A156 Amend Canon III.11.1

Resolved, the House of Bishops concurring, That Canon III.11.1 is hereby amended to read as follows:

Sec. 1(a) Discernment of vocation to be a Bishop occurs through a process of election in accordance with the rules prescribed by the Convention of the Diocese and pursuant to the provisions of the Constitution and Canons of this Church.

(b) With respect to the election of a Bishop Diocesan, Bishop Coadjutor, or Bishop Suffragan or Assistant Bishop, the Diocese or, in in the case of a Missionary Bishop, the Missionary Diocese or House of Bishops in accordance with the decision of the Missionary Diocese pursuant to Canon III.11.9(c)(1)-(3), shall establish a nominating process either by Canon or by the adoption of rules and procedure procedures for the election of the Bishop Suffragan at a regular or special Diocesan Convention with sufficient time preceding the election of the Bishop Suffragan. The election will be held in accordance with this Canon III.11.

(c) (i) No more than twelve months before a Diocese or Missionary Diocese requests the consents under subsection (d) to holding an election of a Bishop Diocesan, Bishop Coadjutor, Bishop Suffragan, Assistant Bishop, or Missionary Bishop, the Diocese or Missionary Diocese shall complete a missional review of the Diocese to ascertain and articulate the needs, hopes, aspirations, and resources of the diocese as it participates in God’s mission. The missional review shall include consultation with neighboring dioceses and should utilize extra-diocesan consultants when possible. The requirement of a missional review shall apply to elections held on or after January 1, 2019 2020, and this sentence shall be deleted from the canons at the adjournment of the 80th General Convention without the necessity of further action of the General Convention unless the 80th General Convention determines otherwise.

(ii) The results of such a missional review shall be communicated to the Presiding Bishop and Executive Council of The Episcopal Church who shall each offer an assessment of the Missional Review.

(iii) The assessments of the Presiding Bishop and Executive Council shall be communicated to each Bishop exercising jurisdiction and Standing Committee in advance of their consent to the call of the election of the Bishop Diocesan, Bishop Coadjutor, Bishop Suffragan, Assistant Bishop, or Missionary Bishop.

(d) Before the election of a Bishop Diocesan, Bishop Coadjutor, Bishop Suffragan, Assistant Bishop, or Missionary Bishop in a Diocese or Missionary Diocese, the consent to the holding of the election from a majority of the Bishops exercising jurisdiction and a majority of the several Standing Committees must be obtained.

(e) The consent of a majority of the Bishops exercising jurisdiction and the majority of Standing Committees must be obtained to the election of the person to serve as Bishop Diocesan, Bishop Coadjutor, Bishop Suffragan, Assistant Bishop, or Missionary Bishop as set forth In Canons III.11.3.

(b) (f) In lieu of electing a Bishop, the Convention of a Diocese may request that an election be made on its behalf by the House of Bishops of the Province of which the Diocese is a part, subject to confirmation by the Provincial Synod, or it may request that an election be made on its behalf by the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church.

(1) If either option in Sec. l(b) 1(f) is chosen, a special Joint Nominating Committee shall be appointed unless the Diocesan Convention has otherwise provided for the nominating process. The Committee shall be composed of three persons from the Diocese, appointed by its Standing Committee, and three members of the electoral body, appointed by the President of that body. The Joint Nominating Committee shall elect its own officers and shall nominate three persons whose names it shall communicate to the Presiding Officer of the electoral body. The Presiding Officer shall communicate the names of the nominees to the electoral body at least three weeks before the election when the names shall be formally placed in nomination. Opportunity shall be given for nominations from the floor or by petition, in either case with provision for adequate background checks.

(2) If either option in Sec. l(b) 1(f) is chosen, the evidence of the election shall be a certificate signed by the Presiding Officer of the electoral body and by its Secretary, with a testimonial signed by a constitutional majority of the body, in the form required in Canon III.11.3, which shall be sent to the Standing Committee of the Diocese on whose behalf the election was held. The Standing Committee shall thereupon proceed as set forth in Canon III.11.3.

(c) (g) The Secretary of the body electing a Bishop Diocesan, Bishop Coadjutor, or Bishop Suffragan, shall inform the Presiding Bishop promptly of the name of the person elected. It shall be the duty of the Bishop-elect to notify the Presiding Bishop of acceptance or declination of the election, at the same time as the Bishop-elect notifies the electing Diocese.

(d) (h) No Diocese shall elect a Bishop within thirty days before a meeting of the General Convention.

And be it further

Resolved, 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 the Office of Pastoral Development, assisted by the Task Force to Assist the Office of Pastoral Development, develop questionnaires and forms setting forth matters to be reviewed and protocols for performing the review, and recruit and train Missional Review Consultants to guide and assist dioceses in performing missional reviews; and be it further

Resolved, That missional reviews may 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.


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