Resolution 1: Sabbatical Leave Policy for Interim Clergy

Resolved, That the 170th Convention of the Diocese of California hereby establishes a Sabbatical Task Force to research and prepare a proposal for a paid sabbatical leave policy for clergy who serve as interim rectors, vicars, or priests-in-charge; 

Resolved, That the Task Force shall consider how and when such sabbaticals shall vest, the length thereof, the funding source or sources to be utilized, and such other matters as shall enable all qualifying clergy who serve as interim rectors, vicars, or priests-in-charge to enjoy a healthy sabbatical leave;

Resolved, That the Task Force shall be composed of five persons to be appointed by the Bishop, two of whom shall have served in an interim position; and

Resolved, That the Task Force shall submit a report of its findings and recommendations for consideration at the 171st Convention of the Diocese of California.
 

Explanation:

Interim Rectors, Vicars and Priests-in Charge are more than placeholder clergy to keep things going while a parish is in transition between clergy. They are also change agents with special training and skills who are critical to leading and restoring healthy, vibrant communities of faith through a difficult and stressful period.

This task force will seek to remedy an inequity: Rectors and Vicars are covered by a Diocesan sabbatical policy, but we do not have such a policy for Interim clergy since their positions are considered temporary. However, there are a number of clergy in our Diocese who have served continuously for five years or more as Interim Rectors, albeit serially and in several parishes.

Funding the related costs of a sabbatical leave is a major factor. This Task Force will coordinate with and gather data from the Personnel Practices Committee or Executive Council and its Program and Budget Committee, and explore strategies which may include cost-sharing by parishes who benefit from interim clergy, and additional funding sources which may include the Lilly Endowment Inc., DuPont and the Church Pension Group.

Diocesan Convention is an appropriate forum for consideration of this resolution, and Convention should adopt it in order to be fair and equitable to those interim clergy who serve parishes in times of change, leading them through the anxiety and stresses of major change to become healthy and whole communities to further God’s mission in the world and to serve as bold and confident witnesses to our Risen Lord.

Submitted By: 

Ms. Emily Hopkins, Delegate, St. Paul’s, Walnut Creek, 925-324-9056, emilyhopkins4@gmail.com

The Rev. Audrey Miskelley, Interim Rector, St. Luke's, San Francisco, 415-673-7399, amiskelley@stlukessf.org

Endorsed By:

The Rev. Kathy Trapani, Interim Rector, Resurrection, Pleasant Hill

The Rev. Krista Fregoso, Rector, St. Paul’s, Walnut Creek

The Rev. Cameron Partridge, Rector, St. Aidan's, San Francisco

The Rev. Dr. Deborah White, Rector, Grace Martinez

Mr. Ron Hermanson

The Rev. Martha Korienek

The Rev. Julie Wakelee-Lynch, St. Alban's, Albany

The Rev. Jeff Dodge, Rector, St. Anne's, Fremont

The Rev. Jill Honodel, St. Anna's, Antioch

Comments

I am not sure if the proponent of this resolution is aware that rector s, vicars and priests in charge only receive the sabbatical benefit if they serve continuously in the same congregation. If there is a job change before the five year period the sabbatical benefit is forfeited, even if they remain in the same diocese. The same applies to assistants, associates and curates. BTW, there is no provision for lay sabbaticals.

Thank you for this information.

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