Report — Diocesan Council/Secretary

Curtis D. Hamilton, Secretary of the Convention

It continues to be a privilege for me to serve you as the Secretary of the Diocese. I am grateful for the trust that the members of the Convention showed in electing me to this position.

In my role as Secretary of the Convention, I report that the greetings of the 2021 Convention were extended to those persons named in the Courtesy Resolutions passed by the Convention. I would also report that plans are in process for holding the Diocesan Convention. I wish to thank the members of the Diocesan Staff and the planning committee for their work in making this possible.

In my role as Secretary of the Diocesan Council, I have prepared the following summary of the actions taken by the Diocesan Council since the 2020 Convention. The minutes of Diocesan Council meetings are available at https://www.diowestmo.org/our-work/diocesan-council-minutes-and-audits.html after the Council has approved the minutes of the meeting. These summaries do not include routine items such as approving minutes of prior meetings and the receipt of reports.

In February, the Diocesan Council voted to change to a monthly meeting. Regularly scheduled meetings in even-numbered months (February, April, etc) are held in person with the ability of members to participate via Zoom. All other meetings are held with all members participating via Zoom;

Per Canon I/1/1/e of the Canons of the Episcopal Church, I report that the 80th General Convention proposed three resolutions with changes to the Consitution of the Episcopal Church. The text of the resolutions is reported below the summary of Diocesan Council resolutions below.

SUMMARY OF DIOCESAN COUNCIL ACTIONS

November 20, 2021

  • The Diocesan Council met in executive session to discuss legal and personnel matters.
  • A motion to authorize Fr. Galen Snodgrass (Diocesan Council Vice President) and Fr. Jonathan Frazier (President of the Standing Committee) to execute a Letter of Agreement with The Rt. Rev. Diane M. Jardine Bruce and a to authorize the Chancellor’s Office to make clerical changes prior to signing was adopted.
  • A motion to make the following Changes to the 2022 Plan for Ministry was adopted:
    • Item A.1.a [Retired Bishop’s Health Insurance] decreased to $0.00
    • Item A.4.a [Bishop Travel] increased to $31,230.00
    • Item A.5.g [Covid] decreased to $112,174.00
    • Item D [Bishop Compensation (salary, benefits, and taxes)] increased to $257,742.00

December 11, 2021

  • A motion to create the position of Transition Minister was adopted.
  • An action taken by the Executive Committee to change the signature authority on diocesan accounts was ratified.
  • A recommendation from the Finance Committee to adopt a revised Diocesan Owned Policy was adopted.
  • A recommendation from the Finance Committee regarding review of the Bishop’s Discretionary Fund was adopted.
  • A motion to distribute the remaining monies in the 2021 Plan for Ministry was adopted.
  • A motion to increase the line item for Diocesan Convention expenses in the 2021 Plan for Ministry by $1,500 was adopted. (This vote was taken via email.)
  • A motion to adopt a Housing Allowance Resolution for Bp. Bruce was adopted. (This vote was taken by email.)
  • A motion to elect Fr. Jonathan Frazier to the Bishop Kemper School for Ministry Board to fill a vacancy was adopted. (This vote was taken via email.)
  • A motion to adopt Housing Allowances for diocesan staff was adopted.
  • Fr. Galen Snodgrass was elected at the Diocesan Council Vice President and Fr. Joe Pierjok was elected as at-large member of the Executive Committee.
  • The council met in executive session to discuss litigation and other matters.
  • A motion to authorize the Chancellor’s office to enter into a consent judgement in a case regarding a utility easement in Michigan state court was adotpted.

February 11-12, 2022

The Diocesan Council met in retreat with the Standing Committee. During a business session the Diocesan Council took the following actions.

  • A motion to sell the youth van owed by the diocese for the use of the Youth Ministry Department was approved.
  • A motion to authorize the sublease of the apartment leased by the diocese in Springfield to Christ Episcopal Church, Springfield, was adopted.
  • A recommendation from the Human Resources Committee to adopt the Church Pension Group (CPG) Lay Defined Contribution Retirement Plan (403(b)) for diocesan staff and to keep the current Lay Defined Benefit plan for current participations was adopted.

March 22, 2022

No non-routine actions taken.

April 9, 2022

  • A motion to increase the 2022 Plan for Ministry line item for Diocesan Convention to $12,350.00 was adopted.
  • A resolution congratulating the Rev. Jos Tharakan on his election as the 14th bishop of Idaho was adopted.

May 14, 2022

  • A motion to approve a loan from the COVID relief fund to St. Mary Magdalene’s, Belton, was approved.

June 11, 2022

  • A recommendation from the Finance Committee to approve $5,000.00 from the General Fund to cover the expenses of the three deaneries to host deanery picnics was adopted.
  • A recommendation from the Finance Committee to approve a five-year lease with SumnerOne for a copier of the diocesan office was adopted.

July—no meeting was held

August 13, 2022

  • A motion to change the signature authority on diocesan accounts was adopted.
  • A motion to provide a line of credit from the Expansion Fund to Shepherd of the Hills, Branson, for HVAC system and gutter repairs was approved.
  • A motion to direct the Finance Committee to create and propose a new assessment formula was adopted.
  • A draft of the 2023 Plan for Ministry was reviewed and adjustments were made.
  • A motion to adjust the interest rate on a current loan to Nourish KC to zero percent (0%) was adopted.
  • A motion to commit to providing $10,000 each year for three years in support of a grant request for the Vitality Improvement Program was adopted.
  • An Executive Committee action to authorize funds to repair air conditioning at St. Nicholas, Noel was ratified.

September 10, 2022

  • A recommendation from the Finance Committee that a grant from the Congregational Development fund for a sign to be installed outside of the church was adopted.
  • The motion to adopt the following Mission and Vision statements was adopted.
    • Mission: To be the hands and feet of Christ in West Missouri by proclaiming the Good News, serving others, and promoting justice, peace, and love.
    • Vision: To become a just, peaceful, & loving community built on our shared love of God and one another.
  • A motion to approve a document entitled Directive regarding Clergy leave-taking” was adopted.
  • A motion to adopt the Deanery Edition of the 2023 Plan for Ministry was adopted

October 8. 2022

  • A recommendation from the Human Resources committee to update the Diocesan Minimum Clergy Compensation amounts for 2023 was not adopted
  • A motion to include a 5% cost of living increase for diocesan personnel in the 2023 Plan for Ministry was adopted.
  • A motion to move monies saved during the COVID crisis to the Expansion Fund was approved.
  • A recommendation from the Human Resources committee to update available health plans for 2023 was adopted.
  • A motion to designate 100% of the Convention Eucharist offering to local ministries to be determined by the Bishop in consultation with the regional deans was approved.
  • A recommendation from the Assessment Review Committee to reduce the 2022 assessment of St. Mary Magdalene, Belton, by $15,355.00 and St. Anne’s, Lee’s Summit, by $4,827.00 was adopted.

October 17, 2022

  • A motion to adopt the Convention Edition of the 2023 Plan for Ministry was adopted.
  • A request from St. Anne’s, Lee’s Summit for a line of credit from the expansion fund for solar panel installation was not adopted.

80TH GENERAL CONVENTION RESOLUTIONS PROPOSING CHANGES TO THE CONSITUTION OF THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH

Resolution A031– Amend the Constitution and Canons Relating to Mergers of Dioceses

ResolvedThat the 80th General Convention amend Article V, Section 4 of the Constitution to read as follows:

<Amended text as it would appear if adopted and concurred. Scroll below the line of asterisks (******) to see the version showing all deleted and added text.>

Art.V

Sec. 4. Whenever a new Diocese is formed and erected out of an existing Diocese or out of two or more existing Dioceses or parts of them, the formation process of the newly formed Diocese, including the adoption of its Constitution and Canons, shall be as set forth in the Canons.

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Resolved, That the 80th General Convention amend Article V, Section 4 of the Constitution to read as follows:

Art.V

Sec. 4. Whenever a new Diocese is formed and erected out of an existing Diocese or out of two or more existing Dioceses or parts of themit shall be subject to the Constitution and Canons of the Diocese out of which it was formed, except as local circumstances may prevent, until the same be altered in accordance with such Constitution and Canons by the Convention of the new Diocese the formation process of the newly formed Diocese, including the adoption of its Constitution and Canons, shall be as set forth in the Canons.

Whenever a Diocese is formed out of two or more existing Dioceses, it shall be subject to the Constitution and Canons of that one of the said existing Dioceses to which the greater number of Members of the Clergy shall have belonged prior to the erection of such new Diocese, except as local circumstances may prevent, until the same be altered in accordance with such Constitution and Canons by the Convention of the new Diocese.

And be it further

ResolvedThat Canon I.10 be amended to read as follows and voted on at the 81st General Convention:

<Amended text as it would appear if adopted and concurred. Scroll below the line of asterisks (******) to see the version showing all deleted and added text.>

Can.I.10

Sec. 1. Whenever a new Diocese is proposed to be formed within the limits of any Diocese, or by the junction of two or more Dioceses, or parts of two or more Dioceses, the Ecclesiastical Authorities and the Standing Committees of the Dioceses involved in the proposed new diocese shall submit for approval to the Conventions of each Diocese involved a joint agreement of union setting forth their agreements, including the manner of determining the Bishop Diocesan and other Bishops (if any), the provisions of the Constitution and Canons of the new Diocese, and such other matters as may be necessary or proper. Upon approval by the Conventions of each of the involved Dioceses, the joint agreement of union shall be submitted for ratification by the General Convention no less than ninety days prior to the first legislative day of the next meeting of the General Convention.

Sec. 2. Promptly after ratification by the General Convention, the Ecclesiastical Authority of the new Diocese, as set forth in the joint agreement of union, shall call the first Convention of the new Diocese, for the purpose of enabling it to organize, and shall fix the time and place of holding the same, such place being within the territorial limits of the new Diocese.

Sec. 3. Whenever one Diocese is about to be divided into two Dioceses, the Convention of such Diocese shall declare which portion or portions thereof are to be in the new Diocese, and shall make the same known to the General Convention before the ratification of such division.

Sec. 4. Whenever a new Diocese shall have organized in first Convention in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and Canons in such case made and provided, and in the manner prescribed in the previous Sections of this Canon, and shall have chosen a name and acceded to the Constitution of the General Convention in accordance with Article V, Section 1 of the Constitution, and shall have laid before the Executive Council certified copies of the Constitution adopted at its first Convention, and the proceedings preparatory to the formation of the proposed new Diocese, such new Diocese shall thereupon be admitted into union with the General Convention.

Sec. 5. In the event of the erection of an Area Mission into a Diocese of this Church, as provided in Article V, Section 1 of the Constitution, the Convocation of the Area Mission shall be entitled to elect Deputies to the succeeding General Convention, and also to elect a Bishop. The jurisdiction previously assigned to the Bishop in the Area Mission shall be terminated upon the admission of the new Diocese.

Sec. 6. When a Diocese and one or more other Dioceses that were formed either by division therefrom or by erection into a Diocese or a Missionary Diocese formed by division therefrom, shall desire to be reunited into one Diocese, the proposed reunion must be initiated by the approval of the Conventions of the involved Dioceses of a joint agreement of union setting forth their agreements, including the manner of determining the Bishop Diocesan and other Bishops (if any), provisions of the Constitution and Canons of the new Diocese, and such other matters as may be necessary or proper. If the agreement of the Dioceses is made and the consents of their Conventions are given more than three months before the next meeting of the General Convention, the fact of the agreement and consents shall be certified by the Ecclesiastical Authority and the Secretary of the Convention of each involved Diocese to all the Bishops of the Church having jurisdiction and to the Standing Committees of all the Dioceses; and when the consents of a majority of such Bishops and of a majority of the Standing Committees to the proposed reunion shall have been received, the facts shall be similarly certified to the Secretary of the House of Deputies of the General Convention, and thereupon the reunion shall be considered complete. But if the agreement is made and the consents given within three months of the next meeting of the General Convention, the facts shall be certified instead to the Secretary of the House of Deputies, who shall lay them before the two Houses; and the reunion shall be deemed to be complete when it shall have been approved by a majority vote in the House of Bishops, and in the House of Deputies.

Sec. 7. When the union of two or more Dioceses or portions of Dioceses or the reunion of the two or more Dioceses shall have been completed, the facts shall be certified to the Presiding Bishop and to the Secretary of the House of Deputies. Thereupon the Presiding Bishop shall notify the Secretary of the House of Bishops of any alteration in the status or style of the Bishop or Bishops concerned, and the Secretary of the House of Deputies shall strike the name of any Diocese that will cease to exist or is being renamed from the roll of Dioceses in union with the General Convention and, if appropriate, amend the name of the newly united Diocese on the roll of Dioceses in union with the General Convention.

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Can.I.10

Sec. 1. Whenever a new Diocese is proposed to be formed within the limits of any Diocese, or by the junction of two or more Dioceses, or parts of two or more Dioceses, the Ecclesiastical Authorities and the Standing Committees of the Dioceses involved in the proposed new diocese shall submit for approval to the Conventions of each Diocese involved a joint agreement of union setting forth their agreements, including the manner of determining the Bishop Diocesan and other Bishops (if any), the provisions of the Constitution and Canons of the new Diocese, and such other matters as may be necessary or proper. Upon approval by the Conventions of each of the involved Dioceses, the joint agreement of union shall be submitted for ratification by the General Convention no less than ninety days prior to the first legislative day of the next meeting of the General Convention.

Sec. 2. Promptly after ratification by the General Convention, the Ecclesiastical Authority of the new Diocese, as set forth in the joint agreement of union, shall call the Primary first Convention of the new Diocese, for the purpose of enabling it to organize, and shall fix the time and place of holding the same, such place being within the territorial limits of the new Diocese.

Sec. 3. Whenever one Diocese is about to be divided into two Dioceses, the Convention of such Diocese shall declare which portion or portions thereof are is to be in the new Diocese, and shall make the same known to the General Convention before the ratification of such division.

Sec. 4. Whenever a new Diocese shall have organized in first Primary Convention in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and Canons in such case made and provided, and in the manner prescribed in the previous Sections of this Canon, and shall have chosen a name and acceded to the Constitution of the General Convention in accordance with Article V, Section 1 of the Constitution, and shall have laid before the Executive Council certified copies of the Constitution adopted at its first Primary Convention, and the proceedings preparatory to the formation of the proposed new Diocese, such new Diocese shall thereupon be admitted into union with the General Convention.

Sec. 5. In the event of the erection of an Area Mission into a Diocese of this Church, as provided in Article V, Section 1 of the Constitution, the Convocation of the Area Mission shall be entitled to elect Deputies to the succeeding General Convention, and also to elect a Bishop. The jurisdiction previously assigned to the Bishop in the Area Mission shall be terminated upon the admission of the new Diocese.

Sec. 6. When a Diocese and one or more other Dioceses that were formed either by division therefrom or by erection into a Diocese or a Missionary Diocese formed by division therefrom, shall desire to be reunited into one Diocese, the proposed reunion must be initiated by the approval of the Conventions of the involved Dioceses of a joint agreement of union setting forth their agreements, including the manner of determining the Bishop Diocesan and other Bishops (if any), provisions of the Constitution and Canons of the new Diocese, and such other matters as may be necessary or proper. If the agreement of the Dioceses is made and the consents of their Conventions are given more than three months before the next meeting of the General Convention, the fact of the agreement and consents shall be certified by the Ecclesiastical Authority and the Secretary of the Convention of each involved Diocese to all the Bishops of the Church having jurisdiction and to the Standing Committees of all the Dioceses; and when the consents of a majority of such Bishops and of a majority of the Standing Committees to the proposed reunion shall have been received, the facts shall be similarly certified to the Secretary of the House of Deputies of the General Convention, and thereupon the reunion shall be considered complete. But if the agreement is made and the consents given within three months of the next meeting of the General Convention, the facts shall be certified instead to the Secretary of the House of Deputies, who shall lay them before the two Houses; and the reunion shall be deemed to be complete when it shall have been approved by a majority vote in the House of Bishops, and in the House of Deputies.

Sec. 7. When the union of two or more Dioceses or portions of Dioceses or the reunion of the two or more Dioceses shall have been completed, the facts shall be certified to the Presiding Bishop and to the Secretary of the House of Deputies. Thereupon the Presiding Bishop shall notify the Secretary of the House of Bishops of any alteration in the status or style of the Bishop or Bishops concerned, and the Secretary of the House of Deputies shall strike the name of any Diocese that will cease to exist or is being renamed from the roll of Dioceses in union with the General Convention and, if appropriate, amend the name of the newly united Diocese on the roll of Dioceses in union with the General Convention.

Resolution A059– Amend Article X of the Constitution of The Episcopal Church (First Reading)

Resolved, That the 80th General Convention of The Episcopal Church repeal Article X in its entirety and replace it with the following:

Sec. 1. The Book of Common Prayer is understood to be those liturgical forms and other texts authorized by the General Convention in accordance with this article and the Canons of this Church.

The Book of Common Prayer in this Church is intended to be communal and devotional prayer enriched by our church’s cultural, geographical, and linguistic contexts. The Book of Common Prayer shall contain both public worship and private devotion.

The Book of Common Prayer, as now established or hereafter amended by the General Convention, shall be in use in all the Dioceses of this Church.

Sec. 2. No alteration thereof or addition thereto shall be made unless the General Convention approve the same on first reading in one regular meeting of the General Convention and, by resolve so directing, be sent by the Secretary of the General Convention to the Secretary of the Convention of every Diocese, to be made known to the Diocesan Convention at its next regular meeting, and be adopted on second reading without alteration by the General Convention at its next succeeding regular meeting by a majority of all Bishops, excluding retired Bishops not present, of the whole number of Bishops entitled to vote in the House of Bishops, and by an affirmative vote by orders in the House of Deputies in accordance with Art. I, Sec. 5 of this Constitution, except that concurrence in the affirmative by the orders shall require the affirmative vote in each order by a majority of the Dioceses entitled to representation in the House of Deputies.

Sec. 3. No alteration thereof or addition thereto shall be made unless it has previously been authorized for Trial Use in accordance with this Article and the Canons of this Church.

Sec. 4. The General Convention may at any one meeting, by a majority of the whole number of the Bishops entitled to vote in the House of Bishops, and by a majority of the Clerical and Lay Deputies of all the Dioceses entitled to representation in the House of Deputies, voting by orders as previously set forth in this Article:

a. Amend the Table of Lessons and all Tables and Rubrics relating to the Psalms.

b. Authorize for Trial Use such alterations or additions in whole or in part to the established Book of Common Prayer as may be proposed in accord with the Canons of this Church and duly undertaken by and implemented according to the directives of the General Convention.

c. Authorize for use throughout this Church, as provided by Canon, alternative and additional liturgies to supplement those provided in the Book of Common Prayer.

Sec. 5. Nothing in this Article shall be construed as restricting the authority of the Bishops of this Church to take such order as may be permitted by the Rubrics of the Book of Common Prayer or by the Canons of the General Convention for the use of special forms of worship.

And be it further

ResolvedThat the General Convention direct the President of the House of Deputies and the Presiding Bishop to appoint a working groupof nine membersto include the Custodian of The Book of Common Prayer, some members of Committee 12 of the 80th General Convention, some members of a Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music, and others as needed to review the Canons relevant to the implementation of this Article and propose revisions to the 81st General Convention. An initial framework is provided as a starting point for this work; and be it further

ResolvedThat an allocation of $30,000 be made to support the work of the working group.

A157– Amend Article I Sec. 7

Resolved, That Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution be amended to read as follows: 

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Sec. 7. The General Convention shall hold its regular meeting not less than once in each three years, at a time and place determined in accordance with the Canons. In the event of a change of circumstances indicating the necessity or advisability of changing the date of such regular meeting of The General Convention beyond three years, said meeting may be rescheduled as provided by Canon. Special Meetings may be held as provided for by Canon.    

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Sec. 7. The General Convention shall meet hold its regular meeting not less than once in each three years, at a time and place determined in accordance with the Canons. In the event of a change of circumstances indicating the necessity or advisability of changing the date of such regular meeting of The General Convention beyond three years, said meeting may be rescheduled as provided by Canon. Special Meetings may be held as provided for by Canon.  

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