When they gather in Diocesan Convention later this month, eastern Massachusetts Episcopalians will take action on measures that advance ongoing racial justice work in the diocese as well as congregational health and wellness. They also will take time to consider together how they and their congregations are called, in Christ, to collaborate--this year's theme.
Diocesan Convention, the primary representative governing body of the diocese, convenes Oct. 27-28 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel North Shore in Danvers.
A $9-million proposed budget for 2024 will come before the convention, which includes a $92,000 initial allocation to the diocesan Reparations Fund that the convention voted last year to establish. Convention will consider a resolution from the diocesan Racial Justice Commission that further articulates the new fund's purpose, proposes guiding principles for the fund and calls for the creation of a Reparations Fund Committee to oversee it.
A second resolution proposed by the Racial Justice Commission requests annual funding of at least $20,000 for ongoing racial justice work within the diocesan and cathedral staffs.
Also coming before the convention is a resolution calling for the creation of a Healthy Congregations Task Force "to identify the components of a healthy congregation, catalog the resources currently available and recommend additional resources needed to support healthy congregational communities, with a particular focus on mental health supports"
Find full text of the resolutions in the convention Handbook, here.
Saturday's business sessions follow a discussion program the previous afternoon, open to all who register and featuring guest speaker the Rev. Katie Nakamura Rengers, Staff Officer for Church Planting for The Episcopal Church.
Rengers will open Friday's afternoon session, also featuring a panel of presenters representing different ministry contexts around the diocese who will talk about the challenges and blessings of collaborating with partners in and outside of the church, followed by small group break-out conversations.
There are in-person and online options to participate in Friday's afternoon discussion program. Rengers also will give the keynote address, "Declaring the Dream, Borrowing Courage, Muddling Toward Our Vibrant Future," at 7 p.m. following dinner on Friday.
Saturday's agenda includes a morning service of Holy Eucharist, with Bishop Alan M. Gates's annual address, and all business sessions.
Delegates, clergy and all with voice and/or vote will participate in business sessions in person, with a livestream available for guest viewing. Information for accessing the livestream will be posted at www.diomass.org/diocesan-convention-2023, where convention information and materials are available.