D059 Impairment Commission - Training on Alcohol/Substance Misuse for Church Leadership

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Resolved, the House of __________ concurring, That the 79th General Convention:

  1. directs the Executive Council, working with a knowledgeable and skilled advisor, to evaluate the policies and practices of its meetings and the meetings of its commissions, committees, and boards to make necessary changes that may contribute to a healthy environment with regard to alcohol and addiction; and
  2. recommends that the Pastoral Development Committee of the House of Bishops, working with a knowledgeable and skilled advisor, evaluate the policies and practices of meetings of the House of Bishops and recommend changes that may contribute to a healthy environment with regard to alcohol and substance abuse; and
  3. recommends that CREDO develop a program component to held participants explore their relationship to alcohol, drugs, and other addictive substances and behaviors.

Resolved, That the General Convention request the Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget and Finance to consider a budget allocation of $50,000 for the implementation of this resolution.


The above recommendations were included in the report of the Commission on Leadership and Impairment (“Commission”), which was formed by resolution of the House of Bishops on March 17, 2015. The resolution “requested that the Presiding Bishop appoint, in consultation of the House of Deputies, an independent commission to explore the canonical, environmental, behavioral, and procedural dimensions of matters involving the serious impairment of individuals serving as leaders in the Church, with special attention to issues of addiction and substance abuse.”

The Commission issued its report in March, 2017, which offered the following definition of impairment: “The inability to exercise ministry with reasonable skills and safety by virtue of physical or mental illness, inebriation, or excessive use of drugs, narcotics, alcohol, chemicals, or other substances.” (Report, p. 2).

The Commission stated that “[u]nnamed and unaddressed impairment of leaders causes damage with and beyond the body of Christ. The Commission has discovered that in many instances, church polity has impeded the ability of the Church to intervene, assess and treat impaired people and care for the injured community.” (Report, p. 4).

In offering the above “wellness practices,” the Commission concluded that ”recognizing the reach and effectiveness of CREDO across the church, its programs are a prime opportunity to educate, to train, and to promote self-awareness and insight for clergy with regard to addiction.” (Report, p. 19).

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