By Marjorie Strong
The March 7 meeting was called to order by the Rt. Rev. Thomas Ely at 7:00 PM. Opening devotions were led by the Rev. Heidi Edson. The Consent Agenda was approved. The meeting continued with a review of the Treasurer’s Report, Though Gerry Davis could not attend the meeting, the Bishop took questions and comments, and the Treasurer’s Report was accepted unanimously.
The main portion of the meeting was devoted to reviewing Council’s priorities for the coming year. The Way of Love will provide the underpinning to all of Council’s priorities, and the Bishop expressed hope that it could be woven into our devotions. Another priority for Council is Evangelism, and Dinny Hawksworth reported that there will be articles about the Green Mountain Witness (GMW) in The Mountain. As well, GMW has been cited on the website of The Episcopal Church, and the evangelism team in Massachusetts has contacted GMW for a meeting.
The Rev. Fred Moser reported on Ecumenical/Interreligious Relations, particularly on the recent vote by the United Methodists opposing gay marriage, which raises questions about the current discussions surrounding full communion with them. Maurice Harris followed with a report on Racial Reconciliation, which included some discussion of Sacred Ground, a new dialogue series from The Episcopal Church that explores faith and religion. Maurice also updated Council on the progress of PR.2, a bill in front of the Vermont Legislature that would eliminate references to slavery in the Vermont Constitution.
The meeting ended with Maurice unveiling plans for improving the diocesan website by migrating to a new web host. The move will result in such features as stability, content changing in real time, and a functional search bar. As well, Maurice reported on his work with Rock Point, helping with their marketing, and improving their website.