Task force for church structural reform issues statement

Posted Feb 18, 2013

[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs] The Episcopal Church task force for church structural reform has issued a statement following the group’s inaugural meeting Feb. 14-16.

The following is the statement in English and French below. The Spanish version is here.

At the 77th General Convention, the Holy Spirit called The Episcopal Church to reimagine itself and how it can more deeply live into its identity in our rapidly changing world. The church responded to this call by unanimously adopting Resolution C095 in both houses, which created and commissioned this task force. On February 14, the appointed task force enthusiastically convened to begin our work. In our three days of discussion, prayer, and worship together, we have been energized by the diversity of talents, cultures, and life experiences present at the table, and we have been inspired by our shared love for the church and our passion for the creative work before us.

We organized ourselves for business, agreeing on a leadership team consisting of two conveners, Dr. Catherine George and the Rev. Canon Craig Loya, and four initial working group leaders, Julia Ayala Harris, Margaret Shannon, the Rev. Leng Lim, and the Rev. Joseph Chambers. A secretary and two chaplains will be appointed prior to our next gathering. At this first meeting, we were also joined by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, President of the House of Deputies the Rev. Gay Jennings, and Executive Officer of General Convention the Rev. Canon Michael Barlowe, who offered us their valuable insights and made us aware of resources that will assist us in our work.

We have started the process of developing an engagement strategy that will enable us to live into our commitment to transparency while preserving the sanctity of holy conversation. We further aim not only to provide a window into our work, but to provoke a parallel process of dialogue around questions of identity, structure, and culture at all levels of the church. To facilitate that discernment, we plan to offer a range of opportunities to obtain input and feedback from all corners of the church, and we urge all members to reflect prayerfully alongside us and to offer their insights and wisdom. These opportunities will be unveiled in the coming weeks.

Drawing on language from Resolution C095, we have chosen to call ourselves the Task Force for Re-imagining the Episcopal Church: structures, governance, and administration (TREC). We hope that this conveys a sense of our work’s scope, as well as our desire to take a journey with the whole church as we discover how we are being called to be the body of Christ in the world.

May the Holy Spirit continue to bless and guide the church through this time of change and new life.

Lors la 77e Convention générale, le Saint-Esprit a appelé à l’Eglise Episcopale de se ré-imaginer et [penser] comment elle peut vivre plus profondément dans son identité dans notre monde de changements rapides. L’église a répondu à cet appel par l’adoption unanime de la Résolution C095 dans chaque chambre, qui a créé et commandé ce groupe de travail. Au 14 février, le groupe de travail nommé s’est réuni avec enthousiasme afin de commencer notre travail. Pendant nos trois journées de discussion, de prière, et de culte ensemble, nous avons été stimulés par la diversité de dons, de cultures, et d’experiences de vie présente à la table et nous avons été inspirés par notre amour partagé pour l’église et notre passion pour le travail créatif qui nous fait face.

Nous nous sommes organisés pour le travail, nous nous sommes mis d’accord sur une structure de direction composée de deux organisateurs (Dr Katherine George et le Révérend Canon Craig Loya), quatre chefs de groupe de travail (Mme Julia Ayala Hariss, Mme Margaret Shannon, le Révérend Long Lim, et le Révérend Joseph Chambers). L’équipe de direction nommera un secrétaire et deux aumôniers avant notre prochaine rencontre. A cette première réunion, l’Evêque Présidente Katharine Jefferts Schori et la Présidente de la Chambre des Député(e)s Gay Jennings et le Directeur de la Convention générale Michael Barlowe nous ont joints et ils nous ont offert leurs aperçus précieux et ils nous ont rendus conscientes des ressources qui nous aideront dans notre tâche.

Nous avons commencé le processus de dévelopement d’une stratégie d’engagement qui nous permettra à vivre dans notre promesse à la transparence tout en gardant la sanctité de la conversation sainte. En outre, nous voulons non seulement donner un aperçu de notre travail, mais aussi provoquer un processus parallèle de dialogue autour des questions d’identité, de structure et de culture à tous les niveaux de l’église. Afin de faciliter ce discernement, nous projetons d’offrir toute une gamme d’opportunités afin de recevoir des commentaires et des réactions de tous les coins de l’église et nous exhortons à tous et toutes les membres de réfléchir en prière à côté de nous et d’offrir leurs aperçus et leur sagesse. Ces opportunités se dévoileront dans les prochaines semaines.

En nous appuyant sur la langue de la Résolution C095, nous avons choisi de nous appeler le Groupe de travail de ré-imaginer l’Eglise Episcopale: les structures, le gouvernement et l’administration (TREC, Task force for Re-imagining the Episcopal Church, en anglais). Nous espérons que ceci transmet le sens de la portée de notre travail aussi bien que notre désir d’entreprendre un voyage avec toute l’église tandis que nous découvrons comment nous sommes appelé(e)s à être le corps du Christ dans le monde.

Que le Saint-Esprit continue à bénir et guider l’église à travers de ce moment de changement et de nouvelle vie.


Comments (9)

  1. Father Les Singleton says:

    We have a great opportunity to be nimble in the 21st century. New opportunities deserve better than the structures of the past that now can be counter productive.

  2. Rev. Dr. John Conrad says:

    This says nothing more than there was a meeting…in three languages. Another meeting.
    Lord, have mercy!

    1. Richard Jordan says:

      Totally correct! This is not quite what the media would find useful — yet. Accredited to 10 General Conventions and 2 Lambeths, this sounds as if it might be Super Indaba — simply REACT and let the experts do the work. Disappointing.

    2. Tony Lauria says:

      Agree that more “meat” will be needed in the future.

  3. Bishop Andrew Gerales Gentry says:

    Never has so much been said by so few for so many! They have agreed to talk, to listen, to be very inclusive, and to act at some future point in such a way as not to disturb anyone. Congress could have not said it better! It reminds me of the Prime Minister’s adviser on the British sitcom “Yes Minister”. If he were giving the statement and with apologies to the writer of the sitcom it would go something like this “we have agreed that to agree is laudable whilst agreeing that to disagree is also agreeable and an essentially essential part of the holy conversation we shall have as we listen to the each other listen. In so doing we will accomplish that which is accomplishable given the agreed to agreements within the context of agreeable differences that are relevant and noteworthy of the relevant parties relative to those pertinent matters pertaining to that which is relevant”!

    1. Richard Jordan says:

      This post says it all.

  4. Kimberly Clark says:

    what wonderful news. I would like to share my 55 years of insights, thoughts about a way forward and what the children need to grow in love and dedication to a futrue church worthy of participation.

  5. Allen Hinman says:

    They should have to pay for their own paper.

  6. Jim Frodge says:

    This simply reports that a committee met and a meeting was held. Nothing new and so typically Episcopalian as one writer has noted “The Episcopal Church continues to debate itself into irrelevancy”.

Comments are closed.