Constitution and Canons Committee Reports to Executive Council
Mr. George Komechak, chair of the Constitution and Canons Committee reported on the work of the committee at the Executive Council’s first meeting of 2015.
He said that in response to the new Canon 42, Committee on Constitution and Canons, describing the organization and function of the committee that was passed at the 2014 Convention, committee appointments have now been made by Bishop Rayford B.High, Jr.
The members and their term completions at end of convention are:
- Chair, Mr. George Komechak, Trinity, Fort Worth, 2015
- Mr. Jon Back, Good Shepherd, Granbury, 2017
- The Rev. Fred Barber, All Saints, Fort Worth, 2017
- Mr. Walt Cabe, St. Alban’s, Arlington 2016
- Mr. Bill Greenhill, All Saints, Fort Worth, 2017
- Mr. Bob Hicks, St. Christopher, Fort Worth, 2015
- Ms. Connie Lefler, All Saints, Fort Worth, 2016
- The Rev. David Madison, All Saints School 2016
- Ms. Elinor Normand, Trinity, Fort Worth, 2015,
- Ms. Kathleen Wells, Chancellor and ex officio member
In accordance with the canon, one third of the committee members will be appointed at annual convention by the bishop for three-year terms.
The committee also will monitor the results of General Convention 2015 in Salt Lake City this summer should any changes be required in diocesan canons to keep them in compliance with the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church.
Ms. Elinor Normand, convener of the Constitution and Canons Rewrite Committee, a subcommittee of the Constitution and Canons Committee, announced the membership of the subcommittee: the Rev. Fred Barber, retired; Mr. Bill Greenhill, All Saints’, Fort Worth; Mr. Bob Hicks, St. Christopher, Fort Worth; the Rev. Maurine (Mo) Lewis, retired, and Ms. Kathleen Wells, chancellor.This committee worked in 2014 to rewrite the diocesan constitution. The 2014 Diocesan Convention passed the first vote on the rewritten constitution in November, 2014.
“The committee now is preparing a companion set of canons. The structure of the canons will parallel the structure of the new constitution. Some of the text from existing canons is being inserted as is into the new structure; some new text is being added to support changes in the new constitution; and in some places, changes are being made to existing canons to more accurately reflect the needs of our diocese at this time,” Normand reported.
Some proposed changes in canons include
- Regroup canons into categories called Titles, as in Title I: Diocesan Convention, Title II: Permanent Diocesan Officers.
- Change delegate formula basis from Confirmed Communicants to Average Sunday Attendance.
- Change age of delegate from 18 to 16 to allow for a congregation to elect a younger delegate having a vote, in addition to a “youth representative” without a vote.
- Add a new category of convention member: certain lay diocesan officials that are elected by convention. These people will have seat and voice, but no vote.
- Add a new category of convention member: nonvoting representative from a mission station who will have seat and voice.
- Among reports submitted to convention, add a requirement that each parish or mission should submit a report of their activities for the year.
- Define a quorum for convention as 1/3 of clergy and 1/3 of delegates from 1/3 of the congregations.
Council members were emailed a working draft of the canon changes (Titles I and Title II) overhaul project and invited to send their comments and suggestions to Normand at firstname.lastname@example.org.