Friday, June 18, 2010

A Message to The Episcopal Church from the Executive Council of The Episcopal Church, meeting in Linthicum, Maryland, June 16-18, 2010

From ELO-

In the 1960s U.S. Navy Admiral Hyman George Rickover, an Episcopalian, gave President Kennedy a plaque with the old Breton fisherman’s prayer "O God, thy sea is so great and my boat is so small." That prayer is on a carving in a hall at the Maritime Institute in Maryland where we are meeting.

Meeting at a place that teaches Celestial Navigation may seem a natural for a church governing body but the truth is we are meeting here because it is good stewardship of the church's money. For the rest of the triennium we will be alternating meetings – with the exception of one meeting in the reorganized Diocese of Fort Worth – between the Maritime Institute and Salt Lake City.

This decision allowed the General Convention office to negotiate much better rates for multiple meetings.
Finding a healthy balance between responsible stewardship of money and human resources while carrying out the directives of General Convention and all the many other needs that arise between General Conventions is the ongoing challenge and joy of all Executive Councils. Add to that the increasingly interesting developments in the Anglican Communion and you have the makings of an intense three-day meeting. During its first session on Wednesday, the Rt. Rev. Jerry Lamb, provisional bishop of San Joaquin, briefed the Council about the challenges facing a diocese in which almost all the leadership is people who have never before been allowed to hold leadership positions; a diocese whose records, funds, and many buildings are in the hands of the former leadership; a diocese located in a state hit hard by the recession.

In spite of this, San Joaquin has moved from a survival mode to a missional mode and remains firmly committed to the ministry and mission of The Episcopal Church.
Bishop Lamb's presentation struck a chord with the Council and helped start a thread of conversation that reoccurred frequently in the course of the meeting. That is the fact that the reorganizing dioceses, like The Episcopal Church and indeed, the Anglican Communion, are dealing with what happens when the marginalized move to the center, and those formerly in the center are moved toward the margins. How does that change the formerly marginalized? Equally important, how does that change the diocese, the Church, the Communion?

This dynamic informed much of the business of the committee work that took up the entire day on Thursday as committees dealt with issues ranging from a request for continued financial support for the Dioceses of San Joaquin and Haiti to a discussion of the Gulf oil spill to responses to the proposed Anglican Covenant and the immigration law in Arizona.

More here-

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