The following two resolutions and four proposed changes to the Canons of the Diocese of Georgia were approved by the 192nd Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia.
Resolution to move the time for diocesan conventions
Action: Passed Unanimously.
Whereas the Constitution and Canons of the Diocese of Georgia require that the Convention of the Diocese meet annually but do not specify or require a specific time for the meeting of Diocesan Convention; and
Whereas the Administrative Staff of the Diocese requested that Diocesan Council consider whether the normative time for holding convention should be moved to November; and
Whereas Diocesan Council considered the request of the Administrative Staff of the Diocese and concurred with that request;
BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that the normative time for convening the annual Convention of the Diocese of Georgia shall be the second full week of November.
The Tithe as the Standard of Funding
Action: Passed Unanimously.
A copy of the resolution with its full accompanying explanation remains online here: The Tithe as the Standard of Funding PDF.
Resolved, that this 192nd Convention of The Episcopal Diocese of Georgia request that the Special Task Force on Church Structural Reform, created by the 77th General Convention of the Episcopal Church to present a plan to the next General Convention in 2015 for “reforming the Church’s structures, governance and administration”, include as one of its recommendations a proposal the the 78th General Convention of the Episcopal Church adopt the tithe as the standard of giving and as the funding formula for diocesan support of the budget of the Episcopal Church and,
be it further Resolved, that this resolution together with its accompanying Explanation, be forwarded to The Executive Council for it information.
Revise Title I, Canon 13
Action: Passed Unanimously.
CANON 13—Diocesan Agencies, Commissions and Boards
Section 1. There shall be a
Department ofFinance Committee which shall have the duties and authority as prescribed by the General Constitution and General Canons and which shall be responsible for the management of all funds of the Diocese, except those in the custody of the Board of Officers of the Corporation. It shall also consult and give advice to the Bishop, the Convention and Diocesan Council on all fiscal matters. The Department ofFinance Committee shall be responsible for drafting the diocesan budget following guidelines established by Diocesan Council and presenting same to Council for approval, and upon said approval of Council, presenting the budget to Convention for its approval. Annually it shall review the remuneration of the Bishop(s) and all other diocesan officials and employees, and make recommendation to the Diocesan Council for inclusion in the diocesan budget. It shall recommend to Council the salary minimum for Mission Clergy in the Diocese. It shall recommend the standards of proportionate giving by Congregations to the support of the Diocese, which, when approved by Diocesan Council, quantify the term “proportionate financial contribution” cited in Canon II.1.1.The Treasurer of the Diocese shall chair the Department ofFinance Committee. Members of the Department ofFinance Committee, other than the Treasurer, shall be nominatedappointed annually by the Bishop ,and one elected each yearconfirmed by Convention for a four-year term. The Bishop may appoint qualified persons to serve out the unexpired term of any electedmember who has resigned. No person, other than the Treasurer, shall serve as a member of the Department ofFinance Committee for more than four successive years, and thereafter shall be ineligible for such election for a period of one year.
Revise Title I, Canon 15
Action: Passed Unanimously with ammendment which restored section 2b.
CANON 15—The Bishop and Council
Section 1. The Bishop and Council of the Diocese, as herein after constituted, shall be known as “The Diocesan Council”, and shall carry out the duties of Convention between meetings in regard to the unification, development and prosecution of the work committed to it. It shall carry out the policies, programs and directives of Convention; deal with contingencies as they arise; approve programs of commissions/committees and conduct a continuing evaluation of these programs.
Section 2. The Diocesan Council shall consist of:
(a) Voting members – the Bishop(s); the Treasurer of the Diocese; one Cleric and two Laypersons (not from the same Parish or Mission) elected by each Convocation Council; and three persons, Clergy or Lay, elected at large by Convention for three-year staggered terms.
(b) Members entitled to seat and voice only – The President of the Standing Committee, the President of the Episcopal Church Women; the Dean of each Convocation; the Senior Clerical Deputy and Senior Lay Deputy to the General Convention (i.e., those Deputies receiving the most votes at their election); the President of the Episcopal Youth or their designated representative; and all members of the Diocesan executive staff.
(c) The Chancellor shall be an ex officio member of Diocesan Council and shall exercise those duties and responsibilities as described in Title I, Canon 5 of these canons.
(d) All members in good standing in the Diocese of Georgia are welcome at all meetings of Diocesan Council. If they wish to attend and address Diocesan Council on a matter related to the agenda, they are to seek prior permission from the President of Council.
Section 3. The Ordinary shall be the President of Council. The Council shall elect annually from among its members a Vice President. The Council may elect such other officers and appoint such agents as it deems appropriate.
Section 4. Members elected at large shall take office immediately following the close of the Convention at which they were elected. Convocational representatives, who shall have been elected in the year prior to Convention, shall take office at the close of the Convention next following their election. An elected voting member who has served for three consecutive years shall not be eligible for re-election for at least one year. The Diocesan Council shall have power to fill vacancies resulting from death, resignation or removal of members elected by Convention to serve through the next regular meeting of Convention. No program area chairperson or paid staff person shall be eligible to vote on any budgetary matters before the Diocesan Council. Retired Clergy, unless specifically excepted by the Bishop, are ineligible to serve on the Diocesan Council.
(a) The Diocesan Council shall be the program planning body of the Diocese.
(b) The Diocesan Council shall elect annually, in addition to the Vice President, five members who, with the Vice President as Chairperson, shall compose the Executive Committee. Where feasible, each member chosen shall have served at least one year on Council and no more than two members shall be from any one convocation. The Executive Committee shall:
1) Establish an annual planning calendar for Council, commissions, committees and Convocations.
2) Coordinate program planning among the several commissions and committees as requested by the Bishop(s) and Council.
3) Make recommendations to Council in coordination with the Department of Finance with regard to commission and committee budget requests.
65. The Ordinary shall, with the advice of the Department ofFinance Committee and concurrence of the Diocesan Council, present a proposed budget to Convention. Copies thereof shall be presented to the members of the several Convocation Councils at their meeting next before the meeting of Convention. The Diocesan Council shall review and recommend to the Ordinary such changes in the budget adopted by Convention as it shall find expedient and necessary throughout the year.
Revise Title II, Canon 9, Section 4
Action: Passed Unanimously.
Title II, Canon 9—Parochial Reports
Section 4. Each parish, mission and diocesan institution is required to maintain appropriate accounting books and records to properly account for all the financial activities of the entity.
Each entity’s financial statements and the underlying accounting books and records shall be audited and reviewed on an annual basis as follows:
(a) Entities having annual receipts from all sources of
$200,000$500,000 or more shall be reviewed or audited by an independent Certified Public Accountant.
(b) Entities having annual receipts from all sources of less than
$200,000$500,000 may be reviewed or audited by an independent Certified Public Accountant or, alternatively, may be reviewed by a person or committee knowledgeable in financial matters and chosen from within or without the entity. Treasurers and bookkeepers shall not be eligible to review or audit the financial records of their respective entity.
All reports of such audits, together with any memoranda issued by the auditors regarding internal controls or other accounting matters and a summary of action taken or proposed to correct deficiencies, shall be filed with the Ecclesiastical Authority no later than 30 days following the date of such report and, in no event, later than September 1st of each year, covering the financial reports of the previous year.
This provision does not apply to the Corporation whose accounts are handled by a bank whose trust records are audited by a firm of CPAs annually.
Replace Title IV, Canon 1—Ethical Standards
Action: Passed Substitute:
Whereas the present language in Title IV, Canon 1 of the Diocese of Georgia is problematic and
Whereas the Ordination Rite in the Book of Common Prayer and Title IV, Canon 1 of the Canons of the Episcopal Church adequately address the ethical standards of the clergy of the church and
Whereas, we the members of the 192nd Convention of the Diocese of Georgia trust the judgement of our our bishop, standing committee, commission on ministry and parish vestries, in regard to the discernment process for the selections of persons to serve as deacons and/or priests in the diocese
I move that Title IV, Canon 1 of the Canons of the Diocese of Georgia be removed.
The resolution made prior to convention was as follows:
Aspirants, postulants, and those accepted to holy orders shall accept and conform to the following standard: “Marriage between a man and a woman or abstinence from sexual activity are the only acceptable forms of sexual behavior for a Deacon, Priest or Bishop in the Diocese of Georgia.”
Deacons, Priests, and Bishops in the Diocese of Georgia are called to be wholesome examples to the Church exhibiting the teachings and virtues of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Their personal lives must manifest faithfulness, monogamy, life-long commitment, mutual caring, and the healthy care of themselves and their families. Their public lives must show financial honesty, confidentiality as required, respect of interpersonal and professional boundaries, and the avoidance of fraud, deceit, or deliberate misrepresentations.
References for above:
The ordination rite of the BCP
Title IV, Canon 1