Report on Clergy Compensation

Canon 13.05 (new)

Resolved, That Canon XIII of the Canons of the Diocese of California be amended to insert a new Section 13.05 after the existing Section 13.04 as follows:

Sec. 13.05 Report on Clergy Compensation.

Each Annual Convention of the Diocese of California shall receive a Report on Clergy Compensation, listing for each congregation the average Sunday attendance, Normal Operating Income, the years of ordained experience of each stipendiary cleric, the percent of time each stipendiary cleric works, and total pension-assessable compensation of each stipendiary cleric for the previous year. Congregations and clergy shall not be identified by name or city in the Report. This Report shall be submitted by the Finance Office of the Diocese and shall be published in the Convention Journal and on the Diocese of California website. The report shall also be sent to congregations’ wardens and search committees when they begin the process to call a new stipendiary clergyperson.

Proponents’ Explanation:

The Diocese of California has made great strides in women’s ministry under the leadership of Bishop Marc Andrus. Our first woman Canon to the Ordinary has now been succeeded by the second woman Canon to the Ordinary. Women have been appointed to a number of senior diocesan staff positions, including Canon for Formation, Transition Minister, and Archdeacon. Grace Cathedral has had its first woman Dean. Women’s ministry has been celebrated in special liturgies and at the 2017 Diocesan Convention with guest preacher Bishop Barbara Harris.

Inspired by Bishop Marc’s work in lifting up women’s ministry, the Diocese of California must now examine structural inequities that disproportionately affect women, people of color, and LGBTQ+ people. The House of Bishops committed itself to this work at this year’s General Convention through “A Working Covenant for the Practice of Justice and Equity for All in The Episcopal Church.”[1] The Diocese of California has a robust, well-thought-out scale of minimum compensation for clergy, yet because congregations may pay their clergy as much above the minimum as they wish, the scale of minimum compensation alone cannot ensure equity. The Church Pension Group’s annual reports on clergy compensation have found that male clergy are consistently paid more than women clergy in similar positions, even when controlling for age and years of ordained experience. In 2016, the median compensation for full-time clergy in Province VIII was:

 

Senior clergy

Solo clergy

Associate/assistant/curate

Male

$99,243

$74,500

$60,000

Female

$87,710

$73,496

$69,076

 

At this time CPG does not record the race/ethnicity of clergy, making it difficult to track any disparities between white clergy and clergy of color. CPG’s clergy compensation report will include data on race beginning in 2020. The Office of Transition Ministry has been directed to compile similar information on LGBTQ+ clergy.

The proposed canon follows the model practiced by the Diocese of Georgia, which publishes salaries by size of congregation budget, annual Sunday attendance, and clergyperson’s years of ordained experience.[2] This allows for easy comparison between congregations while providing some privacy for individual clergy. Publishing salaries has helped the Diocese of George to reduce its gender pay gap substantially.[3]

A report on clergy compensation is an initial step in remedying pay inequities. First, it shows us where those inequities are. Second, it provides clergy and congregations in the search process with valuable information as they negotiate compensation. Additional steps may be necessary in future years to ensure equity in pay for similar work in similar congregations.

The biblical witness calls us to transparency in our dealings with money. Jesus taught again and again that our relationship with money is a reflection of our relationship with God. Where we place our treasure, we place our hearts also (Matthew 6:21; Luke 12:34). The rules of life of many intentional Christian communities, such as the Iona Community, hold members accountable to each other for their use of money for this reason.[4]

Transparency is a means to an even more biblical end: justice. The Diocese of California is recognized throughout and beyond the Episcopal Church for its commitment to justice. We have the opportunity to lead our Church in working towards equitable compensation as we strive for justice for all, regardless of gender identity, race, or sexuality.

Submitted by:

The Rev. Gia Hayes-Martin, Rector, St. Bede’s, Menlo Park, gia@stbedesmenlopark.org, 650-854-6555
The Rev. Liz Tichenor, Associate Rector, All Souls, Berkeley, liz@allsoulsparish.org, 510-848-1755 (on sabbatical through mid-August)

Endorsed by:

The Rev. Phil Brochard, Rector, All Souls, Berkeley
The Rev. Lindy Bunch, Associate Rector, St. Mark’s, Palo Alto
The Rev. David Erickson, Rector, St. Mary the Virgin, San Francisco
The Rev. Heather Erickson, Assisting Clergy, St. John’s, Ross
The Rev. Paul Fromberg, Rector, St. Gregory of Nyssa, San Francisco
The Rev. Stacey Grossman, Priest-in-Charge, St. Francis of Assisi, Novato
The Rev. Cameron Partridge, Rector, St. Aidan’s, San Francisco
The Rev. Chris Rankin-Williams, Rector, St. John’s, Ross
The Rev. Claire Dietrich Ranna, Rector, Christ Church, Los Altos
The Rev. Ginger Strickland, Associate Rector, St. John’s, Ross

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