Report of the Clerical Representative to Executive Council Fall Meeting October 25-28, 2021
The meeting was live streamed, therefore this is some highlights and the work of the Joint Standing committee of Mission Beyond, which I chaired this meeting.
The Executive Council’s first Hybrid meeting went very well. It was so nice to be with those in person after this long period of doing business on zoom. Highlights of the meeting are: Council heard from the Indigenous Boarding Schools Ad Hoc Committee. The committee is working to address The Episcopal Church’s involvement with residential schools that separated Native American children from their families and, in many cases, attempted to eradicate their culture and language. Indigenous leaders discussed the diversity of the residential school experience and a recent effort assisted by Episcopalians to repatriate the remains of residential school students from school grounds to their tribal homelands. Council met in groups to discuss and continue our work of reconciliation.
We approved a 2022 churchwide budget relatively the same prior to the pandemic. Acknowledging that the coming years may bring significant changes to the church, culturally and financially.
Finance reported for the 2019-2021 triennium there is a projected surplus of $13.4 million that will be put into investments and short-term reserves. Presiding Bishop Michael Curry said. “We tightened our belt. Actually, we lost weight, institutionally. We did everything we could to squeeze everything out of every dollar we had.” He cautioned that calling it a “surplus” could be misleading, though it does create an “opportunity to do something both creative and helpful for the church.
As chair of the Mission Beyond Committee, we proposed a resolution reaffirming the Episcopal Church’s commitment to people of all genders and sexual orientations and invites the House of Bishops in Ghana to reconsider their endorsement of this anti-LGBTQ legislation.
We proposed another resolution supporting The John Lewis Voting Rights Enhancement Act (H.R. 4) this resolution decries the efforts in state legislatures across the country to limit voting rights & requests OGR to advocate in support of H.R.4 or similar legislation.
We additionally proposed a Resolution expressing the Executive Council’s grave concern of the situation involving the House of Bishops of the Anglican Church in Ghana, which recently endorsed an action that would criminalize LGBTQ self-identification or advocacy in the country. The Resolution reaffirms the Episcopal Church’s commitment to people of all genders and sexual orientations, and invites the House of Bishops in Ghana to reconsider their endorsement of this anti-LGBTQ legislation. We request OGR and OGP to engage their relations in upholding human rights abroad and throughout the Anglican Communion.
Mission Beyond, in conjunction with Mission Within, proposed our first joint resolution in Support for the Commission for a Haitian Solution to their crisis. The country has been beset by cascading political, health and social crises over the past year, including another devastating earthquake. Our resolution expresses support for the people of Haiti and the newly created Commission for Haitian Solution to the Crisis.
Respectfully submitted, The Rev. Lillian Davis-Wilson