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Saturday, June 6, 2009

Constitution and Canons

STANDING COMMISSION ON CONSTITUTION AND CANONS
Blue Book, pp. 109-121


Mandate
The Standing Commission on Constitution and Canons (SCCC) is charged with: (1) review of all proposed amendments to the Constitution or Canons, placing said amendments in proper form, and issuing its views to the proponent of said amendment; and (2) reviewing the Constitution and Canons for consistency and proposing amendments which it deems desirable and necessary, whether such amendments result in mere clerical corrections or substantial alterations, and (3) recommend bylaw changes to the Executive Council and the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society to promote consistency with the Constitution and Canons.

Constitutional Amendments Proposed for Second Reading

A051 Amend Constitution Article VIII
The Constitution currently permits only occasional services by non-Episcopal, full-communion clergy (such as Evangelical Lutheran Church of America - ELCA). This amendment removes the need to amend the Constitution any time the Church enters into full communion with another denomination. SCCC recommends adoption.

A052 Amend Constitution Article I, Section 2
Provides who shall have seat, voice and vote in the House of Bishops. Originally adopted by GC03, amended by GC06, now appearing for second reading at GC09. SCCC recommends adoption.

Constitutional Amendments Proposed for First Reading

None.

Proposed Canonical Amendments

A053 Amend Canon I.4.1(c)
Clarifies that lay persons elected to Executive Council must be confirmed adult communicants in good standing, deleting some excess verbiage which no longer applies. SCCC recommends adoption.

A054 Add Canon I.4.6(j)
Requires all dioceses to report basic data concerning each active congregation to the Executive Committee, to ensure that all are included in the annual Parochial Report process. This amendment was proposed at GC06, but no action was taken. SCCC recommends adoption.

A055 Amend Canon I.12
Allows members of Standing Committees to sign documents in counterparts, in accord with legal custom. SCCC recommends adoption.

A056 Canon III,11.4(a)
Clerical correction to the Canon passed by GC06 as part of the Title III rewrite, requiring that the Standing Committee send a certificate attesting to a newly-elected bishop’s medical, psychological and psychiatric fitness as part of the consent process. The requirement of a certificate had been originally intended, but overlooked. SCCC recommends adoption.

A057 Amend Canon III.11
Constitution Article II, Section 8 provides that a bishop may become bishop of another Diocese under certain conditions. This amendment provides canonical basis for consent to such election. This amendment also changes the formal wording of consents to Episcopal elections, by providing for consent via telecommunication, and also by adding language that the Standing Committee or House of Deputies actually consents to the election, rather than merely finding no impediment. SCCC recommends adoption.

A058 Amend Canons IV.6, IV.14, IV.15 and Title IV Appendix
If the revised Title IV is not adopted, this amendment would conform the above canons to the Constitutional changes made at GC03. No action was taken on this amendment by GC06, but the canons still require this housekeeping measure. SCCC recommends adoption.

A059 Amend Rules of Order for the House of Deputies
Provides that no resolution proposing a Constitutional or canonical change may be considered for the first time on the last legislative day. The House of Bishops adopted this rule at GC06, but time ran out for its consideration in the House of Deputies. SCCC recommends adoption.

A060 Regarding Canon I.1.5
Tasks the Standing Commission on Structure of the Church with evaluating the creation of a Registrar of the House of Bishops, to maintain the documents connected with the ordination and consecration of bishops, and to report its findings back to GC12. SCCC recommends adoption.


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