Church structure

The administrative and governance structure of the Episcopal Church needs to change. That is the message being sent by at least nine of the church’s CCABs (committee, commissions, agencies, and boards that operate between conventions) and at least 29 of the church’s 110 dioceses, include West Texas.

Some 47 percent of the churchwide budget is now being spent on administration, which, say many, hinders rather than helps the mission of the church.

Many of those diocesan resolutions are based on a model resolution suggested to the House of Bishops in September by Bishop Stacy Sauls, a member of the house who is also the church’s chief operating officer. (A video version of Sauls’ presentation about structural change, made as he presented it to Episcopal Church Center staff, is here.)

The model resolution, which the Diocese of West Texas accepted and passed at its Diocesan Council in February 2012 (C051), would have convention call for a special commission appointed by the presiding bishop and the president of the House of Deputies to present, possibly to a special meeting of General Convention before the 78th General Convention in 2015, “a plan to the church for reforming its structures, governance, administration, and staff to facilitate this church’s faithful engagement in Christ’s mission . . . ”

Sauls told the church’s Executive Council at its April 18 – 20 meeting that he wants to talk with the council and the church “about putting everything on the table and rebuilding the church for a new time that has no precise historical precedent.” He added that he wants to talk to council “not about the panic of our declining numbers but about how we strengthen what is working best out there and make what is strong stronger so that the strong can serve the less-than-strong.”


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