Diocesan Council Reports Progress in May 20 Meeting
Diocesan Council is the legislative arm of the diocese between conventions and consists of the Bishop as Chair, ex officio; the Canon to the Ordinary, ex officio; the Chancellor, ex officio; the Diocesan Treasurer, ex officio; and three members elected by each of the five Mission Districts.
Council meetings are open to all people of the Diocese. The next meeting will take place Wednesday, August 2, 2017, from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM by video-conference. If you wish to attend, please call the Diocesan Office at (802) 863-3431 for additional details.
To follow are reports from the meeting held on May 20, 2017.
Bishop’s Report to Diocesan Council June 17, 2017
- I ordained Robert Wilson and Christine Moseley, St. Mark’s Newport to the sacred order of priests on June 16, 2017 at St. Mark’s, Newport, as members of St. Mark’s Local Ministry Support Team.
- I will ordain Kathy Hartman to the sacred order of priests, on July 28, 2017 at Old Christ Church, Bethel, as a member of the Christ Church Local Ministry Support Team.
- The following congregations are in transition (mostly with respect to calling new clergy leadership): St. James’, Arlington: The Reverend Christopher David, Interim; St. Thomas & Grace, Brandon, Supply Clergy; Christ Church, Island Pond: Supply Clergy; St. Peter’s, Lyndonville: Supply Clergy; Saint Mark’s, Newport: The Rev. Jane Butterfield, Interim; Gethsemane, Proctorsville: Supply Clergy; Saint John’s, Randolph: Supply Clergy; Saint Luke’s, St. Albans: The Rev. Craig Smith, Sunday Supply and one day a week; Saint Andrew’s, St. Johnsbury: Supply Clergy; St. Mark’s, Springfield: The Rev. Betty Berlenbach and The Rev. Victor Horvath, Interim; Calvary, Underhill: Supply Clergy; St. Mary’s, Wilmington: The Rev. Nicholas Porter, Interim.
- I gathered with the Deacons of our diocese for a Retreat Day on June 3rd, where the focus of our discussion was on restorative justice. We are blessed in Vermont with some very dedicated and engaged Deacons, with whom it is my pleasure and privilege to work.
- I attended Rock Point School Graduation on June 10th. We graduated 5 students, all of whom will go on to higher education.
- On Saturday June 10th, I met with the seven youth members and two adult members of our diocesan EYE (Episcopal Youth Event) delegation, who will represent us this summer in Oklahoma. I will be attending EYE with them.
- On Sunday June 18th, I will preach at St. Thomas, Hanover, NH as part of the Connecticut River Pilgrimage festivities. Bishop Rob Hirschfeld, of New Hampshire, will grace the pulpit of St. Barnabas, Norwich that same day, in an “Episcopal Pulpit Exchange.” I don’t know if this is a first, or not, but it is certainly a first for me.
- Ann and I will join the Connecticut River Pilgrimage for three days starting June 22nd, kayaking from Springfield, VT to Brattleboro.
- The Diocesan Convention Planning Team continues its work in preparation for out Diocesan Convention, November 3-4, 2017 at Jackson Gore, in Ludlow. Our theme is “Declare Dignity,” with special guest Dr. Donna Hicks.
- The Partnership Campaign for Rock Point continues its progress with the launch of the Parish phase of the Campaign on Pentecost, June 4, 2017, and increased connections with the wider Burlington civic community. Save the date of Saturday October 7th for this year’s Partners and Friends gathering at Rock Point.
- I’ve made 10 visitations since our last Council meeting. These included Sunday visits with St. James Woodstock, St. Dunstan’s, Waitsfield, St. John’s Randolph, and Christ Church, Bethel. Weekday visits included St. James, Arlington, Trinity, Rutland, St. Andrew’s, St. Johnsbury, St. Paul’s, Windsor, St. Mathew’s, Enosburg Falls and St. Mary’s in the Mountains, Wilmington. Whew! No wonder I’m not sure where I am from day to day!
- I finally got on the links, thanks to the guys at Christ Church, Bethel. Faithfully, +Thomas
Diocesan Council Meeting Recap
By Barbara Johnson | Mission District 3
At its May 20 meeting, the Diocesan Council adopted an Alcohol Use Policy that applies to events conducted on Diocesan property (Rock Point) and to functions sponsored by the Diocese of Vermont held in other locations. While clarifying whether and how alcohol may or may not be served or consumed by attendees of such events, it was also emphasized that the Policy does not apply to events or activities not sponsored by the Diocese; relevant policies of parishes apply to local functions.
Council members discussed at length the closely integrated principles of evangelism, formation and mission that represent the foundation of Parish programs and activities, as well as individual discipleship. Application of these concepts ongoing consideration of Council priorities will enrich the role played by Vermont parishes in the Jesus Movement.
The Treasurer’s Report included an update on progress in the implementation of the revised method of collecting Parish contributions to the work of the Diocese. Approximately half of the 45 parishes have chosen to use the “Actual” method, calculating their monthly contribution based on their actual sharable revenues over the previous month, and half have chosen to use the monthly “Estimate” based on prior years’ experience. Comparison of payment history to date demonstrates that, overall, the “Actual” calculation (new method) provides revenues that are very close to budget estimate amounts, and that if all parishes pay their contributions promptly the Diocesan budget will be very sound.
The Council received a Report from the Canon describing activity in her ministries, as well as a Report of the Ecumenical and Interreligious officer to Diocesan Council, who described the May 2017, meeting of the National Workshop on Christian Unity and the Annual Meeting of Episcopal Diocesan Ecumenical and Interreligious Officers. Council members discussed the promotion of information regarding ecumenical/interreligious work among Vermont parishes.
Bishop Ely encouraged Council members to maximize communication in the Mission Districts about shared stewardship responsibilities (Alleluia Fund and Rock Point Partnership), using available materials in the form of videos, brochures, and fliers to make these opportunities part of the annual fabric of giving for Vermont congregations.
Barbara Johnson is Senior Warden at St. James, Woodstock in addition to representing Mission District 3.