What We Agreed to Do: The Episcopal Church


Among the many musical treats at General Convention, the postlude for one of the Convention Eucharists was a jazzy take on the traditional Widor Toccata, Symphony #5 Finale. An excerpt is posted here . It sounds like the usual impressive, showy piece, but at one point the organ pauses and a jazz ensemble joins in. (Arrangement by Will Cleary)

This is not a bad image for what The Episcopal Church is doing these days – playing familiar songs in new ways.

Here is the list of resolutions that call The Episcopal Church, our Presiding Bishop, the Executive Council, other committees and councils, the Church Pension Group, or our seminaries to some sort of action or advocacy. While this is a fairly long list, it could be longer. I saved resolutions that address liturgy and the Title IV canons for another post. And I skipped the many Privilege and Courtesy resolutions and things that applied only to this General Convention.

The remaining list is fairly random. Some resolutions call for things to continue. Others call for innovation. Most of this is more jazz than classical – lots of experimentation and improvisation ahead. We don’t know exactly what to expect, so we’ll form networks that will play off one another. We will use a lot of call and response – grant programs that invite a local response to a denominational initiative. Sometimes we will play a song and hope others will listen (especially with some of the advocacy resolutions).

Let’s pray for beautiful music, and be willing to accept new definitions of what that means.

A001 – Restructure for Spiritual Encounter – Urges Episcopal seminaries and the General Board of Examining Chaplains to develop a culture of collaboration that results in: new structures; new curricula; new degrees beyond the traditional MDiv; partnerships and practices on the academic, departmental, and inter-seminary levels; alternative assessment instruments to provide evidence that seminary trained leaders (lay and ordained) have the spiritual formation, skill sets, and intellectual aptitude to engage the world and to transform and lead The Episcopal Church; calls on the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society to develop a network to help congregations become skilled in creating moments for spiritual encounters that transform lives and unjust structures and have partnerships and practices with other congregations to become excellent stewards of spiritual, financial, real estate, and community resources. This was a proposal from TREC.

A004 – Restructure Executive Council – Too long to post here, but from the Explanation, These canonical changes would implement TREC’s proposals to reduce the size and enhance the effectiveness of the Executive Council while retaining the Council’s balance of Orders and Provincial representation and promoting a constructive framework for shared decision-making.

A006 – Amend I.1.2 – Restructure Standing Commissions and Interim Bodies – From the Explanation, this proposal eliminates several Standing Commissions, and instead retains only a Standing Commission on Theology, Liturgy, and Music; and a Standing Commission on Governance and Structure. 

A010 – Dissolve Standing Commission on Communication and Information Technology – Enough said.

A011 – Recommit to Criminal Justice Reform and Advocacy – Challenges the Episcopal Church at every level to commit mindfully and intentionally to dismantling our current mass incarceration system.

A012 – Continue Funding of Mission Enterprise Zones – Celebrates and continues the good work initiated by GC2012-A073 to Establish Diocesan Mission Enterprise Zones, defined as a geographic area, as a group of congregations or as an entire diocese committed to mission and evangelism that engages under-represented groups, including youth and young adults, people of color, poor and working-class people, people with a high-school diploma or less, and/or people with little or no church background or involvement. $3 million in the budget for this initiative.

A013 – Continue Financial Support for Global Missions, Young Adult Service Corps, and Episcopal Volunteers in Mission – Calls Executive Council to work to increase the opportunities for global mission through such programs as Young Adult Service Corps and Episcopal Volunteers in Mission, so that opportunities for global mission are increased, diversified, and prioritized by the 79th General Convention. (See also A112 Encourage Support for YASC and EVIM).

A015 – Continue to Support Province IX Sustainability – Executive Council of the Episcopal Church continue to support the work of Province IX Sustainability in the 2016-2018 triennium as detailed in the plan adopted by Executive Council.

A016 – Provide Structural Support for Covenant Committees – Reaffirms and celebrates our Covenant Committee and Bilateral Committee relationships with our global partners (the Episcopal Church of Brazil [IEAB],  the Episcopal Church of the Philippines, the Anglican Church of the Region of Central America [IARCA], the Episcopal Church of Mexico, and the Dioceses of Liberia). (See also A114 Honor Covenant and Bilateral Agreements which promises that we won’t reduce funding without letting partners know.)

A017 – Affirm Ongoing Work and Dialogue with Ecumenical Bodies – Affirms the continuation of ecumenical dialogues sponsored currently by The Episcopal ChurchThe dialogue toward full communion with the United Methodist Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA)-Episcopal Dialogue, and the renewed round of the Anglican-Roman Catholic Theological Consultation in the U.S.A. (ARCUSA). (See also A070 which appoints representatives to official ecumenical dialogues and coordinating committees of full-communion partners).

A019 – Affirm the Inter-Anglican Secretariat – Episcopal Church affirms its ongoing commitment to the Anglican Communion and the work of the Inter-Anglican Secretariat through our funding and active participation.

A021 – Continue Our Commitment of 0.7% of the Millennium Development Goals – Continues our commitment of 0.7% of  the Church-wide budget to investment in similar programs throughout the 2016-2018 triennium. Funds in the General Convention  budget for the 2016-2018 triennium  specified for MDGs be allotted for a grants program that supports congregational and diocesan efforts in international development programs.

A022 – Amend Mandate and Membership of Executive Council Committee on Anti-Racism – This Committee is charged with guiding and monitoring the Church’s work in response to General Convention resolutions directed at eliminating the sin of racism from the life of the Church.

A023 – Continue the Executive Council Committee on Anti-Racism – Continues the existence of the Executive Council Committee on Anti-Racism for another nine years; affirms the importance of this work to support the Church to live into existing General Convention resolutions mandating anti-racism training for clergy and lay leaders of the Church.

A025 – Support Native American Ministries Engaging At-Risk Teens – Authorizes establishment of a rapid response to Episcopal Ministries that are engaged in intervention to prevent an ongoing crisis in communities such as teen pregnancies, gang violence, school drop-outs, (LGBT) suicides.

A026 & A027 & A028 – Develop models for young men in Native American Ministries and Native American college ministries and theological education with indigenous groups.

A029 – Protect Human Trafficking victims – Affirms continued participation of The Episcopal Church with groups of the United Nations dealing with human-trafficking issues and calls for Executive Council Coordinating Committee on Resolution 2012-D042, established in February 2014 to be continued in the 2015-2018 Triennium.

A030 – Create Task Force on Climate Change – Directs DFMS to implement a program to develop parish and diocesan resources designed to support local ecologically responsible stewardship of church-related properties and buildings.

A031 – Continue to Develop Search Toolkit – Continue development of search toolkit resources for female clergy and Church leadership discernment committees through the 2016-18 triennium.

A032 – Establish Coordinator Position for Women’s Ministries Networks – Establishes an independent contract employee or staff position for women’s ministries and  networks.

A033,  A034 – Support Latinas in Ordained Ministry/Lay Ministry –  Directs the Missioner for Hispanic/Latino Ministries to discern and recommend steps to empower Latinas for ordained leadership in the Church and develop leadership skills for Latina youth and young adults.

A036 – Amend Canon I.18 Marriage – Allows clergy to marry same sex couples beginning Advent I 2015.

A037 – Continue Work of the Task Force on the Study of Marriage – Directs the Presiding Bishop and President of the House of Deputies to appoint an expanded Task Force on the Study of Marriage to continue this work.

A039 – Fund the House of Deputies Committee on the State of the Church

A042 – Consider 80th General Convention Sites – Anaheim, California (Diocese of Los Angeles), Baltimore, Maryland (Diocese of Maryland), Louisville, Kentucky (Diocese of Kentucky), Minneapolis, Minnesota (Diocese of Minnesota), and St. Louis, Missouri (Diocese of Missouri).

A045 – Appoint Task Force for Clergy Leadership Formation for Small Churches –  Authorizes a task force to develop a plan to provide quality formation for clergy in small congregations that is affordable, theologically reflective, and innovative.

A046 – Provide Lay Leadership Formation Resources – Directs Executive Council to oversee the establishment of an online resource list and library of materials and programs for licensed lay leadership in small congregations.

A047 – Address Moral and Spiritual Injury in the Context of Trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress – Calls the church to a triennium of pastoral care focused upon those whose lives have been directly and indirectly impacted by exposure to traumatic events related to global and domestic terrorism, the violence of warfare, and displacement through natural and man-made disasters. Forms a consortium to coordinate communication among a wide network of ministries focused upon healing from traumatic stress injuries related to warfare, terrorism, and population displacement.

A048 – Confront the Challenges and Impacts of Robotic and Cyber-Warfare – Presiding Bishop appoint a committee of theologians and other scholars in the field of the application and interpretation of Just War principles, military chaplains, active and/or retired military personnel, and such other ecumenical specialists as are required, to study the application of Just War principles to the current problems of combating global and domestic terrorism, of responding to undeclared warfare, of responding to stateless combatants, of using evolving capabilities for cyberwarfare  and robotics and of the use of social media in support of warfare and/or terrorism.

A049 – Make Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women a Focus of Foreign and Church Aid – Commends giving priority to the achievement of gender equality and empowerment of all women, including transgender individuals, by using the following principles as appropriate standards for distribution of foreign aid by the United States.

A051 – Support LGBT African Advocacy – Directs the Office of Global Partnerships, Justice, and Advocacy Ministries, the Office of the Presiding Bishop, and other relevant church-wide offices to work in partnership with  African Anglicans who publicly oppose laws that criminalize homosexuality and incite violence against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex people.

A061 – Support Leadership Program for Small Church Musicians – Endorses the continuation of the Leadership Program for Musicians Serving Small Congregations (LPM), which provides musicians who serve small congregations with continuing education for musical leadership in liturgy.

A072 – Develop Awareness of the Five Marks of Mission – Affirms that the Five Marks of Mission adopted by the 76th General Convention in Resolution D027 are central to the work of the Church.

A073 – Update Model Policies for Preventing Sexual Misconduct – Directs that the 2004 Model Policies developed by The Church Insurance Agency Corporation for the Protection of Children and Youth from Abuse (the “2004 Model Policies”) be updated and supplemented to reflect the experience of the Church and to cover topics such as social media, mission trips, pilgrimages, camp and conference center programs, and other overnight events, and the experiences of LGBTQ persons.

A074 – Update Safeguarding Materials – Directs the Episcopal Church Center to arrange for the updating or supplementing of written and web-based materials used in the Safeguarding God’s Children and the Safeguarding God’s People programs to reflect the experience of the Church and to cover topics such as social media, mission trips, pilgrimages, camp and conference center programs, and other overnight events, and the experiences of LGBTQ persons.

A075 – Develop Awareness of Online Christian Formation Resources – Episcopal Church Center establish a prominent tab or link on the website of The Episcopal Church to give persons seeking Christian Formation resources access to websites that provide suitable Christian Formation resources.

A076 – Commend Use of Christian Formation Certifications – Commends the work of Forma and directs the Episcopal Church Center to promote awareness of these certification programs. See also A079, Recommend Membership in Forma.

A077 – Publicize Resources for People with Special Needs – Directs the Episcopal Church Center to publicize, through the Episcopal Church website and by other appropriate means, to dioceses, congregations, and Christian Formation leaders, compilations of resources that will help educators and clergy in the formation of persons with developmental disabilities.

A080 – Affirm Confirmation as Formation – Requests that the Office of Formation and Congregational Development convene representatives from 10 dioceses, including a bishop and two appointed leaders, to engage in intentional conversation about creating intergenerational and congregation-wide processes to equip people (teenagers and older) to claim their baptismal identity and be commissioned for ministry with the goal of strengthening and articulating best practices around confirmation.

A082 – Provide Theological Education for Latino/Hispanic Ministries – Directs the Office of Latino/Hispanic Ministries to develop and implement bilingual Episcopal theological education programs and create programs to provide enculturation and cultural competency for all leaders across The Episcopal Church.

A084 – Modify Parochial Report – Parochial Report be modified to include congregational activity in any of the five Marks of Mission, ask if the congregation has a primary weekly service other than Saturday/Sunday, gather the average primary/Sunday worship, and report areas of outreach ministry in which the congregation is involved with individual/group volunteer activity.

A086 – Create Task Force for Latino-Hispanic Congregational Development and Sustainability – Creates a church-wide Network of Partners on Latino/Hispanic Congregational Ministry Development to provide coaches and mentors who will work with congregations, lay leaders, clergy, and diocesan staff to implement the provisions of this resolution. Note that additional funding was designated for this initiative. 

A090 – Amend Canon III.8.6(g) Preparation for Ordination – Updates the study areas required for ordination as follows: (1) The Holy Scriptures.
 (2) Church History, including the Ecumenical Movement. History of the Christian Church. (3) Christian Theology, including Missionary Theology and Missiology.
 (4) Christian Ethics and Moral Theology.
 (5) Studies in contemporary society, including the historical and contemporary experience of racial and minority groups, and cross-cultural ministry skills. Cross-cultural ministry skills may include the ability to communicate in a contemporary language other than one’s first language.(6) (5) Liturgics and Church Music; Christian Worship and Music according to the contents and use of the Book of Common Prayer, and the Hymnal, and authorized supplemental texts.(7) (6) Theory and The pPractice of mMinistry, including leadership, and the ministries of evangelism and stewardship in contemporary society., including leadership, evangelism, stewardship, ecumenism, interfaith relations, mission theology, and the historical and contemporary experience of racial and minority groups.

A091 – Affirm Work for Food Ministries and Food Security – Affirm the work and projects being carried out across the Church in food ministry, including food pantries, feeding programs, community gardens, educational programs, and advocacy for programs that provide healthy, culturally appropriate food.

A092 – Affirm Support for Government Entitlements – Affirms that God has provided for all of creation, forming a world of sufficiency for all, and that inequality exists not because there is not enough, but because of the way resources are distributed; affirms support for full and adequate funding of social safety net programs such as Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicare, Medicaid,  the Affordable Care Act, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), food assistance for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and the National School Lunch Program.

A093 – Evaluate Defense Spending – Commits The Episcopal Church to work for a reordering of federal budget priorities, evaluating the balance between legitimate military security needs and poverty alleviation programs.

A094 – Support Income Tax Parity – Supports efforts to reduce economic disparities in the United States by calling for a reversal of federal and state tax cuts that have increased the wealth gap and reduced budget revenue for domestic needs; and calling for a reversal of the recent erosion of progressivity in federal and state tax rates, as progressive tax rates are a means of building a strong middle class, and  an important means of reducing severe inequalities of income and wealth.

A096 – Relationship Based Social Justice – Affirms the many justice ministries of service and advocacy throughout The Episcopal Church, ministries that are grounded in the Baptismal Covenant and that were initiated by General Conventions, dioceses, congregations, and other Episcopal organizations; acknowledges that one of the greatest challenges of our time and culture is the widening gap between the rich and the poor.

A102 – Amend Canon III.12.4(a) – Each Bishop serving in a Diocese shall maintain a reside residence in that Diocese, except with the consent of the Standing Committee of that Diocese. (Allows bishops serving more than one diocese a way to avoid maintaining a residence in both).

A103 – Schedule Length of the 79th General Convention – No more than 10 legislative days (could be fewer).

A106, A107, A108 – Resolutions about funding meetings of various groups between General Conventions.

A109 – Amend Canon V.3 – Adds a requirement that interim bodies working between General Convention publicize their membership lists.

A113 – Continue Development of Global Mission Mapping Project – Defined as easily accessible, interactive information indicating existing relationships between various global partners.

A115 – Amend Title III.12.9: Reconciliation of Disagreements Affecting the Pastoral Relationship between a Bishop and a Diocese – Adds a new section 10 regarding reconciliation between bishops within a diocese.

A120 – Amend (several) Canons – These amendments provide a consistent canonical process by which Bishops, Priests, and Deacons who have been released and removed from the ordained ministry of this Church can resume the ordained ministry of this Church.

A121, A122, A123, A149 – These correct some language in the canons.

A124 to A148 update the Title IV Canons on discipline. A150 develops Title IV training materials.

A158 – Task Force to Review and Revise Policy on Substance Abuse, Addiction, and Recovery – Acknowledges The Episcopal Church’s long-standing tolerance for the use of alcohol which, in some cases, has contributed to its misuse, and has undermined a climate of wholeness and holiness for all. Adopts a new policy on alcohol use.

A159 – The Role of the Church in the Culture of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse – Recognizes that the Church, respecting the dignity of every human being, has a moral and ethical responsibility to confront and repent of the Episcopal Church’s complicity in a culture of alcohol, denial, and enabling, speak to cultural norms that promote addiction, promote spiritual practices as a means of prevention and healing, advocate for public funding and health insurance coverage for prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery, and collaborate with qualified community resources offering these services, and to respond with pastoral care and accountability.

A170 – Develop and Continue Food System Advocacy – Encourages the Episcopal Public Policy Network (and related bodies in non-US countries) to continue efforts to create and modify laws and policies that support Environmental Stewardship and Care of Creation; reaffirms this Church’s support for farm legislation focused on renewability, sustainability, resilience, minimized carbon emissions, participatory research and decision-making, revitalized rural communities, strong local food economies, security of food supply, ethical treatment of animals, and fair and dignified treatment of persons working throughout the food chain;” supports public policies and laws that protect the health and safety of workers throughout the food system, that support the workers’ rights to organize, and that support a living wage for food workers throughout the system, from farm to table; supports public policies, laws, and programs designed to increase access to healthy food for all people; reaffirms support for full and adequate funding for public food programs for the poor and vulnerable.

A171 – Commendation of Papal Encyclical – Encourages the Presiding Bishop to write a Pastoral Letter to the Church on climate change before the United Nations Climate Change Summit in Paris in late 2015.

A172 – Leveraging Social Media for Jesus – Creates a Task Force of three bishops, three presbyters or deacons and six lay persons to develop two curricula – one for clergy and one for lay people – for the purpose of leveraging social media for evangelism.

A173 – Gathering and Sharing for Evangelism – Forward Movement convene an Evangelism Summit, a gathering of leaders from across The Episcopal Church who are engaged in the work of evangelism, Summit shall identify existing evangelism resources, gaps and challenges. The purpose is to develop an evangelism road map.

A174 – Encourage Ongoing Support for Episcopal Gap Year – Continue development of an Episcopal Gap Year program for young adults between high school and college, modeled after the Young Adult Service Corps.

A175 – Encourage Ministry of the Development Office

A176 – Humanitarian Relief in Liberia – Recommits The Episcopal Church to our ongoing covenant relationship with the Episcopal Church in Liberia.

A177 – Revision in How Pensions are Determined – Directs the Church Pension Fund to continue to work actively toward revision in how benefits may possibly be determined, in order to be responsive to the changing nature of church leadership, in order to serve the leadership of this renewed church God is calling us to be. Particularly, alternatives are sought for bi-vocational, non-stipendiary, interrupted continuity of service, and those serving in interim ministries.

A181 – Study of Cost of Pension Benefits for Clergy and Lay Employees in Province IX – Instructs the Church Pension Group to conduct a study of compensation and costs and fees for all employee benefits, e.g., retirement, health care, short-term and long-term disability, etc. for clergy and lay employees in the dioceses of Province IX, the Diocese of Haiti, The Episcopal Church in Cuba, and Covenant Partners, to provide to the CPF Trustees information and guidance on alternative programs and strategies, such as employee contribution plans, that will improve clergy and lay pension plans in these areas, to discuss their findings with diocesan leaders, and to report their findings back to the 79th General Convention.

A197 – Adopt Budget of The Episcopal Church – Described in the narrative.

B002 – Support the End of the Embargo of Cuba – Directs the Office of Government Relations to concentrate its effort toward lifting aspects of the embargo that impede The Episcopal Church’s partnership with The Episcopal Church in Cuba

B003 – Support for the Episcopal Church in Cuba – Affirms The Episcopal Church of Cuba’s recent synodical decision to request membership as a Diocese of the Episcopal Church; identify and address the canonical issues (including those around pension) involved in pursuing such an intention.

B004 –  Commend Report on Relations with Church of Sweden – Directs the Presiding Bishop and the Standing Commission on Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations or its successor body to work with the Church of Sweden to deepen the relationship.

B008 – Support Handgun Purchaser Licensing – Supports handgun purchaser licensing in order to prevent gun violence and save lives.

B009 – Conducting an Online Digital Evangelism Test – Develop and conduct a digital evangelism initiative consisting of several campaigns, with equitable representation among the domestic provinces, with at least one campaign per year in a language other than English, for the benefit of the entire church, and for the purpose of meeting the demand online for the gospel of Jesus Christ through the ministry of The Episcopal Church; to build and maintain a database of prospects; to cultivate those prospects via email, social media, blogs, and other means as shall prove effective; and to partner with dioceses to refer qualified prospects to local congregations, church plants, or other appropriate ministries.

B013 – Peacemaking through Political Action – Reaffirms this Church’s commitment to a just and peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through a negotiated settlement between the parties resulting in two states for two peoples: a secure and universally recognized Israel living alongside a secure and viable state for the Palestinian people.

B016 – Amend Canon I.8 – Church Pension Fund to study the feasibility of a mandatory, short-term disability plan for all lay employees of The Episcopal Church.

B018 – Support for Sudan and South Sudan – Commends the Episcopal Church of Sudan and South Sudan (ECSSS) for its steadfast efforts to end the civil war which broke out in South Sudan in December 2013.

B022 – Study of Dual Call Couples – Calls for  a study on the issues of deployment, equality, and justice for dual call couples, including the specific issues for bishop-priest couples.

C005 – Decreasing Gun Violence – Citing the 50th anniversary of the murder of seminarian Jonathan Daniels, urges all legislators at federal, state and local levels to help decrease gun violence.

C013 – Facilitate Dialogue on Climate Change and Investment Strategy – Recommits to oppose environmental racism, expressed in such ways as the locating of extraction, production, and disposal industries where they disproportionately harm neighborhoods inhabited by people of color and low income communities.

C014 – Commend Charter for Compassion – Affirms the Charter for Compassion and its encouragement of respectful and compassionate conversation while honoring full expression of differences, and encourages its study and a prayerful response.

C018 – Pursue Justice, Peace, and Security in the Holy Land – Expresses solidarity with and support for Christians in Israel and the Occupied Territories.

C019 – Establish Response to Systemic Racial Injustice – Affirms as a top priority of The Episcopal Church in the upcoming triennium the challenging and difficult work of racial reconciliation through prayer, teaching, engagement, and action.

C045 – Environmentally Responsible Investing – Calls upon the Investment Committee of the Executive Council, the Episcopal Church Endowment Fund, and the Episcopal Church Foundation to divest from fossil fuel companies and reinvest in clean renewable energy in a fiscally responsible manner.

C048 – Increase the Minimum Wage – Calls on the Episcopal Church, at all levels, to engage in and advocate for increasing the minimum wage to $15.00 an hour or a living wage.

C055 – Church-Wide Day of Prayer – Asks the Presiding Bishop to call for a specific Church-wide Day of Prayer in 2016 in remembrance of contemporary  martyrs and in solidarity with persecuted Christians in our own day.

D004 – Create a Task Force to Study Episcopal Elections and Appointments of Bishops – Task Force will study the election, appointment, roles, and responsibilities of the Episcopate, including the use of Bishops Diocesan, Bishops Coadjutor, Bishops Suffragan, Provisional Bishops, Missionary Bishops, and Assistant Bishops in this Church; looking specifically at the particular gifts, life experience, and expertise required for episcopal office; Task Force will pay particular attention to the recent trend away from a diverse House of Bishop, and seek ways to encourage diversity in the Episcopate.

D005 – Create Capacity to Plant Churches –  Creates a church-wide network for planting congregations, training and recruiting planters; and establishing new congregations each triennium.

D008 – Amend Article I, Section1 of the Constitution – Changes language to, “There shall be a General Convention of this Church, consisting of the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies, which Houses will sit, debate, and vote separately, unless otherwise provided for by this Constitution or the Canons. The Houses by majority vote of each House may call for the Houses to sit, debate, and vote, or any combination thereof, together.”

D009 – Revitalization of Congregations -Promotes creation of a congregational revitalization network.

D011 – Eliminate Provinces – Creates a Task Force to study issues and potential effects of eliminating Provinces, including consideration of what structures might replace Provinces to facilitate or create networks to support mission and ministry.

D013 – Budget Process for the Episcopal Church – (with strong support for a salary for the PHOD) When the current canons related to the budget process were last amended, a distinction still existed among budget areas for canons, corporate, and program expenses. Those distinctions are no longer relevant, as the budget process has evolved differently. These canonical changes conform the canons to current practice of considering the budget as a whole. In addition, the proposed changes help all dioceses participate in the full life of the church by encouraging them to pay the full assessment, and when that is not possible, to have a process for a waiver that can be granted in recognition of special circumstances, at the discretion of Executive Council.

D015 – Encouraging Advocacy for Hunger Relief – Commends Bread for the World’s objective to change public policy in order to end extreme poverty and hunger in the United States and worldwide by 2030.

D024 – Affirm and Support Ministry to Appalachia – General Convention continue to acknowledge and support financially the “Appalachian Initiative” to increase grassroots ministry and mission that directly address poverty, substance abuse, illiteracy and inadequate health care found in the Appalachian Region.

D028 – Oppose Conversion Therapy – Supports legislation banning state-licensed therapists and other service providers from engaging in discredited and dangerous practices that try to change a person’s sexual orientation or force them to deny their gender identity.

D030 – Establish Parental Leave Policy – Directs the Executive Council in consultation with the Church Pension Group to prepare a church wide model policy on parental leave for both birth and adoptive parents for consideration by the 79th General Convention.

D032 – Disability Advocacy in Criminal Justice Work of The Episcopal Church – Advocates for the civil rights and proper treatment of and accommodations for people with disabilities throughout the criminal justice system and asks the Episcopal Public Policy Network to help the Church advocate on this issue.

D033 – Supporting Refugee Rights in Central America – Acknowledges the continued violence against and displacement of citizens in Central America’s Northern Triangle (Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador) and suggests several courses of action.

D034 – Affirmation and Support for Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 – Declares continuing unwavering support, and advocates for total compliance with the spirit and intent of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

D035 – Support Christians in Pakistan – Expresses continued solidarity with the church in Pakistan.

D040 – Create Youth Anti-Racism Curricula – Officer for Youth Ministries and Missioner for Racial Reconciliation partner with other church offices and organizations as appropriate to commission a gospel-centered, Internet-integrated, action-oriented, anti-racism youth ministry curriculum for congregations throughout The Episcopal Church, including those not in the United States, to be provided in English, Spanish and Haitian Creole.

D044 – Removal of Confederate Battle Flag – Declares the continued display of the Confederate Battle Flag to be at odds with a faithful witness to the reconciling love of Jesus Christ.

D047 – Retirement Benefits for Same Gender Couples – Directs the Trustees of the Church Pension Fund to continue to review and revise the pension plan rules so that participants in the plan with same-gender spouses and their spouses are treated the same as participants with opposite-gender spouses in all respect.

D058 – Dominicans of Haitian Descent – Direct the Office of Government Relations to  protest this human rights issue with the Dominican Republic on behalf of Dominicans of Haitian descent and others similarly affected by this issue.

D061 –Scholarships for Undocumented Youth – Asks the Director of Mission to charge the offices of Latino/Hispanic ministry, Asiamerica ministry, and Young Adult/Campus ministry with the work to search for and distribute information about existing scholarships for immigrant students, youth, and young adults who, because of their immigrant status cannot qualify for federal, state, or private scholarships and/or loans.

D062 – Addressing Prison Conditions and Areas of Advocacy – Calls on the Bishop for the Armed Forces and Federal Ministries and the Office of Government Relations to investigate conditions of prisoners, parolees and probationers in the criminal justice systems of the countries which are represented in The Episcopal Church and develop a report outlining areas for advocacy and reform,

D063 – Ongoing Episcopal Church Dialog with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints – Continue the conversation between The Episcopal Church and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for the purposes of friendship, good will, and mutual understanding.

D067 – Non-Participation in For-Profit Prisons – directs The Episcopal Church to continue a no-buy policy with respect to corporations which own or operate for-profit prisons and hereby encourages the Church Pension Fund to institute a similar no-buy policy.

D069 – Birthright Citizenship – Strongly supports the automatic grant of citizenship by the country in which a person is born (“birthright citizenship”), particularly by the countries in which our member dioceses are located.

D072 – New Visions – Approves funding for continuing the New Visions initiative for Congregational Renewal and Vitality.

D073 – Supporting Home and Community Based Services – Calls on states to end the segregation of persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities in large congregate institutions and other facilities, both publicly and privately operated, and commit to serving all persons in the community.

D074 – Temporary Protective Status for Immigrants at Risk – Urges President Obama to immediately extend Temporary Protective Status  (TPS)  to Guatemalans living in the United States with the hope of creating a path to citizenship for this group.

D075 – Reinvigorate Accountability of GTS to General Convention – evaluate the relationship between the General Convention and the General Theological Seminary to determine whether this relationship is mutually beneficial at this point in the life of the Church.

Photo by MoTabChoir01 (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons