A083 Amend Various Canons Regarding Screening Prior to Ordination or Reception

Resolved, the House of Deputies concurring,

That Canon III.6.5.j.2 be amended 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.>

 III.6.

Sec. 5. Preparation for Ordination

a. The Bishop and the Commission shall work with the Postulant or Candidate to develop and monitor a program of preparation for ordination to the Diaconate in accordance with this Canon to ensure that pastoral guidance is provided throughout the period of preparation.

b. The Bishop may assign the Postulant or Candidate to any congregation of the Diocese or other community of faith after consultation with the Member of the Clergy or other leader exercising oversight.

c. Formation shall take into account the local culture and each Postulant or Candidate's background, age, occupation, and ministry.

d. Prior education and learning from life experience may be considered as part of the formation required for ordination.

e. Wherever possible, formation for the Diaconate shall take place in community, including other persons in preparation for the Diaconate, or others preparing for ministry.

f. Before ordination each Candidate shall be prepared in and demonstrate basic competence in five general areas:

1. Academic studies including, The Holy Scriptures, theology, and the tradition of the Church.

2. Diakonia and the diaconate.

3. Human awareness and understanding.

4. Spiritual development and discipline.

5. Practical training and experience.

g. Preparation for ordination shall include training regarding

1. prevention of sexual misconduct against both children and adults.

2. civil requirements for reporting and pastoral opportunities for responding to evidence of abuse.

3. the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church, particularly Title IV thereof.

4. the Church's teaching on racism.

h. Each Candidate for ordination to the Diaconate shall communicate with the Bishop in person or by letter, four times a year, in the Ember Weeks, reflecting on the Candidate's academic, diaconal, human, spiritual, and practical development.

i. During Candidacy each Candidate's progress shall be evaluated from time to time, and there shall be a written report of the evaluation by those authorized by the Commission to be in charge of the evaluation program. Upon certification by those in charge of the Candidate's program of preparation that the Candidate has successfully completed preparation and is ready for ordination, a final written assessment of readiness for ordination to the Diaconate shall be prepared as determined by the Bishop in consultation with the Commission. This report shall include a recommendation from the Commission regarding the readiness of the Candidate for ordination. Records shall be kept of all evaluations, assessments, and the recommendation, and shall be made available to the Standing Committee.

j. Within thirty-six months prior to ordination as a Deacon, the following must be accomplished

1. a background check, according to criteria established by the Bishop and Standing Committee.

2. medical, psychological, and substance, chemical and alcohol use and abuse and other addictive patterns evaluations by professionals approved by the Bishop, using forms prepared for the purpose by The Church Pension Fund, and if desired or necessary, psychiatric referral.

k. Reports of all investigations and examinations shall be kept permanently on file by the Bishop and remain a part of the permanent diocesan record.

And be it further

Resolved, That Canon III.8.5.k.2 be amended as follows:

III.8.

Sec. 5. Preparation for Ordination

a. The Bishop and the Commission shall work with the Postulant or Candidate to develop and monitor a program of preparation for ordination to the Priesthood and to ensure that pastoral guidance is provided throughout the period of preparation.

b. If the Postulant or Candidate has not previously obtained a baccalaureate degree, the Commission, Bishop, and Postulant or Candidate shall design a program of such additional academic work as may be necessary to prepare the Postulant or Candidate to undertake a program of theological education.

c. Formation shall take into account the local culture and each Postulant or Candidate’s background, age, occupation, and ministry.

d. Prior education and learning from life experience may be considered as part of the formation required for the Priesthood.

e. Whenever possible, formation for the Priesthood shall take place in community, including other persons in preparation for the Priesthood, or others preparing for ministry.

f. Formation shall include theological training, practical experience, emotional development, and spiritual formation.

g. Subject areas for study during this program of preparation shall include:

1. The Holy Scriptures.

2. History of the Christian Church.

3. Christian Theology.

4. Christian Ethics and Moral Theology.

5. Christian Worship according to the use of the Book of Common Prayer, the Hymnal, and authorized supplemental texts.

6. The Practice of Ministry in contemporary society, including leadership, evangelism, stewardship, ecumenism, interfaith relations, mission theology, and the historical and contemporary experience of racial and minority groups.

h. Preparation for ordination shall include training regarding

1. prevention of sexual misconduct against both children and adults.

2. civil requirements for reporting and pastoral opportunities for responding to evidence of abuse.

3. the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church, particularly Title IV thereof, utilizing, but not limited to use of, the Title IV training website of The Episcopal Church.

4. the Church’s teaching on racism.

i. Each Postulant or Candidate for ordination to the Priesthood shall communicate with the Bishop in person or by letter, four times a year, in the Ember Weeks, reflecting on the Candidate’s academic experience and personal and spiritual development.

j. The seminary or other formation program shall provide for, monitor, and report on the academic performance and personal qualifications of the Postulant or Candidate for ordination. These reports will be made upon request of the Bishop and Commission, but at least once per year.

k. Within thirty-six months prior to ordination as a Deacon under this Canon, the following must be accomplished

1. a background check, according to criteria established by the Bishop and Standing Committee.

2. medical, psychological, and substance, chemical and alcohol use and abuse and other addictive patterns evaluations by professionals approved by the Bishop, using forms prepared for the purpose by The Church Pension Fund, and if desired or necessary, psychiatric referral.

l. Reports of all investigations and examinations shall be kept permanently on file by the Bishop and remain a part of the permanent diocesan record.

And be it further

Resolved, That Canon III.8.7.a.3 be amended as follows:

III.8.7.

Sec. 7. Ordination to the Priesthood

a. A person may be ordained Priest:

1. after at least six months since ordination as a Deacon under this Canon and eighteen months from the time of acceptance of nomination by the Nominee as provided in III.8.2.b, and

2. upon attainment of at least twenty-four years of age, and

3. if the medical evaluation, psychological evaluation, substance, chemical and alcohol use and abuse and other addictive patterns evaluation, and background check have taken place or been updated within thirty-six months prior to ordination as a Priest.

b. The Bishop shall obtain in writing and provide to the Standing Committee:

1. an application from the Deacon requesting ordination as a Priest, including the Deacon's dates of admission to Postulancy and Candidacy and ordination as a Deacon under this Canon,

2. a letter of support from the Deacon's congregation or other community of faith, signed by at least two-thirds of the Vestry and the Member of the Clergy or other leader exercising oversight,

3. evidence of admission to Postulancy and Candidacy, including dates of admission, and ordination to the Diaconate,

4. a certificate from the seminary or other program of preparation, written at the completion of the program of preparation, showing the Deacon's scholastic record in the subjects required by the Canons, and giving an evaluation with recommendation as to the Deacon's other personal qualifications for ordination together with a recommendation regarding ordination to the Priesthood, and

5. a statement from the Commission attesting to the successful completion of the program of formation designed during Postulancy under Canon III.8.5, and proficiency in the required areas of study, and recommending the Deacon for ordination to the Priesthood.

c. On the receipt of such certificates, the Standing Committee, a majority of all the members consenting, shall certify that the canonical requirements for ordination to the Priesthood have been met and there is no sufficient objection on medical, psychological, moral, or spiritual grounds and that they recommend ordination, by a testimonial addressed to the Bishop in the form specified below and signed by the consenting members of the Standing Committee.

To the Right Reverend _____________, Bishop of ____________ We, the Standing Committee of __________, having been duly convened at _____________, do testify that A.B., desiring to be ordained to the Priesthood, has presented to us the certificates as required by the Canons indicating A.B.'s preparedness for ordination to the Priesthood have been met; and we certify that all canonical requirements for ordination to the Priesthood have been met, and we find no sufficient objection to ordination. Therefore, we recommend A.B. for ordination. In witness whereof, we have hereunto set our hands this ______ day of _____, in the year of our Lord _____.

(Signed)  ____________________________________________________

d. The testimonial having been presented to the Bishop, and there being no sufficient objection on medical, psychological, moral, or spiritual grounds, the Bishop may ordain the Deacon to the Priesthood; and at the time of ordination the Deacon shall subscribe publicly and make, in the presence of the Bishop, the declaration required in Article VIII of the Constitution.

e. No Deacon shall be ordained to the Priesthood until having been appointed to serve in a Parochial Cure within the jurisdiction of this Church, or as a Missionary under the Ecclesiastical Authority of a Diocese, or as an officer of a Missionary Society recognized by the General Convention, or as a Chaplain of the Armed Services of the United States, or as a Chaplain in a recognized hospital or other welfare institution, or as a Chaplain or instructor in a school, college, or other seminary, or with other opportunity for the exercise of the office of Priest within the Church judged appropriate by the Bishop.

f. A person ordained to the Diaconate under Canon III.6 who subsequently expresses a call to the Priesthood shall apply to the Bishop Diocesan and the Commission on Ministry. The Commission on Ministry and Bishop Diocesan shall ensure that the Deacon meets the formational requirements set forth in III.8.5.g and shall recommend such additional steps as may be necessary and required. Upon completion of these requirements and those required for Postulancy and Candidacy as set forth in Canon III.8, the Deacon may be ordained to the Priesthood.

And be it further

Resolved, That Canon III.10.1.b be amended as follows:

III.10.

Sec. 1. Prior to reception or ordination, the following must be provided

a. a background check, according to criteria established by the Bishop and Standing Committee, and

b. medical, psychological, and substance, chemical and alcohol use and abuse and other addictive patterns evaluations by professionals approved by the Bishop, using forms prepared for the purpose by The Church Pension Fund, and if desired or necessary, psychiatric referral. If the medical examination, psychological examination, or background check have taken place more than thirty-six months prior to reception or ordination they must be updated.

c. evidence of training regarding

1. prevention of sexual misconduct.

2. civil requirements for reporting and pastoral opportunities for responding to evidence of abuse.

3. the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church, particularly Title IV thereof.

4. training regarding the Church’s teaching on racism.

d. Reports of all investigations and examinations shall be kept permanently on file by the Bishop and remain a part of the permanent diocesan record.

e. Prior to reception or ordination each clergy person shall be assigned a mentor Priest by the Bishop in consultation with the Commission on Ministry. The mentor and clergy person shall meet regularly to provide the clergy person an opportunity for guidance, information, and a sustained dialogue about ministry in The Episcopal Church.

And be if further

Resolved, That Canon III.11.3.a.2 be amended as follows:

III.11.

Sec. 3

a. The Standing Committee of the Diocese for which the Bishop has been elected shall by its President, or by some person or persons specially appointed, immediately send to the Presiding Bishop and to the Standing Committees of the several Dioceses a certificate of the election by the Secretary of Convention of the Diocese, bearing a statement of receipt of:

1. evidence of the Bishop-elect’s having been duly ordered Deacon and Priest;

2. certificates from a licensed medical doctor and licensed psychiatrist, authorized by the Presiding Bishop, that they have thoroughly examined the Bishop-elect as to that person’s medical, psychological, psychiatric and substance, chemical and alcohol use and abuse and other addictive patterns conditions and have not discovered any reason why the person would not be fit to undertake the work for which the person has been chosen. Forms and procedures agreed to by the Presiding Bishop and The Church Pension Fund shall be used for this purpose; and

3. evidence that a testimonial in the following form was signed by a constitutional majority of the Convention:
We, whose names are hereunder written, fully sensible of how important it is that the Sacred Order and Office of a Bishop should not be unworthily conferred, and firmly persuaded that it is our duty to bear testimony on this solemn occasion without partiality, do, in the presence of Almighty God, testify that we know of no impediment on account of which the Reverend A.B. ought not to be ordained to that Holy Office. We do, moreover, jointly and severally declare that we believe the Reverend A.B. to have been duly and lawfully elected and to be of such sufficiency in learning, of such soundness in the Faith, and of such godly character as to be able to exercise the Office of a Bishop to the honor of God and the edifying of the Church, and to be a wholesome example to the flock of Christ.

(Date)  _____________________________________________________

(Signed)  ____________________________________________________

The Presiding Bishop, without delay, shall notify every Bishop of this Church exercising jurisdiction of the Presiding Bishop’s receipt of the certificates mentioned in this Section and request a statement of consent or withholding of consent. Each Standing Committee, in not more than one hundred and twenty days after the sending by the electing body of the certificate of the election, shall respond by sending the Standing Committee of the Diocese for which the Bishop is elected either the testimonial of consent in the form set out in paragraph (b) of this Section or written notice of its refusal to give consent. If a majority of the Standing Committees of all the Dioceses consents to the ordination of the Bishop-elect, the Standing Committee of the Diocese for which the Bishop is elected shall then forward the evidence of the consent, with the other necessary certificates required in this Section (documents described in Sec. 3.a.2 of this Canon), to the Presiding Bishop. If the Presiding Bishop receives sufficient statements to indicate a majority of those Bishops consent to the ordination, the Presiding Bishop shall, without delay, notify the Standing Committee of the Diocese for which the Bishop is elected and the Bishop-elect of the consent.

b. Evidence of the consent of each Standing Committee shall be a testimonial in the following words, signed by a majority of all the members of the Committee:

We, being a majority of all the members of the Standing Committee of , and having been duly convened, fully sensible how important it is that the Sacred Order and Office of a Bishop should not be unworthily conferred, and firmly persuaded that it is our duty to bear testimony on this solemn occasion without partiality, do, in the presence of Almighty God, testify that we know of no impediment on account of which the Reverend A.B. ought not to be ordained to that Holy Order. In witness whereof, we have hereunto set our hands this _____ day of _____ in the year of our Lord _____.

(Signed)  _________________________________________________

c. Testimonials required of the Standing Committee by this Title must be signed by a majority of the whole Committee, at a meeting duly convened, except that testimonials may be executed in counterparts, any of which may be delivered by facsimile or other electronic transmission, each of which shall be deemed an original.

 

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III.6.

Sec. 5. Preparation for Ordination

a. The Bishop and the Commission shall work with the Postulant or Candidate to develop and monitor a program of preparation for ordination to the Diaconate in accordance with this Canon to ensure that pastoral guidance is provided throughout the period of preparation.

b. The Bishop may assign the Postulant or Candidate to any congregation of the Diocese or other community of faith after consultation with the Member of the Clergy or other leader exercising oversight.

c. Formation shall take into account the local culture and each Postulant or Candidate's background, age, occupation, and ministry.

d. Prior education and learning from life experience may be considered as part of the formation required for ordination.

e. Wherever possible, formation for the Diaconate shall take place in community, including other persons in preparation for the Diaconate, or others preparing for ministry.

f. Before ordination each Candidate shall be prepared in and demonstrate basic competence in five general areas:

1. Academic studies including, The Holy Scriptures, theology, and the tradition of the Church.

2. Diakonia and the diaconate.

3. Human awareness and understanding.

4. Spiritual development and discipline.

5. Practical training and experience.

g. Preparation for ordination shall include training regarding

1. prevention of sexual misconduct against both children and adults.

2. civil requirements for reporting and pastoral opportunities for responding to evidence of abuse.

3. the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church, particularly Title IV thereof.

4. the Church's teaching on racism.

h. Each Candidate for ordination to the Diaconate shall communicate with the Bishop in person or by letter, four times a year, in the Ember Weeks, reflecting on the Candidate's academic, diaconal, human, spiritual, and practical development.

i. During Candidacy each Candidate's progress shall be evaluated from time to time, and there shall be a written report of the evaluation by those authorized by the Commission to be in charge of the evaluation program. Upon certification by those in charge of the Candidate's program of preparation that the Candidate has successfully completed preparation and is ready for ordination, a final written assessment of readiness for ordination to the Diaconate shall be prepared as determined by the Bishop in consultation with the Commission. This report shall include a recommendation from the Commission regarding the readiness of the Candidate for ordination. Records shall be kept of all evaluations, assessments, and the recommendation, and shall be made available to the Standing Committee.

j. Within thirty-six months prior to ordination as a Deacon, the following must be accomplished

1. a background check, according to criteria established by the Bishop and Standing Committee.

2. medical, and psychological, and substance, chemical and alcohol use and abuse and other addictive patterns evaluations by professionals approved by the Bishop, using forms prepared for the purpose by The Church Pension Fund, and if desired or necessary, psychiatric referral.

k. Reports of all investigations and examinations shall be kept permanently on file by the Bishop and remain a part of the permanent diocesan record.

And be it further

Resolved, That Canon III.8.5.k.2 be amended as follows:

III.8.

Sec. 5. Preparation for Ordination

a. The Bishop and the Commission shall work with the Postulant or Candidate to develop and monitor a program of preparation for ordination to the Priesthood and to ensure that pastoral guidance is provided throughout the period of preparation.

b. If the Postulant or Candidate has not previously obtained a baccalaureate degree, the Commission, Bishop, and Postulant or Candidate shall design a program of such additional academic work as may be necessary to prepare the Postulant or Candidate to undertake a program of theological education.

c. Formation shall take into account the local culture and each Postulant or Candidate’s background, age, occupation, and ministry.

d. Prior education and learning from life experience may be considered as part of the formation required for the Priesthood.

e. Whenever possible, formation for the Priesthood shall take place in community, including other persons in preparation for the Priesthood, or others preparing for ministry.

f. Formation shall include theological training, practical experience, emotional development, and spiritual formation.

g. Subject areas for study during this program of preparation shall include:

1. The Holy Scriptures.

2. History of the Christian Church.

3. Christian Theology.

4. Christian Ethics and Moral Theology.

5. Christian Worship according to the use of the Book of Common Prayer, the Hymnal, and authorized supplemental texts.

6. The Practice of Ministry in contemporary society, including leadership, evangelism, stewardship, ecumenism, interfaith relations, mission theology, and the historical and contemporary experience of racial and minority groups.

h. Preparation for ordination shall include training regarding

1. prevention of sexual misconduct against both children and adults.

2. civil requirements for reporting and pastoral opportunities for responding to evidence of abuse.

3. the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church, particularly Title IV thereof, utilizing, but not limited to use of, the Title IV training website of The Episcopal Church.

4. the Church’s teaching on racism.

i. Each Postulant or Candidate for ordination to the Priesthood shall communicate with the Bishop in person or by letter, four times a year, in the Ember Weeks, reflecting on the Candidate’s academic experience and personal and spiritual development.

j. The seminary or other formation program shall provide for, monitor, and report on the academic performance and personal qualifications of the Postulant or Candidate for ordination. These reports will be made upon request of the Bishop and Commission, but at least once per year.

k. Within thirty-six months prior to ordination as a Deacon under this Canon, the following must be accomplished

1. a background check, according to criteria established by the Bishop and Standing Committee.

2. medical, and psychological, and substance, chemical and alcohol use and abuse and other addictive patterns evaluations by professionals approved by the Bishop, using forms prepared for the purpose by The Church Pension Fund, and if desired or necessary, psychiatric referral.

l. Reports of all investigations and examinations shall be kept permanently on file by the Bishop and remain a part of the permanent diocesan record.

And be it further

Resolved, That Canon III.8.7.a.3 be amended as follows:

III.8.7.

Sec. 7. Ordination to the Priesthood

a. A person may be ordained Priest:

1. after at least six months since ordination as a Deacon under this Canon and eighteen months from the time of acceptance of nomination by the Nominee as provided in III.8.2.b, and

2. upon attainment of at least twenty-four years of age, and

3. if the medical evaluation, psychological evaluation, substance, chemical and alcohol use and abuse and other addictive patterns evaluation, and background check have taken place or been updated within thirty-six months prior to ordination as a Priest.

b. The Bishop shall obtain in writing and provide to the Standing Committee:

1. an application from the Deacon requesting ordination as a Priest, including the Deacon's dates of admission to Postulancy and Candidacy and ordination as a Deacon under this Canon,

2. a letter of support from the Deacon's congregation or other community of faith, signed by at least two-thirds of the Vestry and the Member of the Clergy or other leader exercising oversight,

3. evidence of admission to Postulancy and Candidacy, including dates of admission, and ordination to the Diaconate,

4. a certificate from the seminary or other program of preparation, written at the completion of the program of preparation, showing the Deacon's scholastic record in the subjects required by the Canons, and giving an evaluation with recommendation as to the Deacon's other personal qualifications for ordination together with a recommendation regarding ordination to the Priesthood, and

5. a statement from the Commission attesting to the successful completion of the program of formation designed during Postulancy under Canon III.8.5, and proficiency in the required areas of study, and recommending the Deacon for ordination to the Priesthood.

c. On the receipt of such certificates, the Standing Committee, a majority of all the members consenting, shall certify that the canonical requirements for ordination to the Priesthood have been met and there is no sufficient objection on medical, psychological, moral, or spiritual grounds and that they recommend ordination, by a testimonial addressed to the Bishop in the form specified below and signed by the consenting members of the Standing Committee.

To the Right Reverend _____________, Bishop of ____________ We, the Standing Committee of __________, having been duly convened at _____________, do testify that A.B., desiring to be ordained to the Priesthood, has presented to us the certificates as required by the Canons indicating A.B.'s preparedness for ordination to the Priesthood have been met; and we certify that all canonical requirements for ordination to the Priesthood have been met, and we find no sufficient objection to ordination. Therefore, we recommend A.B. for ordination. In witness whereof, we have hereunto set our hands this ______ day of _____, in the year of our Lord _____.

(Signed)  ____________________________________________________

d. The testimonial having been presented to the Bishop, and there being no sufficient objection on medical, psychological, moral, or spiritual grounds, the Bishop may ordain the Deacon to the Priesthood; and at the time of ordination the Deacon shall subscribe publicly and make, in the presence of the Bishop, the declaration required in Article VIII of the Constitution.

e. No Deacon shall be ordained to the Priesthood until having been appointed to serve in a Parochial Cure within the jurisdiction of this Church, or as a Missionary under the Ecclesiastical Authority of a Diocese, or as an officer of a Missionary Society recognized by the General Convention, or as a Chaplain of the Armed Services of the United States, or as a Chaplain in a recognized hospital or other welfare institution, or as a Chaplain or instructor in a school, college, or other seminary, or with other opportunity for the exercise of the office of Priest within the Church judged appropriate by the Bishop.

f. A person ordained to the Diaconate under Canon III.6 who subsequently expresses a call to the Priesthood shall apply to the Bishop Diocesan and the Commission on Ministry. The Commission on Ministry and Bishop Diocesan shall ensure that the Deacon meets the formational requirements set forth in III.8.5.g and shall recommend such additional steps as may be necessary and required. Upon completion of these requirements and those required for Postulancy and Candidacy as set forth in Canon III.8, the Deacon may be ordained to the Priesthood.

And be it further

Resolved, That Canon III.10.1.b be amended as follows:

III.10.

Sec. 1. Prior to reception or ordination, the following must be provided

a. a background check, according to criteria established by the Bishop and Standing Committee, and

b. medical, and psychological, and substance, chemical and alcohol use and abuse and other addictive patterns evaluations by professionals approved by the Bishop, using forms prepared for the purpose by The Church Pension Fund, and if desired or necessary, psychiatric referral. If the medical examination, psychological examination, or background check have taken place more than thirty-six months prior to reception or ordination they must be updated.

c. evidence of training regarding

1. prevention of sexual misconduct.

2. civil requirements for reporting and pastoral opportunities for responding to evidence of abuse.

3. the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church, particularly Title IV thereof.

4. training regarding the Church’s teaching on racism.

d. Reports of all investigations and examinations shall be kept permanently on file by the Bishop and remain a part of the permanent diocesan record.

e. Prior to reception or ordination each clergy person shall be assigned a mentor Priest by the Bishop in consultation with the Commission on Ministry. The mentor and clergy person shall meet regularly to provide the clergy person an opportunity for guidance, information, and a sustained dialogue about ministry in The Episcopal Church.

And be if further

Resolved, That Canon III.11.3.a.2 be amended as follows:

III.11.

Sec. 3

a. The Standing Committee of the Diocese for which the Bishop has been elected shall by its President, or by some person or persons specially appointed, immediately send to the Presiding Bishop and to the Standing Committees of the several Dioceses a certificate of the election by the Secretary of Convention of the Diocese, bearing a statement of receipt of:

1. evidence of the Bishop-elect’s having been duly ordered Deacon and Priest;

2. certificates from a licensed medical doctor and licensed psychiatrist, authorized by the Presiding Bishop, that they have thoroughly examined the Bishop-elect as to that person’s medical, psychological, and psychiatric and substance, chemical and alcohol use and abuse and other addictive patterns conditions and have not discovered any reason why the person would not be fit to undertake the work for which the person has been chosen. Forms and procedures agreed to by the Presiding Bishop and The Church Pension Fund shall be used for this purpose; and

3. evidence that a testimonial in the following form was signed by a constitutional majority of the Convention:
We, whose names are hereunder written, fully sensible of how important it is that the Sacred Order and Office of a Bishop should not be unworthily conferred, and firmly persuaded that it is our duty to bear testimony on this solemn occasion without partiality, do, in the presence of Almighty God, testify that we know of no impediment on account of which the Reverend A.B. ought not to be ordained to that Holy Office. We do, moreover, jointly and severally declare that we believe the Reverend A.B. to have been duly and lawfully elected and to be of such sufficiency in learning, of such soundness in the Faith, and of such godly character as to be able to exercise the Office of a Bishop to the honor of God and the edifying of the Church, and to be a wholesome example to the flock of Christ.

(Date)  _____________________________________________________

(Signed)  ____________________________________________________

The Presiding Bishop, without delay, shall notify every Bishop of this Church exercising jurisdiction of the Presiding Bishop’s receipt of the certificates mentioned in this Section and request a statement of consent or withholding of consent. Each Standing Committee, in not more than one hundred and twenty days after the sending by the electing body of the certificate of the election, shall respond by sending the Standing Committee of the Diocese for which the Bishop is elected either the testimonial of consent in the form set out in paragraph (b) of this Section or written notice of its refusal to give consent. If a majority of the Standing Committees of all the Dioceses consents to the ordination of the Bishop-elect, the Standing Committee of the Diocese for which the Bishop is elected shall then forward the evidence of the consent, with the other necessary certificates required in this Section (documents described in Sec. 3.a.2 of this Canon), to the Presiding Bishop. If the Presiding Bishop receives sufficient statements to indicate a majority of those Bishops consent to the ordination, the Presiding Bishop shall, without delay, notify the Standing Committee of the Diocese for which the Bishop is elected and the Bishop-elect of the consent.

b. Evidence of the consent of each Standing Committee shall be a testimonial in the following words, signed by a majority of all the members of the Committee:

We, being a majority of all the members of the Standing Committee of , and having been duly convened, fully sensible how important it is that the Sacred Order and Office of a Bishop should not be unworthily conferred, and firmly persuaded that it is our duty to bear testimony on this solemn occasion without partiality, do, in the presence of Almighty God, testify that we know of no impediment on account of which the Reverend A.B. ought not to be ordained to that Holy Order. In witness whereof, we have hereunto set our hands this _____ day of _____ in the year of our Lord _____.

(Signed)  _________________________________________________

c. Testimonials required of the Standing Committee by this Title must be signed by a majority of the whole Committee, at a meeting duly convened, except that testimonials may be executed in counterparts, any of which may be delivered by facsimile or other electronic transmission, each of which shall be deemed an original.