By Jean Wilson
The Diocesan Council met at Christ Church, Montpelier.
The Rev. Dr. Fred Moser reported that he recently returned from the National Workshop on Christian Unity and Annual Meeting of the Episcopal Diocesan Ecumenical and Interreligious Officers. Much time was spent reflecting on the potential Episcopal/United Methodist work toward Full Communion agreement, and the implications of the recent decision of the Methodist community concerning LGBTQ persons. Fred shared a desire for the diocese to host a seminar on the concept of full communion, and to also host a vibrant program on ecumenical formation that reaches out to young people.
Dr. Gerry Davis, treasurer, submitted a written report. The 2018 finances are still being finalized as all parochial reports are not yet in. For 2019, the financials look good – anticipated revenue is a bit above expectations at this point. It was noted that the assessment model appears to be working well.
It was reported that the Grants and Loans Committee met on April 27 and awarded grants totaling $17,750: Rock Point Pollinator Project, $4,050, St. Paul’s Cathedral for Rock Point Camp Scholarships for Sudanese Immigrant Community, $6,000, St. Mary’s Wilmington Jerusalem Peacebuilders two-week leadership program, $7,500.
Our Province I representative reported on the annual synod meeting held May 10 in Worcester, MA. At that event, our own Rev. Dr. Titus Pressler led a story-sharing session about what God is doing in our midst. Additionally, Tom Little, our diocesan chancellor, presented on the history of the provinces of the Episcopal Church of America, and brought forth ideas for changes in the Province I Canons, including increasing the representation on the executive council to include a lay member. The event featured other presentations on mission, evangelism, racial reconciliation, and immigration.
Diocesan Council is very pleased with hard work of the Bishop Discernment & Nominating Committee and Transition Committee in the search for our 11th Bishop. The three very impressive bishop candidates were in Vermont for “walkabouts” April 28-30, which went very well. Council commented about the fairness and consistency in the sessions. There are important future dates to note: May 18 Electing Convention, June 2 and 29 Farewell Celebrations for Bishop Ely and Ann, and September 28 Consecration.
Council passed a resolution to move $7,500 from the Bishop Butterfield Grant Fund to the Episcopal Transition budget to provide livestream and videography coverage for the consecration by CCTV. This will allow the event to be streamed online, broadcast on television, replicated on DVD.
Renovations at the Bishop’s House are moving along well. Larger capital projects are being funded through the Partnership Campaign for Rock Point, while cosmetic work is covered by funds set aside for the Bishop Transition. Bishop Ely and Ann will be moving out of the Bishop’s House the week of June 10.
The Alleluiafund annual appeal has been mailed out, and all are encouraged to contribute and to spread the word in their home parishes.
The next Diocesan Council meeting will be on Saturday, June 29 at St. Paul’s, White River Junction.