First Special Meeting of the 178th Annual Convention of the Diocese of the Episcopal Church of Louisiana

 

Notice of Special Meeting of the 178th Convention

Notice is hereby given that a Special Meeting of the 178th Convention of the Diocese of the Episcopal Church of Louisiana has been called and will be held at Trinity Episcopal Church, 3552 Morning Glory Avenue, Baton Rouge, Louisiana on October 31, 2015 at 10:30 a.m. The business to come before this Special Meeting is as follows:

  • Approval of the 2016 Annual Budget for the Diocese.
  • Approval of the minimum pension base salary for clergy for 2016.
  • Election and appointments for positions required to be filled prior to the Annual Meeting of the 179th Convention in Fall, 2016.
  • Amendment to Canon 6 to provide for election of deputies and alternates to serve at Province IV Synod in conformity with the requirements of Resolution C027 of the 78th General Convention amending Canon 1.9.7 of the General Convention of the Episcopal Church.

Pursuant to the Constitution and Canons of the Diocese that the delegates and alternates who were elected or appointed for the Annual Meeting of the Convention held February 27-28, 2015 will serve as the delegates and alternates to any special meeting.  If any of these delegates or alternates will not be able to attend please list their substitutes on the form enclosed with this Notice. This Special Meeting of the 178th Convention has been called this 25th day of August, 2015 by The Rt. Rev’d Morris K. Thompson, Jr. pursuant to Article V.8(a) of the Constitution of the Diocese.

 

Bishop Signature Full

The Rt. Rev’d Morris K. Thompson, Jr. Bishop of Louisiana

Notice of the First Special Meeting of the 178th Convention of the Diocese of the Episcopal Church of Louisiana (PDF)

Letter to Clergy and Senior Wardens (PDF)

Order of Business

**Subject to change

Saturday, October 31

8:15 AM  Registration begins

8:30 AM  Budget Hearings

9:15 AM  Eucharist

10:30 AM Plenary Session

  • Call to Order
  • Welcome
  • Introduction of New Clergy
  • Dispatch of Business Resolutions
  • Balloting for Offices
  • Presentation of Resolutions
  • Treasurer’s Report
  • Noonday Prayer

Adjourn

Light food for the road

Revised Dispatch Resolutions were adopted at the February 2015 meeting of the Convention.  Revised Dispatch Resolution #DOB3 provides that proposed amendments to the Budget must be presented in writing to the Budget Committee.  The deadline for presenting the proposed amendment, in writing, is 8:30 am on October 31.  If the amendment is not accepted by the Budget Committee it may be appealed to the Convention.  If an amendment is not presented to the Budget Committee, the proponent must receive an affirmative vote of 2/3 of the Convention allowing the amendment to be presented from the floor before the Convention can vote upon the amendment.

Other than the Budget Hearing at 8:30 am on October 31, there will be no hearings on the Budget.  If you have any comments or questions about the Budget or Resolutions the best time to ask will be at the Pre-Convention Meetings on October 20 at 6 pm at St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church, 3412 Haring Road, Metairie and October 21 at 6 pm at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 8833 Goodwood Blvd, Baton Rouge.

 

Budget Hearing Presentation Fall 2015 (Pre-Convention Meetings)

Budget requests

2016 Budget Documents for Approval at Convention

2016 A&P Final Pledges

DRAFT Operations Budget 2016

DRAFT Operations Budget 2016 SUMMARY

2016 Solomon Episcopal Conference Center Budget

Gaudet Budget 2016

Nominations

Offices to the filled from nominations:

  • Treasurer of the Diocese (one)
    • Les Bradfield (Elected)
  • Trustee University of the South (one lay member)
    • Drew Broach (Elected)
    • Trevor D. Bryan II

Bishop’s Appointments

Appointments by Bishop

Nomination Form Special Meeting 178th Convention (Due September 30)

There will be no hearings on the Resolutions.  If you have any comments or questions about the Budget or Resolutions the best time to ask will be at the Pre-Convention Meetings on October 20 at 6 pm at St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church, 3412 Haring Road, Metairie and October 21 at 6 pm at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 8833 Goodwood Blvd, Baton Rouge.

Resolutions

(Passed) Resolutions A-1 (Episcopal School of Baton Rouge) and A-2 (St. Martins, Metairie) request that the Convention authorize the Executive Board to approve the Bishop’s nominations for these schools’ Boards of Trustees.  The nominating committees from both schools are in the process of gathering names of potential trustees.  These nominees would normally be presented to the Bishop in late February.  Because Convention is now in the fall instead of the spring the schools have asked for more time to interview and decide upon potential nominees.  Canon 30 states that the nominees are to be presented to Convention for approval.  Because the Executive Board is authorized to act for Convention between meetings, the resolutions ask Convention to allow the Executive Board to approve the nominees and publish the list of trustees to the Diocese.

A-1 Episcopal High Trustees

A-2 St. Martins Trustees

 

(Passed)Resolution R-1 makes changes to Canon 6 required by Resolution C027 of this summer’s General Convention.  A copy of Resolution C027 is enclosed.  Canon 6.5 currently states that the Bishop appoints delegates to Province IV Synod and Resolution C027 required that they be elected.  The next meeting of Province IV Synod will be in June 2017, so the elections will need to be held at our next meeting of the Diocesan Convention in fall of 2016, when we will also elect deputies and alternates to General Convention.  Because the primary business done at Province IV Synod is presenting information on issues that will be addressed at the upcoming General Convention, the persons elected for Province IV Synod should be the same persons elected as deputies and alternates to General Convention.

R-1 Amendment to Canon 6 – Synod

GC Resolution C027

 

(Passed) Resolution B-1 requests that Convention authorize the Executive Board to approve minimum clergy compensation for 2016.  Canon 29.2 gives the Convention authority to approve minimum pension base salary and minimum medical and life insurance for clergy.  The Social Security Administration’s annual cost of living adjustment (COLA) is an important consideration in determining the minimum salary.  However, the 2016 COLA, which is zero, was not officially released until October 15.  This release was too late for the Executive Board to make a recommendation to Convention.  Therefore Resolution B-1 requests that Convention authorize the Executive Board to make the final determination in time for congregations that determine compensation increases for the clergy based upon the increase in minimum salary to use this amount in their 2016 budgeting and compensation processes.

B-1 Minimum Pension Base Clergy Salary

 

(Passed) Resolution B-2 requests that Convention authorize and direct the Executive Board to develop a process for congregations that have difficulty in paying their full assessment to request a reduction and request other assistance they may need.  The focus of the process is to be on offering support and assistance rather than on sanctions.

B-2 Diocesan Assessments

Registration Forms

Anyone who wishes to attend the Special Meeting of Convention, including all laity and non-parochial clergy, may register by clicking the following links. The registration forms are due back to the Bishop’s Office by September 30. The registration fee for each person attending as a delegate, alternate, guest or in any other capacity will be $10 per person. Registration for Delegates and Clergy The number of delegates your congregation will send to the Special Meeting is determined pursuant to Article V.5.a of the Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana Constitution and is based upon the number of communicants in good standing stated in the congregation’s most recently filed Annual Report. Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana Canon 2.2 provides that the delegates and alternates who were elected or appointed for the Annual Meeting of the Convention (i.e., the February 27-28, 2015 meeting) will serve as the delegates and alternates to any special meeting. Therefore, the same delegates and alternates who served at the February 2015 meeting will serve again. However, if delegates or alternates have moved away or are now otherwise not able to serve, replacements may be elected or appointed. The registration form for the Special Meeting have mailed to each church. Please check the names of the delegates and alternates listed and provide any updates that may be appropriate. For additional assistance or a replacement form, contact Joy Shackelford at (504) 895-6634 or jshackelford@edola.org.

Vendors & Exhibitors

We will not have vendors or exhibitors at the Special Meeting of the 178th Convention.

Other than the Budget Hearing at 8:30 am on October 31, there will be no hearings on the Budget or Resolutions.  If you have any comments or questions about the Budget or Resolutions the best time to ask will be at the Pre-Convention Meetings on October 20 at 6 pm at St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church, 3412 Haring Road, Metairie and October 21 at 6 pm at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 8833 Goodwood Blvd, Baton Rouge.

Pre-convention Meetings

September 15 at 6:00 PM

Christ Episcopal Church 120 S. New Hampshire Street Covington, LA 70433 Get directions

October 20 at 6:00 PM

St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church 3412 Haring Road Metairie, LA 70006 Get directions

October 21 at 6:00 PM

St Luke’s Episcopal Church 8833 Goodwood Boulevard Baton Rouge, LA 70806 Get directions

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

  1. Why is this still the 178th Convention? Didn’t we have that meeting back in February?  Why isn’t this the 179th?

The Diocese of The Episcopal Church of Louisiana is organized as a Louisiana nonprofit corporation. Even though we call the meeting we normally have each year “Diocesan Convention” the “Convention” is actually the name of the group of managers in whom the corporate powers of the Diocese are vested pursuant to Article V.1 of the Constitution of the Diocese (which can be found here).  The Constitution states that the managers of the Corporation are members of the Convention:  the Bishop, priests who are canonically resident in the Diocese (with a few exceptions), Deacons assigned to congregations, and lay persons elected or appointed to represent their congregations.  Therefore the meeting we usually call “Diocesan Convention” is actually the Annual Meeting of the Convention (pursuant to Article V.8 of the Constitution) and is similar in many respects to the annual meeting of the stockholders of a corporation.   Because the lay members, and sometimes the clergy members, of the Convention change each year, the numbering of the Convention really refers to the change in membership each year.  Therefore the 178th Convention is the 178th group of members that make up the Convention, not the number of times the Convention has met.  Because the same group of people serving at the February 2015 meeting will also be serving at this meeting, this is not called the 179th Convention or meeting but rather a Special Meeting of the 178th Convention (see Canon 2.2).  The meeting in Fall 2016 will be the Annual Meeting of the 179th Convention of the Diocese.

  1. Why is the agenda of this meeting limited just a few items?

At an Annual Meeting of the Convention many different things happen.  The Budget of the Diocese is approved.  Officers are elected.  Resolutions are debated.  Special Meetings are called to cover specific items that cannot or should not be postponed until the next Annual Meeting.  In this case the Diocesan Budget for 2016, minimum clergy salary and benefits for 2016 and the elections for certain offices need to in place long before the Annual Meeting next fall.  Only the matters set forth in the Notice of Special Meeting are on the agenda (see Canon 1.9).

  1. What is the proposed amendment to Canon 6 and why is being presented at the Special Meeting?

The meeting of the General Convention of the Episcopal Church is held every three years and the next meeting will be in Austin, Texas in 2018.  Province IV Synod will be held in June 2017 and June 2018 as preparation for General Convention.  Canon 6 currently provides, as do the Canons of many dioceses, that the Bishop will appoint deputies and alternates to attend Province IV Synod.  At the meeting of General Convention in June in Salt Lake City the Episcopal Church Canons were amended to provide that deputies and alternates to Provincial Synods must be elected.  Because Provincial Synod is preparation for General Convention, it follows that the deputies and alternates elected to General Convention and Province IV Synod should be the same people.  The amendment to Canon 6 will make this change.

  1. There is normally a time during a break between sessions for hearings on the Budget and resolutions. Will there be time outside the meeting to ask questions and voice opinions?

Because this meeting will be very short, there will not be a recess.  The Budget will be presented and open for questions and input at Pre-convention meetings at Christ Church in Covington on September 15 at 6 pm, St. Augustine’s in Metairie on October 20 at 6 pm and St. Luke’s in Baton Rouge at 6 pm.  Other questions about the Diocese or the Special Meeting will also be welcome. There will be hearings at 8:45 am on October 31 on the Budget and the amendment to Canon 6.  If someone requests a change to the Budget at the Budget hearing but the Budget Committee does not accept the change, that person may appeal the ruling on the floor of the Convention.  Pursuant to Dispatch of Business Resolution #DOB3, if someone wants to change the Budget and does not present the amendment at the Budget hearing, that person cannot bring the amendment to the floor of the Special Meeting unless 2/3 of the delegates vote to allow the amendment to be presented.

  1. Why will there not be exhibitor or vendors?

This meeting will be a short one with only one session and no recess.  Therefore there will not be time to visit and exhibit/vendor hall.  In addition, the site of the meeting does not have adequate space to host a large number of vendors.  There will be space for vendors and exhibitors at the Annual Meeting to be held in Fall 2016.

  1. What about appointments to Diocesan Committees and Boards?  What about budget requests and reports?

For most committees it will not be a problem to have the members continue to serve until the Fall 2016 Convention meeting.  A few Boards have been contacted and those that need approval of new members but either need more time for their nominating process (typically schools that are on a school year calendar) or prefer to wait until the spring to get their new members in place have elected to have this Convention authorize the Executive Board to approve the nominees (all of whom are ultimately nominated by the Bishop).  If your committee or board needs to have additional members appointed before the Fall 2016 Convention meeting please contact Joy Shackelford at jshackelford@edola.org  or 504-895-6634.  Committees and Boards should submit their budget requests to Chris Speed (cspeed@edola.org) and their reports for Convention to Ms. Shackelford (jshackelford@edola.org) no later than September 30.

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