Approved 2015 Amendments to the Constitution & Canons

First Proposed Amendment to the Canons - PASSED

The Committee on Constitution and Canons recommends adoption.

Adoption of this amendment to the Diocesan Canons would amend Title II, Canon 3, Section 2(c) by making additions and deletions from the content of the current canon as specified below.

Text of the Proposed Amendment:

Canon 3:          Of Mission Areas

Sec. 2.              Each Mission Area shall form a Mission Area Council comprised of all active parochial clergy of the Mission Area and two laypersons from each parish:

            […]

(c)        The Council shall elect four officers from its membership.  The Council is led by a Chair (lay or ordained), Vice Chair (from the opposite order of the Chair), Treasurer, and Secretary.  Each officer shall serve a one-year term and is eligible for reelection, provided that no neither individual shall be more than three (3) years consecutively in any single office.  The Treasurer and Secretary shall each serve a one-year term, are eligible for reelection, and there will no term limits for these positions.

Proposer

The Rev. Jeremiah D. Williamson, Rector, St. Andrew’s, Toledo

Rationale of the Proposer

Although there is good reason to have term limits for those who serve in the positions of Chair and Vice Chair, the experience in the West Mission Area is that three-year term limits for those serving as Secretary have created unnecessary complications for our body.

Allowing the Secretary to continue to serve in that position without the constraint of term limits should be permitted if that person is capable and willing.  There is no obvious reason why someone who enjoys the work (such as taking meeting minutes) should be replaced by someone who finds the same work burdensome.

Currently, our Mission Area Funds are held at the Treasurer’s parish.  The advantage is that we pay no banking fees because of the parish’s relationship with the bank.  This also assures that the account is audited annually when the parish audit is completed.  Moving the account as often as annually would not only be burdensome, but also disadvantageous.  As with the positions of Secretary, the current Treasurer has been the sole willing nominee since the MAC was formed.

In some ways this is a rather simple change, but we believe it will help the Mission Area Councils run more smoothly.  We hope this will allow greater flexibility to each individual Mission Area Council – recognizing the unique identity of each. This change will not restrict a Council from enforcing term-limits for the Secretary and Treasurer positions, but neither will it mandate limits in places where they are difficult or impossible to follow.  For the Mission Area Councils currently in violation of the canonical term-limits, this change will bring them into compliance.


Second Proposed Amendment to the Canons - PASSED

The Committee on Constitution and Canons recommends adoption

Adoption of this amendment to the Diocesan Canons would amend Title II, Canon 6, Section 5 by making additions and deletions from the content of the current canon as specified below.

Text of the Proposed Amendment:

Canon 6:        Of Imperiled Parishes

Sec. 5. When any parish shall fail to elect a Vestry, the Bishop, with the advice and consent of the Standing Committee shall appoint a minimum of at least three (3) (but no more than nine (9)) trustees to take charge of the property of the Parish and exercise the rights and functions of a Vestry, until the Parish shall have elected a Vestry under the provisions of the Canon.

Proposer

            The Rev. Brad Purdom, Canon for Congregations

Rationale of the Proposer

            Particular circumstances can arise in which it is effective and helpful to have more than three (3) trustees serve as members of the Vestry of an Imperiled Parish.  An example is a congregation that for whatever reasons remains in “imperiled” status for a longer time than the canon originally envisioned.  This has occurred in the Diocese of Ohio on more than one occasion.  Under the existing canon, the parish operates with the functional equivalent of a three-person Vestry, which is a large time commitment for those involved.  If a parish remains imperiled for a significant period of time, this amendment will allow the Bishop and Standing Committee to add additional trustees to maintain a more effective governing body.

 


Report of the Committee on the Constitution & Canons

Proposed Amendments to the Constitutions and Canons of the Episcopal Diocese of Ohio to be Considered at the 199th Annual Convention of the Diocese of Ohio.

The Committee on Constitution and Canons is proposing two amendments to the Canons of the Diocese of Ohio.  Both amendments were timely received by the Committee no fewer than three (3) months prior to the Convention.
Language proposed for elimination is noted by a strike-through.  New language proposed is denoted by bold-faced type and underlined
 
As required by our Constitution and Canons, changes to the Canons require a simple majority vote of the clerical and lay delegates voting as a single house (see Title IV, Canon 3 of the Canons).
 
The membership of the Constitution and Canons Committee consists of:
The Rev. Dustin D. Berg, Supply Priest
Ms. Jane R. Freeman, Trinity Cathedral, Cleveland
Ms. Clare S. Long, St. Barnabas, Bay Village
Mr. Ernest Q. Petrey, Jr., St. Paul’s, Cleveland Heights
The Rev. Jan M. Smith-Wood, Grace, Sandusky
William A. Powel, III, Canon to the Ordinary (Staff)