The time has come to make decisions about structural change in the Episcopal Church. We’ve had our best people study this for three years. They sought out feedback from the whole church. And after that process, we received their report. This report is often referred to simply as TREC, from the Taskforce to Reimagine the Episcopal Church.
When the report came out, many folks had concerns. Some ideas didn’t seem to be in the purview of General Convention, like the suggestions for the seminaries. Others were good ideas that simply needed a little tweaking.
But this is the nature of such wide-ranging conversation and calls for change. You have to start somewhere. The Taskforce to Reimagine the Episcopal Church got the conversation started.
And then others stepped forward to continue this conversation. The group behind episcopalresurrection.org took what they thought were the best ideas from the report and fashioned them into resolutions. Several of these have already passed through the House of Deputies, including the call to plant more churches and the plan for a digital evangelism test.
Yet the larger questions about the Episcopal Church’s structure have not yet been addressed. Will the size of Executive Council change? Will the number of Standing Commissions be cut?
This Convention has significant decisions to make about these and other issues. And this is complex, difficult work. The deputies cannot simply be sorted into those who are ‘for’ and those who are ‘against.’ At the same time, many voices seem anxious about making any changes at all.
Every person elected to be in Salt Lake City is a leader in his or her context. Leadership is hard work and that is what is called for today. The Taskforce to Reimagine the Episcopal Church spent three years and a few hundred thousand dollars to bring significant questions to the table. We may not agree with all their recommendations, but we have reached this moment in our common life because some changes need to be made.
So deputies, be bold. Imagine the Church as you wish it would be. Think of how we can best be able to share the Good News of God’s love for the world, manifest in the person of Jesus. Dream, discuss, and then vote. We’re all praying for you today.