[Episcopal News Service – Linthicum Heights, Maryland] During its June 8-10 meeting here, the Episcopal Church’s Executive Council adopted several resolutions, which are summarized below.
Thank British Columbia Bishop James Cowan upon his pending retirement and the ending of his term as liaison from the Anglican Church in Canada to council.
Adopt proxy voting policy recommended by the Executive Council Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility, authorize Glass Lewis & Co., LLC, Glass Lewis to vote the proxies of companies held by Episcopal Church (in accordance with instructions found in the policy), extend its appreciation to the Church Pension Fund for its continuing support of church’s longstanding effort to promote corporate social responsibility, and commit to encourage those dioceses and parishes not currently voting their proxies with the Episcopal Church to do so (AN009)
Affirm and support, domestically and globally: the right to safe and healthful working conditions as a fundamental human right and enactment and enforcement of standards for such safe and healthful working conditions in all domestic and global jurisdictions; affirm responsibility of jurisdictions to provide for research, information, education, training in occupational safety and health; the importance of exchange of information and good practices on prevention and the promotion of preventative measures and role of governments, professional safety and health organizations, and worker organizations in promoting prevention, in support of safe and healthful working conditions; responsibility of employers to provide workplaces that are free of known dangers that could harm their employees; find and correct safety and health problems, and in case of domestic employers, to follow the employer responsibilities mandated by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act, its state counterparts, and rules applying to government employees; the right of workers to organize and to participate in activities to ensure their protection from job hazards, including those rights mandated by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act, its state counterparts, and rules applying to government employees; acknowledge that products enjoyed by consumers worldwide link everyone inextricably to worker safety and health in every industry, including agriculture, in every nation; affirm that international cooperation among manufacturers, distributors, retailers, firms affiliated with them, and human and worker rights organizations, along with the implementation and enforcement of concrete governmental laws, are necessary to protect the safety and health of workers; and encourage Episcopalians to be mindful of their individual links to worker safety and health through the exercise of their personal choices in making consumer purchases and investments in corporations that produce, import, or sell consumer goods, including to agricultural firms (AN010).
Affirm and support: equal access to higher education for all qualified students “as a crucial step for many individuals and families to escape cycles of poverty, live into their vocations, and make use of their gifts to bring about a more just and peaceful world;” consistent standards for transparency, clarity, appropriate protections against predatory lending and collection practices, and humane disposition of education loans in the event that proven, lasting, and severe economic hardship, disability, or death should befall the borrower; programs and policies providing interest rates on education loans fixed for the life of loan at the point at which loan is taken and that education loans provided by the federal government and private lenders should follow best practices for fair lending, transparency, collections and interest rates; ease of access to Income-Based Repayment (IBR) programs for education debt, particularly for those on public assistance, and that IBR programs take into account cost of medical insurance and care, housing, food for borrowers and their dependents, and cost of higher education in which borrowers’ dependents are enrolled; support equal opportunity in employment, housing, and access to government assistance programs for which education borrowers are otherwise qualified; support programs providing education debt relief for those providing two or more years in careers of public service and/or provision of vital community services for underserved populations and/or in poverty relief; support policies increasing access to and affordability of state and community colleges without compromising educational quality, across all academic disciplines, including liberal arts, sciences and mathematics, thereby allowing qualified students a lower-cost alternative to more expensive private institutions; support policies that promote transparency by providing data regarding graduation rates, employment rates following graduation, and median income of employed graduates of programs, any ties between for-profit educational institutions and any private lenders with financial ties to and benefitting institutions for which they provide education loans, borrower protections similar to those provided by federal education loans and that encourage all educational institutions to make students aware of governmental aid and loans for which they may qualify (AN011).
Extends “heartiest congratulations” to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, a full communion partner with Episcopal Church, on its 25th anniversary; commend celebration’s theme of “Always being made new;” acknowledge ELCA is deeply rooted in Scripture, tradition, and the Lutheran Confessions, “as well as in the vibrant communities and rich histories of its congregations, and that these roots are an ongoing source of nourishment, enabling the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to be a church that is resilient, always reforming, and guided by the Holy Spirit;” commend ELCA it plans to make Sept. 28 its “God’s work. Our hands” Sunday for its four million members, nearly 10,000 congregations, 65 synods to celebrate its 25th anniversary with a day of service; “joyfully recognizes and celebrates twelve years of journeying together” with ELCA in full communion partnership; recognizes and celebrates a number of Episcopal and Lutheran congregations across the United States becoming more and more integrated by sharing buildings, clergy, and worship with each other, in the spirit of full communion, and that our two churches are also planting new ministries together and cooperating in outreach ministries; recognizes and celebrates our two churches pooling resources to help respond to the victims of natural disasters, from floods in Iowa to hurricanes in Mississippi; recognizes and celebrates shared campus ministries, training for federal prison and military chaplains, as well as an international policy and advocacy staff person in Washington, D.C.; asks that these greetings be conveyed to our full communion partner in suitable form (AN012).
Direct treasurer to pay $132,472.83 for contributions to tax-deferred retirement savings accounts at the Church Pension Group as one-time contributions for past service (FFM018).
Establish Church of Our Savior Endowment Fund as an investment account for Episcopal Church of Our Savior in North Platte, Nebraska (FFM019).
Authorize expansion of line of credit of up to $300,000 to the Episcopal Church in South Carolina which will provide a total amount of $550,000 to be accessed prior to Dec. 31, 2013 for support of continuing operations; ECISC will present projected operating needs for the first six months of 2014 for consideration by council Joint Standing Finances for Mission Committee at October 2013 meeting and for second six months of 2014 for at its February 2014 meeting (FFM020).
Authorize additional line of credit to the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin of $785,000 to be accessed through December 31, 2014 for support of the continuing diocese, related Executive Council joint covenant committee appointed in 2011 continue to document work and make it electronically available to the Executive Council and report two times annually to council’s Joint Standing Committee on Local Ministry and Mission (FFM021).
Make available to Navajoland Area Mission the balance of block grant authorized for the 2013-2015 triennium by General Convention 2012 (FFM022).
Request House of Bishops to engage in conversation about diocesan asking for the 2016-2018 budget for the Episcopal Church at its September 2013 meeting in Nashville; presiding bishop and the president of the House of Deputies to authorize survey of bishops and deputies regarding the diocesan asking (FFM023).
Authorize additional $100,000 for the work of the Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of a Presiding Bishop, bringing its total funding to $226,000 for the three triennia leading up to the election of a presiding bishop at the 78th General Convention in 2015 (FFM024).
Reaffirms commitment of 77th General Convention expressed in Resolution A135-Focus Mission Funding on Alleviating Poverty and Injustice to “a triennium of teaching, preaching, organizing, advocating, and building mutually transformative relationships with those who are poor to focus our hearts and the mission of our congregations and dioceses on reducing poverty and increasing economic and racial justice;” direct Presiding Bishop and President of the House of Deputies to appoint an A135 coordinating council by July 31 to assure “effective, thorough and collaborative implementation” of policies adopted in A135; members shall include representatives of council and general convention committees, local faith-based organizations and church center staff concerned with domestic poverty; committee to conduct business by teleconference and that any other activities, including possible consultation of outside experts to be done at the expense of groups represented in the coordinating committee; committee’s report to council will included in council’s triennial Blue Book report for the 78th General Convention (GAM005).
Instruct Presiding Officers to appoint a committee to work with the Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop and DFMS staff to planning, budgeting, and oversight of transition tasks not otherwise assigned by canon to the joint nominating committee and installation of the presiding bishop to be elected at the 78th General Convention in 2015 (GAM006)
Change name of Episcopal News Advisory Council be renamed to the Episcopal News Service Resource Council; change mandate to: “This council shall engage with Episcopal News Service staff members about their newsgathering, distribution, creative and publishing work. Council members shall lend their experience, expertise and perspectives to the ENS staff, with the goal of helping Episcopal News Service in its efforts to serve effectively the needs of the church at all levels (international, churchwide, diocesan, congregational) while keeping the voice of the whole church in a prominent place in the operation of the news service;” Presiding Officers to appoint members who have a proven track record of evolving their church communications efforts, have a relationship of support, trust, and candor with ENS, demonstrate forward-thinking use of current and evolving communications technologies in the service of communications evangelism and to include leading communications professionals outside of Episcopal Church circles who have an interest in lending ENS their expertise (GAM007).
Formulate report format for presidents of provinces to use to report to council, as called for in General Convention Resolution 2012-A106 (GAM008).
Change DFMS Employee Handbook Section 103B to clarify definition of lay employee in non-discrimination (GAM009)
Appoint covenant committee to work with Episcopal Church in South Carolina to provide redevelopment advice, support and collaboration; committee to document work, make it electronically available to council and report two times annually to council’s Standing Committee on Local Ministry and Mission (http://www.generalconvention.org/ccab/roster/440) (GAM010).
Award latest round of Constable Fund grants (recipients to be notified immediately and list to be then released publically) (LMM004).
Receive report and plan from the task force of the House of Bishops Committee on Pastoral Development related to 2012 General Convention Resolution A144 which calls for tracking the inclusion of women and other under-represented groups in episcopal elections; ask presiding bishop to direct Office of Pastoral Development to monitor gender and racial/ethnic ratios in episcopal elections by establishing a base line of all nominees in episcopal elections from available 2012 data, by tracking ratios of all persons nominated for episcopal elections in 2013, 2014, and first quarter of 2015, and by tracking he ratios of all persons considered by diocesan search/nominating committees 2013, 2014 and the first quarter of 2015; ask presiding bishop to direct Office of Pastoral Development to review the transition process for episcopal elections with particular emphasis on consistency and effectiveness of anti-racism training and other practices that inform search and nominating committees to issues of gender and ethnic bias; that necessary adjustments in transition process for episcopal elections be created, recommended, and monitored by the House of Bishops Committee on Pastoral Development; ask House of Bishops Committee on Pastoral Development to consider developing a letter to accompany transition process materials that remind diocesan standing committees and diocesan search committees of importance of authentic inclusion (LMM005).
Offer support of and thanksgiving for all who give themselves in service of God and neighbor, especially those in church’s Young Adult Service Corps, and for those at the Church Center who support their work (WM009).
Commends Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada on their “For the Love of the World” initiative as they gather in Joint Assembly in Ottawa, Ontario, July 3-7; assure the churches of council’s encouragement and prayers for work and witness this gathering offers to Christian communities and the wider culture both in Canada and the world (WM010).
This was originally posted here by the Episcopal News Service.
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