Committee Work at General Convention

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In addition to Bishop Scanlan, five deputies were appointed to the following committees: The Rev. Canon Daniel (Dan) Morrow, Evangelism and Church Planting Committee “I am thrilled to be a part of the Evangelism and Church Planting Committee at General Convention 79 in Austin, Texas. At our last General Convention three years ago, the Church voted to spend almost 5 million dollars on Evangelism and Church planting initiatives during the last triennium. Over these last 3 years, dozens of new churches have been founded, dozens of mission enterprise zones have been established and dozens of people have been trained in church planting techniques, skills and best practices. In addition, the churchwide office hired a missioner for church planting charged with establishing a cohort of people who are energized and equipped to identify, train, mentor and send out new priests to plant churches. All in all, this marks the highest amount ever spent by the Episcopal Church to plant new congregations and worshipping communities. I’m hoping to expand on the good work of our last convention. This year we have a resolution (A005) calling for 6.8 million dollars to be earmarked for new church planting initiatives. In my view, this is extremely important and part of our call to fulfill the great commission. God calls us to spread the gospel and to baptize in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This exciting opportunity, to rally behind a mission to support new ministries, is one I relish. In addition, there are eight other resolutions in our committee that we’ll look over, debate and perhaps recommend to the entire body to vote on. The one which I’m most excited about deals with a small evangelism grant program. This program would allow parishes to apply for a one-time $2,000 grant for evangelism projects. This will also allow diocese or convocations to apply for an $8,000 grant to support regional evangelism experiments. I’m envisioning many of our congregations applying for these funds. As we envision our future as a diocese, and as we begin to necessarily shift our identity from primary parochial institutions towards convocational or regional based ministries, these granting resources and the resources for evangelism will be necessary as we work to build up God’s kingdom in Central PA.”   Charles (Chuck) Banks, Constitution and Canons Committee Mr. Banks is expecting that the C&C Committee will be able to clarify and simplify our Constitution and Canons where existing language is confusing or obsolete, as well as provide guidance to other legislative committees that are struggling with the canonical implications of proposed legislation in their respective parochial areas. “The C&C Committee’s work is important to DCPA because canonical issues come up frequently in our daily diocesan life.  For instance, we recently had an ‘interim’ period during which we had no duly-elected diocesan bishop, and yet we needed a temporary to handle duties that only a bishop can perform.  There’s no explicit canonical provision for ‘interim’ bishops, so we had to improvise.  It would be well if the canons addressed this issue.”   The Rev. Canon Stephen C. Casey, Constitution and Canons Committee “Under the guidance of our chancellor, Charles Banks, I was a member of the team that recently revised the Constitution and Canons of our own diocese. It seems natural, therefore, that as an elected deputy to the 79th General Convention of the Episcopal Church, I was assigned to the interim Legislative Committee # 2, Constitution and Canons – or to give it its full title: Standing Committee on Structure, Governance, Constitution and Canons. All organisations, no matter how large or small, must have a structure, some form of governance and rules that order their common life. For the Episcopal Church, this is served by the Constitution and Canons, both at national as well as diocesan level. What I hope for my committee and myself during this General Convention, is that we can serve the church by placing before the gathered assembly those rules and regulations that support our common life in Christ and further our work in the wider Anglican Community.”   The Rev. Canon Kate Harrigan, Chaplain, Committee #10, Congregational and Diocesan Vitality Rev. Canon Harrigan truly hopes that this committee will be a prophetic voice for vitality and for congregational, diocesan, and provincial life in our church.  She expressed that this time around, there is nothing particularly controversial that will cause the masses to stream to Committee 10.  However, there are issues that will undergird the life of the church, how we relate to each other across different boundaries, and how we look at and respond to our work in the church, to the way we express The Jesus Movement.  She hopes that her committee will be a strong voice for the growing vitality of the church. It is Pastor Kate’s belief that it is time to “get out of the rut”.  Whether it is the parochial report or congregational development or the work of provinces, we need to focus on mission, on how we move forward into the Jesus Movement, and how the church can be creative in the work God has given us to do.  The work of this committee gives structure and strength to the work we do as a diocese. We are revitalizing as a diocese and this work can be critical to us.   Linda Watkins, Province III Social Justice Representative stated the following: “I am going to General Convention as part of the Episcopal Network for Economic Justice (ENEJ) on whose board I serve. ENEJ is part of a larger Episcopal Church entity called The Consultation, which oversees most of our Peace and Justice Ministries. My assignment is primarily covering Committee 20 – Stewardship of Creation. Our Presiding Bishop has identified Stewardship of Creation as one of the three overarching themes of this Convention, so Committee 20 will be busy! My hope is that we will enact strong resolutions that will make us more aware that the harm caused by environmental degradation primarily affects communities of color and low economic status. I also hope that the Episcopal Church continues to divest from fossil fuels and reinvest in clean energy, including the Church Pension Fund, which is currently exempt from this call.” Our Diocese is located in an area that is in a painful transition away from fossil fuels. We must serve those most affected by this change while at the same time being clear about the need to switch to clean energy. We are also in the Susquehanna River basin and the Chesapeake watershed – both crucial resources we are called to preserve for future generations.”
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