Executive Council Report 2018

There are three governing bodies of the diocese: the bishop, Standing Committee and Convention. The Executive Council serves as the ‘convention between convention,’ acting to implement the programs, policies, and budgets set by Convention and serving as the board of directors for the diocese. The bishop serves as president of the Council. This year we had twenty other lay and ordained members who had been elected at Convention, by their deaneries or appointed by the bishop and serving staggered three year terms. The Chancellor, Treasurer, and Secretary of the Convention are ex officio members. Members of diocesan staff and a representative of Standing Committee also attend the meetings.

As part of its role as board of directors, Executive Council is one of the groups who watch over the financial position of the diocese. It has been our great pleasure to receive monthly reports and wise council from our Diocesan Treasurer, Mr. Bob McCaskill, and our Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Tom Fergusson. The Diocesan Chancellor, Mr. Christopher Hayes keeps council aware of any litigation facing the diocese as well as offering guidance in many areas. Last year convention voted to form a Family Medical Leave Task Force to explore ways family medical leave could be implemented in the diocese. Council worked with the bishop and the Personnel Practices Committee to ensure the task force was formed. The Secretary of Convention, Mr. David Fragquist, guided council in a revision of the Executive Council handbook including a change to canon 18.04 placed before Convention this year.

Members of Executive Council are very concerned with staying aware of the needs and struggles of the various parts of our diocese. To that end, we have continued two practices begun last year. At the end of each meeting we agree to approximately three ‘talking points,’ information we wish to bring to the attention of our congregations and deaneries pertinent to our common life. Every council meeting includes reports from the deaneries of the diocese. This helps ensure two way communication and aides the executive council in understanding the breadth of concerns in the diocese. Similarly, this year we have made a practice of receiving regular verbal reports from various diocesan institutions. To date we have heard from the Episcopal Impact Fund, Oasis, Henry Ohlhoff House, Episcopal Community Services, College Chaplaincies and the School for Deacons.

One of the many things we have learned this year is that strategies for land and space use are a recurrent theme in many of our congregations. It is a task of Executive Council to be involved in the decisions congregations are making as they impact the financial health of the diocese. The careful and creative work of many is to be commended.

It has been an honor to serve these past three years among such a group of dedicated and hardworking members of the Body of Christ who form Executive Council.

— The Rev. Deborah Hawkins, Executive Council chair, 2018