced from 14 to 2. From now on, “ad hoc” task forces (made up of experts in the field) will be appointed to deal with most issues. Only Prayer Book, Liturgy and Music as well as Constitution and Canons remain as Standing Commissions.
Just as each parish has a mandatory assessment (a.k.a. – a “tax”) which we pay to the Diocese four times a year to support its work and staff, so the Episcopal Church nationally is supported by a Diocesan Assessment whereby every diocese is supposed to meet a certain level of giving to the National Church. Starting in 2016, these Diocesan assessments will now become mandatory (and many of us were unaware that they were not already). Every Diocese from now on must meet its assessment or it will lose the ability to receive any grants or loans from the National Church.
–more to come—