Feedback on Changes to Canons Sought

When Diocesan Council met on February 3rd, they endorsed changes to the Canons of the Diocese following a year of discussion. Now Council seeks the input of the parishioners and clergy of the Diocese of Georgia into these changes.

Background
For more than a decade the Diocese of Georgia has rarely used a provision written in our canons that grants the Bishop authority to move parishes who can no longer meet the obligations of a “parish” to “mission” status. Over time, this has created confusion defining which congregations are “missions” and which are “parishes.” The differences are about more than mere terminology: this affects both representation to Diocesan Convention and the amount of oversight provided by the Diocese.

The proposed changes, would if passed:
* reduce unnecessary oversight for more than one third of the congregations,
* acknowledge several of our small congregations as full members of the Diocese,
* result in a representative Diocesan Convention, and
* add an extra level of assurance that endowed funds in all parishes are managed with sound investment practices.

For more information about the proposed changes, please go here for an Executive Summary of the proposed changes, the full canons with the proposed changes shown in color, and a chart showing the current delegates to convention compared to the proposed representation.

Timeline
The proposed changes are out for comment from now through May 11. A brief survey to collect responses to the canonical revisions can be found here. Diocesan Council will consider the feedback at its May 12 meeting and will amend the proposed changes as needed.

The proposed changes as revised at that May meeting will then go to the Committee on Constitution and Canons for their review. The proposed changes as approved by that committee will then go out to the diocese via email to clergy and Senior Wardens as well as notice in From the Field.

The proposed changes will be on the agenda for the November diocesan convention. If approved, the canonical changes will be in effect immediately.

If the changes are voted and approved during convention, then two key changes go into effect with the language related to mission to parish status go into immediate effect, but the proportional representation delegations to convention will require a second vote at convention in 2018 and go into effect in 2019.

 

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