DIOCESAN CONVENTION REPORT – HELD ON NOVEMBER 8, 2014
by Anne Rippy Turtle & John Turtle
On Saturday, November 8, Anne and I represented St. Mary’s Church as delegates to the 229th Diocesan Convention held at St Stephen’s Memorial Church in Lynn, MA.
Our new Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Alan Gates was very much the master of ceremonies. In his first Diocesan Convention address he rejoiced in his return after an absence of 20 years to the diocese where he was ordained. He said that although this Diocese is healthy, over the past 20 years the overall status of the Episcopal Church in the community has weakened considerably. Bishop Gates asked for “our patience” in his first year as Bishop as he becomes acquainted with the Diocese, and the Convention approved delaying the adoption of a Diocesan Mission Strategy until 2016 at the request of Bishop Gates.
Following a recent visit to Japan, Bishop Gayle Harris gave a sermon decrying the consequences of nuclear war. She stressed the Christian imperative to wage peace.
The $8.2 million 2015 budget was approved; it includes a $3,400 increase in St. Mary’s assessment to $49,700.
The convention adopted 2 resolutions on environmentally responsible financial investment policy and fossil fuel divestment. It was also voted to forward a memorial (a statement of concern) to the Episcopal Church’s triennial General Convention of 2015 for the need for multi-faith educational resources.
We also learned about —
The Mission Institute, a collaborative effort between the Diocese of Massachusetts, Episcopal City Mission and Episcopal Divinity School, which showcased its newly produced “Being Church” video parable series.
The two newest Mission Hubs, one ministering with the Brazilian immigrant community in Boston’s Metrowest suburbs and another forming to serve needs on the North Shore.
Two Church Mergers, Bristol Trinity Episcopal Church in North Easton and All Saints’ Church of the North Shore in Danvers.
Initiatives of Episcopal Relief and Development (www.episcopalrelief.org), the Episcopal Church’s relief and development organization. ERD is launching a $7.5-million campaign to celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2015.
If you are interested in additional details about the Convention, you can find more information posted on the Diocesan website: http://www.diomass.org. Anne or I can also answer questions.