Opportunities to Review and Provide Input on Proposals
The following invitation to further public conversation and feedback was sent to the dioceses in early December. The documents for review and feedback during these sessions are now available and posted to the diocesan websites (see links below). Please register to add your voice to this important process and share broadly with your congregation.
It’s been a busy and complex many years in the Dioceses of Eastern and Western Michigan. Since Eastern Michigan first issued the invitation to discernment in 2018 and Western Michigan responded with “yes!” in 2019, together we’ve navigated a pandemic, two cases of bishop discipline, and a rapidly changing church. These years and moments have been spirit-filled and not always easy nor perfectly lived, but we’ve navigated them well with deep care for one another, the communities we tend, and for the future of our beloved church.
With a March Special Convention on the horizon, we are in the last few months of our discernment process as partnering dioceses and we need YOUR help!!
At our recent diocesan convention, our Building Bridges Steering Committee offered an extended report about their work over the last several years: what they’ve done, what they’ve heard, what they’ve learned, and – based on those things – what this all tells us about opportunities present for us as Episcopalians in this place. Their report, titled “Better Together” articulates the “why” of their recommendation to move forward seeking “juncture” – the creation of a new diocese out of our combined body.
Click here to access the 2023 Building Bridges Report to Convention.
Click here to access the new Frequently Asked Questions, created from input from delegates.
As articulated in the report, the Building Bridges team is hard at work, gathering leaders and drafting documents that are required for the Agreement of Union – the set of materials which will be submitted to the Special Joint Convention on March 16th in the vote for juncture. Should our joint convention act for juncture, the Agreement of Union would be submitted to the General Convention of The Episcopal Church for affirmation. The Agreement of Union includes:
- The Draft Constitution and Canons for the new diocese (The canons would then be presented for adoption – with amendment possible – at the first convention of the new diocese in October.)
- Summary of the financial resources and means of funding the mission and ministries of the new diocese
- Broad timeline and basic plan for the election of the first bishop diocesan of the proposed new diocese
- Name of the new diocese
We’ve been working on these drafts to present in full to the pre-convention meetings and Special Convention of the dioceses, however before we finalize them, we need your input and feedback on several areas of recommendation: apportionment calculations, regions/collaboratives, the make up of diocesan councils and standing committees, etc. During these upcoming Feedback Sessions, our committee will walk participants through these recommendations, identifying what the current canons of each our dioceses say, what the committee recommends for a new diocese and why. Your input will directly influence the final, content of the Agreement of Union as it will be submitted to the Special Joint Convention and this critical step in developing our canons and structures.
Your input can also help us identify what we may be yet missing, additional areas of concern, and more. While the canons can be adapted and amended up until their formal adoption at the first convention in October (and in all conventions that follow), we want them as complete as possible when we vote on juncture in March. We aren’t seeking perfection, but have worked hard to develop a good foundation on which a new diocese can begin, get a healthy start, and evolve over time.
NEW: Those draft proposals are now available for review ahead of your registered feedback session.
We need your voice on this – yes, yours – to present the best of our collective wisdom, expertise, and experience. Please join us for one of five upcoming online and in-person Feedback Sessions (dates and RSVP links below). Your participation is essential to this process! Please share this invitation widely with your congregation.
Questions about this event? Please contact Katie Forsyth, Canon for Evangelism and Networking, at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
DATES & RSVP
Tuesday, January 16 from 1-3pm on Zoom (Clergy) – All Clergy Call (No RSVP Required)
Saturday, January 20 from 2-4pm at St. David’s, Lansing* (Lay and Clergy)
Sunday, January 21 from 1-3pm on Zoom (Lay and Clergy)
Thursday, January 25 from 6-8pm on Zoom (Lay and Clergy)
Saturday, January 27 from 2-4pm at St. Francis, Grayling* (Lay and Clergy)
*In the event of dangerous weather, our in-person gatherings will transition to Zoom and participants will be notified.