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The Episcopal New Yorker Episcopal New York_Winter 2016 : Page 1

Merry Christmas Evangelism and Happy New Year! Issue THE EPISCOPAL NEW YORKER THE OFFICIAL NEWS PUBLICATION OF THE EPISCOPAL DIOCESE OF NEW YORK YORKSUMMER 2014 WINTER 2016 IN THIS ISSUE Bishops Pages 3-7 Diocesan Convention Gives Green Light for Change By Nicholas Richardson Convention Page 8 Diocesan Budget Page 10 Episcopal Charities Page 16 Congregational Vitality Page 12 Pokémon Go Pages 13 Standing Rock Pages 14 Acolytes Pages 18 Cathedral Page 20 McIntyre Page 21 Baking for Good Page 25 he words “strategic plan” and “canonical changes” may have a dry, legalistic and worldly ring to them, but there were clear signs of the Holy Spirit at work in T arrytown Nov 5. That afternoon, delegates to the Diocesan Convention unanimously approved—with, as Bishop Dietsche afterwards observed, “not one red card”—extensive canonical amendments that, as he said in his address earlier in the day, fundamentally reform the canonical and budgetary struc-tures of the diocese upon which foundation is built our life as a church, our mission, and our ministry to serve the church of 2016 and beyond. (Continued on page 8) T

Diocesan Convention Gives Green Light For Change

Nicholas Richardson

The words “strategic plan” and “canonical changes” may have a dry, legalistic and worldly ring to them, but there were clear signs of the Holy Spirit at work in Tarrytown Nov 5. That afternoon, delegates to the Diocesan Convention unanimously approved—with, as Bishop Dietsche afterwards observed, “not one red card”—extensive canonical amendments that, as he said in his address earlier in the day, fundamentally reform the canonical and budgetary structures of the diocese upon which foundation is built our life as a church, our mission, and our ministry to serve the church of 2016 and beyond.

These changes to the canons, submitted by Strategic Plan Task Force A (Governance and Diocesan Structures) were extensive, and may be read in full, with comprehensive explanation, in the Strategic Planning Process Report and Proposals (please go to http://episnyd.io/dioconv16 and then click on the link to “Strategic Plan Document.”) Among the most significant changes were:

• An adjustment to the canon related to the parish assessment (now renamed “apportioned share”) to “ensure that in the year following a deferral or reduction in a congregation’s apportioned share the apportioned share is determined by the full formula” rather being calculated as the reduced amount plus 12.5% (the usual cap on annual increases).

• Reinstatement of Interparish Councils “as a chief tool in organizing groups of congregations together for mission”

• A complete overhaul of the mission canon “to effectively deal with new realities and the conclusion of the Congregational Support Plan,” including renaming missions as “Congregations in Strategic Settings” in order to clearly describe these congregations as being in the “front line of ministry, supported by the diocese.”

• A new canon on “Aided Intervention for Vulnerable Congregations” intended to provide “the spiritual and temporal resources of the diocese to aid congregations that have become unsustainable” including “the means whereby a congregation can collaborate with the diocese to create sustainability.”

[Quotes above are from the narrative of the changes, to be found on page 41ff in the Report and Proposals.]

In addition to the canonical changes described above and the diocesan budget for 2017, a number of other resolutions were passed by the convention. Two of these were submitted by Strategic Plan Task Force B (Congregations):

• “Towards Building Our Common Life” calls, among other things, for the institution of an annual diocesan-wide shared Bible Study in English and Spanish; a continued Indaba experience on a triennial rotation; for each member of a congregation to be encouraged to give a minimum of five hours of gift work annually to other congregations, diocesan commissions, committees or Episcopal Church programs; for Eastertide be a season of pulpit exchange; and for “diocesan-wide festivals for acolytes, altar guilds, dancers, liturgists, musicians, preachers, psalmists and poets, visual and media artists [to] be called by the Commission on Liturgy to build the excellence of our services and inspire passionate worship in the people of God.”

• “Determining Congregational Health and Viability” lays out a plan for congregations to identify areas in which they fall short of defined standards of “viability, sustainability, and strategic potential to effect Christ’s mission in the world”; for those congregations which do so beyond a certain point to seek assistance from the bishop’s staff; and, where they do so repeatedly, for those congregations to be referred to the provisions of the new Canon on Aided Intervention for Vulnerable Congregations to formulate next steps.

Additional resolutions were passed to:

• Provide for continuing financial education for clergy and financial leaders of congregations

• Encourage the use of the Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism

• Address, prevent and denounce domestic violence.

The author is editor of The Episcopal New Yorker and the diocese’s director of communications.

Minimum Clergy Compensation

A resolution was passed to raise the minimum annual stipend for Clergy by 4.0% effective January 1, 2017, to the following levels:

Ordained fewer than 3 years: $43,000

Ordained 3 to 10 years: $47,900

Ordained 10 to 15 years: $48,400

Ordained over 15 years: $54,800

For links to all Diocesan Convention resources, please visit http://episnyd.io/dioconv16.

Read the full article at http://www.evergreeneditions.com/article/Diocesan+Convention+Gives+Green+Light+For+Change/2675467/371988/article.html.

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