Special task force members named for church structural reform

Posted Dec 5, 2012

[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs] Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and President of the House of Deputies the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings have announced the 24 members of the special Task Force for Church Structural Reform.

Approved at the July General Convention 2012, Resolution C095 calls for development of a 24-member task force charged with presenting a plan to the next General Convention in 2015 “for reforming the Church’s structures, governance, and administration.”

“We are delighted at the collection of gifts that have been offered for this work, and overjoyed at the constellation assembled in this task force,” commented Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori. “We pray that God’s creative spirit will be unleashed in the midst of this work to move us into God’s future with excitement, openness, and commitment to the opportunities before us.”

“Please join us in praying for the members of the task force as they begin their work,” said President Jennings. “The Episcopal Church must restructure faithfully and thoughtfully to bring us closer to the heart of God and those we are called to serve. May the Holy Spirit lead the task force toward a new vision of our beloved church.”

The Presiding Bishop and the President of the House of Deputies reviewed over 500 applicants who were interested in serving on the Task Force.

“This work has taken several months, and we are deeply grateful for the willingness of many faithful Episcopalians to offer themselves for this work,” said Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori.

“As we have worked together to create the structure task force, the Presiding Bishop and I have  enjoyed exploring our many common hopes for the church and the vision we share for its mission and ministry,” said President Jennings. “Our work is blessed by these conversations, and we continue to be gratified by how much we enjoy working together.”

The Task Force for Church Structural Reform is composed of 24 members: four bishops; nine priests; one deacon; and ten lay people. Three are under age 30; eight in their 30s; five in their 40s; four in their 50s; and four are age 60+. Nine are people of color.

The members of the Task Force for Church Structural Reform and their dioceses are:
• The Rev. Jennifer L. Adams, Diocese of Western Michigan
• The Rev. William H. Allport, II, Diocese of West Texas
• The Rev. Joseph M.C. Chambers, Diocese of Missouri
• Canon Judith G. Conley, Diocese of Arizona
• Bishop Michael Bruce Curry, Diocese of North Carolina
• Bishop C. Andrew Doyle, Diocese of Texas
• The Rev. Miguelina Espinal-Howell, Diocese of Newark
• Professor Victor A. Feliberty-Ruberte, Diocese of Puerto Rico
• The Venerable Robert Anton Franken, Diocese of Missouri
• Dr. Catherine George, Diocese of New Jersey
• Bishop Mary Gray-Reeves, Diocese of El Camino Real
• Ian L. Hallas, Diocese of Chicago
• Julia Ayala Harris, Diocese of Florida
• The Rev. Dr. Bradley S. Hauff, Diocese of Pennsylvania
• The Rev. Leng Leroy Lim, Diocese of Los Angeles
• Thomas A. Little, Esq. Diocese of Vermont
• The Rev. Canon Craig W. Loya, Diocese of Kansas
• Sarah Miller, Diocese of Alabama
• The Rev. Kevin D. Nichols, Diocese of New Hampshire
• Bishop Sean W. Rowe, Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania
• Margaret B. Shannon, Diocese of Texas
• T. Dennis Sullivan, Diocese of New York
• Jonathan McKenzie York, Diocese of North Carolina
• The Rev. Dr. Dwight J. Zscheile, Diocese of Minnesota

In addition, two partners from other Anglican Communion provinces have been appointed: the Very Rev. Peter Elliott of the Anglican Church of Canada, dean of the Diocese of New Westminster and rector of Christ Church Cathedral in Vancouver; and the Rev. Sathianathan Clarke, Th.D., of the Church of South India, who is the Bishop Sundo Kim Chair in World Christianity and professor of theology, culture and mission at Wesley Theological Seminary.

Resolution C095
According to resolution C095, “The membership of the Task Force shall reflect the diversity of the Church, and shall include some persons with critical distance from the Church’s institutional leadership.”

In addition, the task force will conduct a special gathering with representation from every diocese in preparation of its final report, due by November 2014.  The date and location of the special meeting will be determined later.

Resolution C095 in full is here or http://www.generalconvention.org/gc/resolutions?by=number&id=c095


Comments (7)

  1. Kimberly Clark says:

    Seems really sad to have so few lay members appointed to this task force.

    1. Stuart Lauters says:

      As a lay person, it looks fairly balanced to me. Personally I’m probably more interested in the members’ abilities rather than whether they’ve been ordained.

  2. Tom Reinfuss says:

    Is there a way for us to input our suggestions to this task force?

    1. Tom Reinfuss says:

      Will this task force have a means for us, Episcopalians, to input suggestions as to structural reform?

  3. Margo Fletcher + says:

    As this group comes together please could they remember that the Episcopal church is catholic in that its members are drawn from all walks of life. Here comes everyone. As well as the professional and well endowed we have thousands of older people whose only livelihood is social security, families with young children where both parents live on the minimum wage. Please look at some of our highly specialized ministries, preferential clerical positions and extravagant buildings in our church that carry large economic outlay and ask if this is what we really need to be supporting in reflecting the love of and following an itinerant carpenter preacher.Thank you.

  4. Ted Andrews says:

    Why did the Convention subcontract this job to a group that, as far as I can see, is accountable to no one but the Presiding Bishop? Put another way, why have a Convention if it isn’t going to handle a tough job like this?

  5. Maggie McKinney says:

    Thank you to the committee members who have chosen to take on this mission. My prayers and support are with you. I feel that the talents you all bring will guide you in making the changes that will help support and guide us all in our future.

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