Resolved, the House of _______ concurring, That the 79th General Convention finds it to be in the best interests of The Episcopal Church that all dioceses and other jurisdictions of the Church engage in the process of a missional review periodically but no less often than prior to engaging in an episcopal search process; and be it further
Resolved, That missional reviews include, but not be limited to, asking questions such as:
- Is the diocesan infrastructure capable of permitting people to exercise their ministries in healthy and life-giving ways? Is the staffing sufficient? Does it have the capacity to use its resources, and potentially, the resources of other dioceses?
- Are the staff (including the bishop(s)) compensated appropriately, according to local diocesan guidelines and the recommendations of General Convention including pension contributions and healthcare and in a timely manner?
- Is the diocese capable of fulfilling its financial obligations, including those in its own budget and its assessment to be paid to The Episcopal Church?
- Is the diocese capable of deploying and implementing programs for the congregations (i.e., safe church training, anti-racism training, stewardship programs, vestry training, festivals and meetings)?
- Are the diocesan properties safe, sound, and insured? Are there resources (financial or otherwise) available to assist congregations in crisis?
- Are there enough people to fill leadership roles to implement mission and vision?
- Is there enough spiritual health in the congregations?
And be it further
Resolved, That dioceses participating in a missional review be urged to seek collaboration and a sharing of ideas and visions with surrounding dioceses; and be it further
Resolved, That the knowledge, insights, and wisdom gained by a missional review be used to help define the gifts and talents that a bishop might bring to the diocese.
It has become more commonplace for a clergy vacancy within local congregations of a diocese to prompt a time of discernment beyond that particular congregation. Dioceses are encouraging individual congregations to look for synergies and opportunities within a wider missional area as a matter of practice – and separately from the existence of a vacancy in the clergy leadership. Through the work of partnerships, shared ministry, and regional teams, individual congregations whose resources to stand alone may be insufficient have found and are finding new models for combination and collaboration and for being the Church in their mission field(s). A missional review process would prompt a diocese to engage in a comparable discernment and reflection process, regardless of an anticipated or existing episcopal vacancy.
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