A136 Establish a Standing Commission on Formation and Ministry Development

Original version

Resolved, the House of _______ concurring,

That a Standing Commission on Formation and Ministry Development shall be established, which shall coordinate and encourage the development of all orders of ministry, encouraging and engaging all the baptized in the work of building up the church and developing best practices to ensure all churches benefit from the diversity of leadership gifts God has given us.

It shall be the duty of the Commission to:

(i) Recommend policies and strategies to the General Convention for the affirmation, development, and exercise of ministry by all baptized persons (lay persons, bishops, priests and deacons).

(ii) Support Diocesan Commissions on Ministry in their support of the ministry of all the baptized, Title III Canons 1 & 2

(iii) Develop and recommend to the General Convention comprehensive and coordinated policies for people across all ages and stages of life for lifelong formation as Christians and citizens.

(iv) Recommend strategies to General Convention for the development and support of networks of individuals, diocesan committees and commissions, agencies and institutions engaged in recruitment, gifts of discernment, education and training for ministry, leadership development, hiring, and deployment.

(v) Study the needs and trends of vocational opportunities for ordained leaders within and outside the Church and the appropriate formation required to live into those opportunities.

(vi) Recommend policies and strategies to the General Convention to ensure the fair hiring and compensation of lay and ordained employees in all ministry settings, with special attention to parity across those lines which have historically divided us, including but not limited to race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disabilities, or age, except as otherwise provided by these Canons.

Explanation

During this triennium it has become clear that there is significant work needed in this area. Many of the tasks that have come to the Standing Commission on Structure, Governance, Constitution and Canons have exceeded our Standing Commission’s mandate. Restoring a single Standing Commission to focus on ministry and formation would allow much more significant work in support of the ministry and formation of all the baptized.
In particular regards to (v), it has been made clear in the 2015 Clergy Compensation Report available on Church Pension Group’s website that a significant gender pay gap continues in The Episcopal Church. This is just one clear data point that affirms the fact that sexism and discrimination are still realities for so many in leadership across the church. Given the fact that equality for women has long been a priority of both the Anglican Communion and The Episcopal Church, this issue also deserves the attention of a Standing Commission.


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