Presiding Bishop announces members of Commission on Impairment and Leadership

Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs
Posted Oct 1, 2015

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has announced the members of the newly-formed Episcopal Church Commission on Impairment and Leadership.

The members were appointed by Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori in consultation with President of the House of Deputies the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings. The Rev. Martha Horne will serve as chair of the Commission.

Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori said, “I am grateful that the Rev. Martha Horne has agreed to convene the Commission on Impairment and Leadership.  I expect its work to aid The Episcopal Church in assessing and improving its responsiveness to disease and human brokenness.  We are people who yearn for the abundant life Jesus promised, yet we cannot hope to experience it without honesty and clarity about its absence.  I pray that this body will help us foster a culture of open awareness and learning about addiction as well as fierce commitment to healing of body, mind, soul, and community.”

The enabling resolutions charge the Commission to serve as “an independent commission to explore the canonical, environmental, behavioral and procedural dimensions of matters involving the serious impairment of individuals serving as leaders in the Church, with special attention to issues of addiction and substance abuse.”

The commission also must prepare a report to “include recommendations for both action and further review, as appropriate, in order to clarify lines of authority, to ensure mutual accountability, and to promote justice, well-being and safety within both the Church and the world.”

Chairperson Horne noted, “We are fortunate to have the knowledge, wisdom, and experience that members of the Commission will bring to this task.  Recognizing the scope of our charge and the complexity of the issues we have been asked to address, we look forward to working in collaboration with the Presiding Bishop’s Chancellor, the network of diocesan chancellors, the board of Episcopal Recovery Ministries, and others who will share their professional expertise with us.”

The Commission on Impairment and Leadership was adopted by the Executive Council at its March 19-21 meeting in Salt Lake City. The Executive Council was acting in affirmation of the March 17 House of Bishops resolution.

The members of The Episcopal Church Commission on Impairment and Leadership are:

Jan Brown, Williamsburg, VA, member of the board of Episcopal Recovery Ministries and co-Director of SpiritWorks Foundation, a recovery community organization serving individuals affected by the disease of addiction.

Bishop Mary Gray-Reeves, Bishop of the Diocese of El Camino Real.

Dr. Mark Hanson, Minnesota, former Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

The Rev. Dr. William Harkins, Atlanta, GA: Senior Lecturer in Pastoral Care and Director of the Th.D program, Columbia Theological Seminary, therapist with clinical experience treating clients with addictions, and canon associate at St. Philips Cathedral, Atlanta.

Bishop Mark Hollingsworth, Bishop of the Diocese of Ohio.

The Rev. Martha Horne, Alexandria, VA, Convener, Dean and President, emerita, of the Virginia Theological Seminary.

The Rev. Dr. Cynthia Kittredge, Austin, TX, Dean and President of the Seminary of the Southwest.

Canon Jill Mathis, Philadelphia, PA, Canon for Transition Ministry in the Diocese of Pennsylvania.

Bishop Robert O’Neill, Bishop of the Diocese of Colorado.

Bishop Sean Rowe, Bishop of the Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania and the Diocese of Bethlehem.

The Rev. Dr. Steven Thomason, Seattle, WA, Dean of St. Mark’s Cathedral, Chair of House of Deputies Special Legislative Committee on Alcohol and other Drug Abuse, former physician with experience working with the Impaired Physicians Committee of the Arkansas State Medical Board.