D040 The Status of Women Church Musicians

Original version

Resolved, the House of _______ concurring, That the 79th General Convention directs the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music to study the status of Women Musicians in the Episcopal Church, specifically considering the following: the status of resources within congregations and dioceses for the development of young musicians, specifically young women musicians; assistance for the encouragement of women who wish to become stipendiary church musicians; what percentage of women are full-time stipendiary musicians compared to men; what percentage of women are found in the final slate of candidates; and what is the percentage of stipendiary women church musicians in other denominations and, if higher, learn from them possible avenues to increase employment of women musicians within the Episcopal Church; and be it further

Resolved, That the 79th General Convention request that the body to which this Resolution is referred to report its findings to the 80th General Convention.

Explanation

There are a number of Resolutions before the 79th General Convention calling for the creation of Task Forces or other interim bodies to deal with issues related to women and specifically issues related to women in the Church in various capacities. For that reason, this Resolution does not propose another such body. In the event that General Convention chooses not to create an interim body dealing specifically with issues of women in the Church, Canon I.1 (2) (viii) empowers the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music to serve the Church in matters pertaining to policies and strategies concerning Church music.
There is a dearth of women stipendiary church musicians in the Episcopal Church employed particularly in larger churches and Cathedrals where the compensation is full time or greater than that in smaller congregations. While the number of women in Holy Orders has been increasing, as well as the number of women called to be Bishops, Deans and Rectors, that same trend does not hold true for women musicians even though the number of women in graduate programs in music has increased. We are failing to acknowledge the spiritual gifts and calling of young girls and women to the ministry of music and thereby we are possibly diminished in the eyes of women with respect to the absence of stipendiary women musicians.

In the spirit of Canon I. 1. (2) (viii) we need to consider policies and strategies to ascertain the extent of the lack of women stipendiary church musicians and then consider policies and strategies to rectify the situation.


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