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2013 Diocesan Council Priorities

2013 Diocese of Vermont
Diocesan Council Priorities
Adopted April 6, 2013

The Diocesan Council of the Episcopal Church in Vermont adopts as priorities for action in 2013:

Social Justice:

  • Identify social justice issues facing the church and the world that are of particular concern to the Episcopal Church in Vermont.
    • The priority focus for 2013 is economic justice.
    • Next steps: Sub-group of Council will by Diocesan Convention 2013:
      • produce position statement for consideration of adoption by Council and publication to the wider community;
      • develop an educational resource;
      • create bibliography of economic justice resources;
      • collaborate, promote and engage the diaconal ministry in implementation of the 2012 Diocesan Convention resolution on poverty.

Stirrings of the Spirit:

  • Support use of Stirrings of the Spirit as a fundamental theme for diocesan events in 2013:
    • attend and participate the Ministry Expo and Convention;
    • promote/invite/model for others to attend.
  • Monitor, encourage, and support the Stirrings of the Spirit leadership team as they work to establish guidelines and new initiatives to bring church to the people and people to the church through non-institutional based ministries:
    • receive regular reports from the Council member liaison to Stirrings;
    • be informed through the Stirrings webpage and Facebook page;
    • offer opening prayer/worship at Council meetings which are innovative/fresh expressions of worship (overlap with the spiritual formation Council members);
  • Encourage and support efforts to obtain grant funding for Stirrings of the Spirit initiatives:
    • identify and assemble a team to work on grant researching and writing.

Spiritual Formation:

  • Practice and model a spiritual foundation for the work and activities of Diocesan Council by:
    • beginning all meetings with prayer;
    • including prayer for those living in poverty;
    • eading Dignity by Donna Hicks and including a reflection on some aspect of the book in the opening exercise at each meeting.
  • Promote through the Mission Districts opportunities to nurture spiritual growth and renewal in Episcopal churches in Vermont by:
    • promoting a “Diocesan Read” of Dignity, including suggestions on how Mission Districts and congregations can engage with the book and implement the “Dignity Declaration;”
    • inviting Mission Districts to facilitate the Diocesan Read in congregations.
  • Monitor implementation of directory of Spiritual Directors.

Communications:

  •  Be vocal evangelists within and outside of Council and our home congregations of not only the good work of the Episcopal Church in Vermont, but also the Good News of God’s real and redeeming presence in the world.
  • Define the communications requirements for the Episcopal Church in Vermont.
  • Participate in, and support, the work of the Communications Task Force as it addresses future communication requirements and initiatives for the Episcopal Church in Vermont.
  • Consider and enact Task Force recommendations, particularly with regard to their implications for, and inclusion in, the 2014 budget.
  • Establish a protocol for two-way communications among Council members, Mission Districts, and congregations within districts.
  • Explore, determine, and provide methods of maximizing participation in the life of the diocese by all by increasing meeting accessibility through voice and video conferencing, cloud based files and software, and other pertinent technologies.

Stewardship of Human and Financial Resources:

  • In collaboration with the Canon for Stewardship Development, lead a process to engagecongregations in a discussion of the stewardship of human and financial resources, including:
    • How do congregational financial contributions to the work of the Episcopal Church in Vermont advance God’s mission through building our common life together?
    • Is the formula for determining congregational contributions equitable, and do congregations understand how their funds are used?
    • Should a portion of congregational contributions be allocated toward outreach (domestic and/or global) in the diocesan budget?
  • Develop ways to communicate more fully the stewardship of our human and financial resources to the people of the Episcopal Church in Vermont.
  • In collaboration with the Budget and Finance Committee:
    • implement and monitor 2013 Budget;
    • prepare a balanced budget for the work of the Episcopal Church in Vermont in 2014 for adoption by the Council in September and by the November Diocesan Convention;
    • monitor issues of clergy compensation and present a resolution on minimum compensation for adoption by the Council in September and by the November Diocesan Convention;
    • adopt a resolution on housing allowances for clergy members of the DMST at Council’s last meeting in 2013.
  • Contribute to the Alleluia Fund, and in collaboration with the Alleluia Fund Leadership Committee, advance the Alleluia Fund by:
    • making an early commitment to the Fund during Lent;
    • assisting clergy in promoting the Fund during Eastertide;
    • supporting the Family Fun Day and the Golf Outing within members’ Mission Districts and congregations;
    • developing a process for evaluating the Alleluia Fund effort and making recommendations for its future implementation.
  • In collaboration with the Health Care Task Force, monitor the new health insurance plan and developments at the state level and prepare a report for the November Diocesan Convention.
  • Collaborate with a group appointed by the Bishop to recommend next steps for a capital campaign as recommended by the June 2011 Special Convention, report to Council with recommendations by the September 2013 meeting, and report the results to Diocesan Convention.

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