Executive Council group begins communiqué work
Members will draft response for Council’s June consideration.
An Executive Council work group, appointed by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson, has begun considering the role, responsibilities and potential response of the Executive Council to the issues raised by the recent communiqué from the Primates of the Anglican Communion.
The Executive Council called for the work group via Resolution EC008, passed at its March 2-4 meeting in Portland, Oregon.
The work group members are Bishop David Alvarez (Diocese of Puerto Rico); Bishop Jon Bruno (Diocese of Los Angeles); the Rev. Dr. Ian Douglas (Diocese of Massachusetts; Sherry Denton (Diocese of Western Kansas); Dr. Delbert Glover (Diocese of Western Massachusetts); the Rev. Canon Mark Harris (Diocese of Delaware); the Rev. Gay Jennings (Diocese of Ohio); the Rev. Timothy Kimbrough (Diocese of North Carolina); and Bishop Stacy Sauls (Diocese of Lexington). Resolution EC008 named Anderson, who is also vice president of Executive Council, to chair the work group. (Jefferts Schori is president of Executive Council.) Sally Johnson, Anderson’s chancellor, is a consultant to the work group.
Anderson convened the group by conference call for the first time on April 4. The members reviewed a draft foundational working paper, compiled at Anderson’s request by Sally Johnson, her chancellor. After a final review by the group, the resulting draft will be used as the foundational working document regarding the role and responsibilities of Executive Council, Anderson said.
The Primates’ Communiqué, issued February 19 at the end of their meeting in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, raised issues involving governance of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion. The church’s House of Bishops said March 20 that the Primates’ proposed “Pastoral Scheme,” meant to deal with Episcopalians who objected to certain church decisions, “would be injurious to The Episcopal Church.” The bishops urged that the Executive Council decline to participate in it.
“The EC008 task group will have a report at the June meeting of the Executive Council. The report will be in the form of a response to the Primates’ Communiqué. The response will be considered by Executive Council at that time,” Anderson said.
Also at their March meeting in Texas, the House of Bishops asked its Theology Committee to develop a teaching guide for consideration of the Primates’ Communiqué. The bishops anticipate this guide will be available by late May for use by bishops and dioceses in preparation for the September meeting of the House of Bishops.
Anderson said that, at the suggestion of the Presiding Bishop, she has been in touch with Alabama Bishop Henry Parsley, chair of the House of Bishops Theology Committee, about that committee’s work. EC008 work group member Ian Douglas, a former member of the House of Bishops Theology Committee, will act as a liaison between the two groups, Anderson said.
The Executive Council carries out programs and policies adopted by the General Convention and oversees the ministry and mission of the Church. The council is comprised of 38 members, 20 of whom (four bishops, four priests or deacons, and 12 lay people) are elected by General Convention and 18 (one clergy and one lay) by provincial synods, plus the Presiding Bishop and the president of the House of Deputies.
-- The Rev. Mary Frances Schjonberg is national correspondent for the Episcopal News Service.
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