A132 Task Force to Study Congregational Vitality Indicators
Resolved, the House of Bishops concurring,
That the 80th General Convention authorizes the creation of a task force to study indicators of 21st century congregational vitality and how The Episcopal Church can collect data that measures those indicators; and be it further
Resolved, that the Presiding Bishop and President of the House of Deputies appoint the members of this task force, to include at least 2 bishops, 5 clergy, one of which must be a deacon, and 5 laypeople with appropriate representation from urban and rural congregations, congregations in which people of color are a majority, and congregations that represent the full geographic and economic diversity of the Episcopal Church; and be it further
Resolved, that the task force coordinate with the House of Deputies Committee on the State of the Church to ensure that the parochial report form is revised to collect data from congregations that will measure vitality in the 21st century; and be it further
Resolved, that the task force issue a report to the 81st General Convention that includes proposed canonical changes to codify the proposed measurements,; and be it further
Resolved, That the General Convention request the Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget and Finance to consider a budget allocation of $25,000 for the implementation of this resolution.
During this triennium, the House of Deputies State of the Church Committee has worked to revise the parochial report so that it collects data about congregational vitality that is meaningful in today’s church. That work has been hampered in two ways:
- The Episcopal Church does not have an agreed-upon understanding of what mission vitality means or how we should recognize it at the congregational level.
- The canons of the church frequently rely on outdated measurements including Communicants in Good Standing, Average Sunday Attendance, and other data that fails to capture the ways that many Episcopalians worship, serve and gather in the 21st As a result, we continue to collect and disseminate data that fails to provide leaders with useful information about the state of the church or how to foster vitality.
By establishing a task force to study indicators of vitality and recommend measurements of them, the General Convention can ensure that the data collected each year from congregations will help leaders at the churchwide, provincial and diocesan level understand the current realities of congregations and invest in mission vitality in new and innovative ways.