D023 Amend Canons III.6.5(g)(4), III.8.5(h)(4), and III.10.1.(c)(4) and Estabish Task Force

Original version

Resolved, the House of _______ concurring, That the 79th General Convention establish an Anti-Sexism Task Force to research and develop a training program for the purpose of addressing the systemic sexism within the church and the larger society with the goals of raising awareness of bias, eliminating sexist hiring practices within the church, and identifying intersectionalities of discrimination across multiple cultural identities; ; and, be it further

Resolved, That the Task Force be appointed consisting of 3 bishops, 3 priests, 2 deacons, and 5 lay persons, with the Presiding Bishop appointing the bishop members, and the President of the House of Deputies appointing the priests, deacons, and lay members. At least one half will be women with at least one woman appointed for each of the orders; and, be it further

Resolved, That the Task Force complete development of the training program by December 31, 2019; and be it further

Resolved, That the Task Force shall submit the training program to Executive Council for its approval by December 31, 2019; and be it further

Resolved, That the training, once developed and approved for use, be required for all bishops, priests and deacons, and all lay persons elected to leadership in The Episcopal Church including, but not limited to, Executive Council, diocesan Standing Committees, diocesan Councils, diocesan Boards of Trustee, and similar bodies by whatever name, diocesan search committees for the election of bishops and be encouraged for use by all congregational search committees; and be it further

Resolved, That the General Convention request that the Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget and Finance consider a budget allocation of $60,000 for the implementation of this resolution; and, be it further

Resolved, That Canon III.6.5(g) be amended to read as follows:

(g) Preparation for ordination shall include 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) the Church’s teaching on racism and sexism.

And be it further,

Resolved, That Canon III.8.5(h), be amended to read as follows:

(h) Preparation for ordination shall include 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) the Church’s teaching on racism and sexism.

And be it further,

Resolved, That Canon III.10.1.(c) be amended to read as follows:

(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) the Church’s teaching on racism and sexism.

And be it further,

Resolved, That Canon III.12.1 be amended to read as follows:

Sec. 1. Formation

Following election and continuing for three years following ordination, new Bishops shall pursue the process of formation authorized by the House of Bishops. This process of formation shall provide a mentor for each newly ordained Bishop. The process of formation shall include 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) the Church’s teaching on racism and sexism.

And be it further,

Resolved, That this Task Force shall report to Executive Council yearly, and to the 80th General Convention on the status of the training implementation with recommendations for continued development and improvement.

Explanation

The equitable treatment of any human being is central to God’s commandment to love our neighbor. Yet, it is clear from data on clergy compensation, and anecdotal reports by women in the church, both clergy and lay, that sexism is still a sin for which the church must repent. It is easy to suggest that because there are women clergy, with several as bishops, and one having served as Presiding Bishop, that we, the church, are somehow in a Post-Sexism era. As we know from similar arguments with regard to race upon the election of the first African-American President of the United States and Presiding Bishop, that is simply not the case.
The data from Church Pension Group (CPG) makes it clear that women clergy still face enormous challenges with regard to hiring and compensation.1 The church should be at the forefront of equal opportunity for all, but it is far from that mark. There are still some places in The Episcopal Church where women clergy stand no chance of employment, and have faced difficulties in the ordination process. Adding to the inequity is that the gap in compensation follows women clergy through to their retirement, as that is compensation based.
Further, women clergy have reported sexual harassment, and inequality in the workplace, by peers, episcopal leadership, and those they serve – the laity. These reports mirror that of the society in which we live, and include inappropriate touching, diminishing comments, and outright assault. Clergy women have turned to private Facebook groups to ensure that their voices and experience may be heard in a safe and supportive community. That community should be the larger church, but sadly it is not.
The Church should always be at the forefront of justice, and the status and treatment of women and girls must be a part of that gospel mission. This required training is a start in that direction – exposing the sexism that has infected our hearts and minds that we might change ourselves, and our church. Just as the anti-racism trainings have opened the eyes of so many across the church, changing our culture of bias, it is hoped that the anti-sexism training will do the same. We also know this is only a step toward justice, it is not full justice itself. More needs to be done. Yet we can never hope to be freed from the tyranny of sexism and misogyny, or be an example of God’s all inclusive love, if we don’t work toward changing our culture, and so we must begin with training our eyes, minds, and hearts to recognize our biases and that of the church.


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