78th General Convention digest for July 3

July 3, 2015


[Episcopal News Service – Salt Lake City] Much happens each day during General Convention. In addition to Episcopal News Service’s other coverage, here are some additional news items from July 3, the ninth and final legislative day of June 25-July 3 gathering.

Deputies elect Kurt Barnes as General Convention treasurer

Two days after the House of Bishops elected incumbent Kurt N. Barnes as the treasurer of General Convention and three days after the House of Deputies elected former Executive Council Member Del Glover to the post, the House of Deputies elected Kurt Barnes to serve as convention treasurer.

Here is how it came about.

On June 30, the House of Deputies narrowly elected former Executive Council Member Del Glover, the only other nominee running against Barnes. Glover received 414 votes and Barnes received 400. On July 1, Barnes received 102 votes and Glover received 48 in the House of Bishops.

It became assumed that because of the split vote Barnes, who is also treasurer of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society, would retain his post. However, early in the deputies’ morning session on July 3, Parliamentarian Bryan Krislock informed the house that it had to vote again.

He explained that while most elections at General Convention take place in one house and are confirmed by the other, the treasurer election is unique in that it needs the concurrent action of both houses, according to Canon I.1.7(a).

Krislock told the house that Glover had withdrawn his name from contention. The deputies then voted for Barnes, 608-81.

Every regular meeting of the General Convention elects a treasurer who may also be treasurer of the Domestic & Foreign Missionary Society.

Barnes became treasurer of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society in 2004 and assumed the role of treasurer of the General Convention at the same time.

Barnes’ career has spanned finance and investment in for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. Barnes has worked as a Rand Corp. economist, a Time Inc. corporate planner, an editor of Fortune Magazine, an Inco Limited finance officer, and with Morgan Stanley Asset Management. He has assisted Amnesty International in restructuring its financial management and investment committee.

Presiding Bishop-elect Curry asks for two vice presidents

Bishop Mary Gray-Reeves of El Camino Real and Bishop Dean Wolfe of Kansas were both elected vice presidents of the House of Bishops during the July 3 afternoon session of the House of Bishops. Presiding Bishop-elect Michael Curry had requested a suspension of the rules to allow the elections of two instead of the usual one vice president. The house agreed to support the intention of the presiding bishop-elect and the two were elected. Bishop Suffragan Diane Bruce of Los Angeles was elected secretary of the house and she nominated Bishop Suffragan Allen Shin of New York as assistant secretary.

A courtesy resolution for the Presiding Bishop

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori was greeted with a standing ovation, sustained applause, cheers, whistles

after a courtesy resolution thanking her for her ministry was introduced by the 78th General Convention Committee on Courtesy and Privilege.

Committee created to evaluate General Seminary, Convention relationship

The 78th General Convention approved Resolution D075 authorizing the presiding officers to appoint a committee of no more than five members to evaluate the relationship between the General Convention and The General Theological Seminary. According to the resolution, the committee is to include one of the trustees elected at convention and is charged to determine whether this relationship is mutually beneficial at this point in the life of the church. The committee is asked to report to their findings to the 79th General Convention with recommended action, including the possibility of ending this relationship.

Houses affirm support for Central Americans fleeing violence 

The House of Deputies voted July 3 to concur with the House of Bishops of Resolution D033, “Supporting Refugee Rights in Central America,” which calls on The Episcopal Church to “acknowledge the continued violence against and displacement of citizens in Central America’s Northern Triangle (Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador), perpetrated by armed state and non-state actors.”

The world began paying attention to the crisis of epidemic violence in Central America when in the summer of 2014 Honduran, Guatemalan and El Salvadoran children began arriving at the U.S. border in unprecedented numbers.

Over the last year, the level of violence in the Northern Triangle has continued to rise, its residents continue to flee to the United States, and some women and children are housed in prison-like settings in detention centers.

The resolution further calls upon “the church and regional governments to affirm and support the work of civil society and international organizations as they address the needs of the displaced in their countries of origin; support the efforts of civil society groups and regional bodies, especially the work of our sister Anglican province La Iglesia de la Region Central de America (IARCA), the Diocese of Honduras, and human rights organizations, which seek to address the root causes of violence and engage in advocacy and dialogue with their governments to serve the needs of and create safe spaces for internally displaced persons and refugees.”

It also calls on The Episcopal Church, in solidarity with IARCA, to push for government accountability in Central America; for the church to advocate for the U.S. government to play a positive role, to strengthen legal institutions financially; and to encourage the Central American and Mexican governments to uphold the legal rights of victims.

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