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Re: [HoB/D] Blue Book - Executive Council



My comments on selected parts of the Executive Council Report, pages
47-56

(I prepared these remarks initially for the Newark deputation's
reports to one another about various sections of the BLUE BOOK.)

Notes on the resolutions from 2000 referred to Executive Council:

Executive Council failed to act as requested by several resolutions
sent to us by GC 2000.  I have mentiond several of these, and I fear
there may be others. An asterisk marks two which we do not even
include in our BLUE BOOK list on pages 51-52:

A001 (Journal 2000, p. 130) asked Council to "develop a process for
dioceses to give an annual account of their progress toward living
into [the] goals" of giving 1% of their budget to micro-economic
projects. As noted on p.51 of the Blue Book, Council called for this
to be done, but the secretary's office dropped the ball and the BLUE
BOOK does not have the progress report expected.

A009 (see Journal 2000, p. 245) called for (1) Council to develop a
process by which parishes could declare themselves safe for lesbians
and gays to tell our stories and (2) the PB's staff to work with their
counterparts in the Anglican Communion to facilitate the dialog
called for in the Lambeth Sexuality Resolution.  At one point in
committee, the Presiding Bishop said, "This is one of those silly
resolutions which General Convention sometimes passes that we don't
have to act upon." That counsel had its impact.  Council did not
establish a process at the Church Center by which parishes might
declare themselves safe, but left to lesbigay organizations the task
of soliciting the names and publicizing them of parishes that declare
themselves safe -- a task Integrity and the Oasis had already been
doing and did not need GC to instruct them. Executive Council
instructed Parish Services to make available three pieces of
information, including a work book "Room for Grace Dialog" on how to
do parish dialog by Eric Law; but then Dan England, ECUSA Officer of
Communication, dragged his feet for the rest of the triennium, and
Law's material is still not available at that site.  See
http://www.episcopalparishservices.org/searchresults.asp?keywords=Room+for+Grace+Dialogue
Council put the PB's own responsibilities off on ECUSA's
representatives to the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC), to network
at their meeting about progress toward hearing lesbigays' stories.
The ACC met after Council's action, but the ACC representatives did
not raise the issues and did not report back to Council on the matter.
The sexuality resolution at the Lambeth Congress committed the bishops
to promote dialog in all parts of the Communion.  See my own
attempts to monitor their doing so:

         http://newark.rutgers.edu/~lcrew/lambethresponses

The bishops' flagrant failure to live into that pledge robs moral
authority from most of their other pronouncements on this issue:
Clearly many of the bishops worldwide simply lied and had no intention
to have such dialog.

*A037 (p. 188 of the Journal 2000), called for $150,000 to be spent in
support for singles ministry over the triennium.  Inquiries about this
from many people were dodged, and finally, Pat Mordecai wrote to Dr.
Collier-McLaughlin that the staff had funded singles ministry through
the youth ministry program -- hardly the singles ministry targeted in
GC's resolution.  The resolution was not Dr. Collier-McLaughlin's
private initiative; it came from the Standing Commission on
Evangelism.  Significantly, staff, not Council, made these crucial
decisions, and Council does not even log this resolution as our
responsibility in the section cataloging our responses to resolutions
of GC 2003.

*A136 (Journal 2000, pp. 324) called on Council to include line items
from the budget of the current triennium with line items in the
proposed new budget to facilitate comparison, but the Treasurer and
A&F failed to do that.  The resolution also called on the budget "to
be posted on the DFMS website when it is released to the Bishops and
Deputies" but it was not published then. Now, three months later, with
the encouragement of President George Werner, it is online at
http://www.episcopalchurch.org/gc2003/386_652.htm.  The Treasurer has
resigned his post effective before General Convention.  What
commitment!

D023 (Journal 2000, page 626) called for the creation of a study
commission on Reconciliation, but since it was not funded, the
Commission was not created.  That's all that Council says about it in
our BLUE BOOK report. Council completely ignored the several resolves
that required no funding.  E.g., the resolution asked Executive
Council to recommend a formal process for dispute resolution and
reconciliation in the church to the 74th General Convention.  Council
did not.  Nor has there been any effort by Council to proclaim the
first four triennia of the century "to be a Season of Reconciliation."
The Presiding Bishop did enlist +Arthur Walmsley and Ian Douglas+ to
focus on Reconciliation at one of the meetings of the House of
Bishops.  The PB's letter on June 6 the Bishops [copied to Executive
Council; I shared it with this hob/d list] suggests that
Reconciliation for him requires ECUSA to take no action on same-sex
unions lest we offend others in the Anglican Communion.

A huge procedural mess:

When resolutions pass without funding, they go to Limbo.  If staff
likes them, staff finds money.   If staff does not like them, the
staff blames GC for not funding them specifically. GC 2000 gave
Council and staff flexibility in meeting needs that would arise, such
as ways to effect safe-space initiatives, singles ministries,
reconciliation initiatives, and dozens of other needs that might
arise. Staff did find money for Bp. Walmsley's work and for Ian
Douglas'.  The Management Team, however, has in several cases taken
flexibility as a way to control the budget, bypass Council, and in
effect, thwart the will of the General Convention.

Since the Management Team is accountable not to Council, but only to
the Presiding Bishop, Council has limited recourse.  We need to fix
the process:  should resolutions be allowed to pass if funding is not
given?  Mainly we need clarity, not Limbo.

It has not always been clear whose job it is to assure an orderly
response to GC resolutions.  Most of the tracking seems to have been
done by the Secretary, but the responsibility clearly must fall on Pat
Mordecai, the chief administrative assistant to the PB, and on the PB
himself.

Some of us who are returning have committed ourselves to the tracking
resolutions out of GC 2003. We will also insist that PB& F (the GC
committee) work more closely with A&F (Council's committee) regarding
the will of GC and the questions of funding.

Better News:  As the author of the enabling resolution presented by
the Standing Commission on Anglican and International Affairs in 2000,
I am pleased with the success of the Young Adult Service Corps, with
eleven now deployed, and more expected (p. 51, A134), the Monitoring
of women's deployment in all dioceses (p. 51, A045), the continuation
of Anti-Racism training......  I am pleased that Council has required
that all ECUSA documents be prepared in Spanish by 2006.

Responding to theft in Mexico and Ecuador:  I am disappointed that
Council's Blue Book Report does not report this work openly and
candidly.  I am pleased that with the urging of several of us, Council
decided to apply to all block grants the requirement of an annual
audit, previously required, by canon, of only dioceses within ECUSA,
but not of entities in covenant relationships, nor of block grants to
groups like the Indigenous Ministries, Black Colleges, et al.
Council turned down my proposals 1) that all requests for block grants
specify a percent of funds or services that would be raised or
provided by the requesting body, and 2) that the administrative costs
of all block grants be limited to 15% unless the grants are
specifically for administration.  We need these added measures of
accountability.  In some cases very little money from our grants ever
gets to the people who need the services.

Notes on Council's New Resolutions for 2003, BB p. 57:

A006:  Employment Policies Task Group.  I take heart since the Church
Pension Fund will have a hand in it.  They usually do serious work.

A007:  Aging Task Force:  Note the stinginess of the $10,000 allotted
to study it yet again.  Council ignored the recommendations of a
similar gathering early in this triennium.  It justified doing so
because of the "priorities" it claimed it established by the
"leadership survey" -- one of the most unscientific instruments I have
ever seen.  Simply because concerns for the aging did not surface in
the questionnaire, Council felt it appropriate to give no programmatic
response to their concerns.  The Episcopal Society for Ministry to the
Aging (ESMA) has disbanded.  Youth are `in'; the old are `out.' What a
deplorable way to envision ministry.  We should not be pitting these
two groups against each other.

A008:  Repeal Mandatory Federal Sentencing Guidelines.  This seems
like a good response to an insensitive and repressive federal judicial
system.

A009:  Amend Canon I.4.2(b).  I pushed hard for this amendment to drop
members who have two unexcused absences from meetings. The same rule
is already in effect -- see Canon 1.2b, page 13 of CONSTITUTION AND
CANONS 2000 -- for Commissions, Committees, and Boards (CCABs), and
this amendment will hold Council to the same standard, but has the
rule ever been enforced for CCABs?  A few members of Council would
have been removed had this canon already been in effect.  Surely as
the church we should certainly hold standards of attendance at least
as high as those of the Rotary Club.

L., Nwk L2, Member of Executive Council

               There are 42 days left until General Convention.





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