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Resolutions Adopted at the 203rd Diocesan Convention

Final Version as Approved by 203rd Convention (Diocese of Ohio)

R1: On Clergy Compensation

Download a PDF version of R1.

Resolved, that the minimum standard of full-time pension-based compensation (cash salary, utilities, housing, and Social Security tax reimbursement) for clergy serving congregations in the Diocese of Ohio during 2020 be established as follows:

  • At least $50,959, for assisting clergy;
  • At least $58,089 for a transitional deacon in charge of a congregation;
  • At least $61,689 for clergy in charge of congregations with an annual Normal Operating Income (NOI) of no more than $189,720;
  • At least $61,689 +10% of NOI greater than $189,720 up to $379,440 for clergy in charge of congregations with an annual NOI greater than $189,720.
  • At least $80,662 for clergy in charge of congregations with NOI greater than $379,440; and be it further

Resolved, that each congregation prayerfully consider adjusting the current compensation level of their clergy to account for the increase in the cost of living and the clergy person’s years of experience; and be it further

Resolved, that each employer of clergy in the Diocese of Ohio be encouraged to:

  • Offer additional benefits either fully funded, or on a pre-tax salary reduction basis (e.g., dental insurance, reimbursement for routine dental care, annual medical examination, child-care allowance, etc.);
  • Provide for sabbatical and parental leave; and be it further

Resolved, that each employer of such clergy in the Diocese of Ohio shall pay a minimum of 95% of the health insurance premium (plus full (100%) funding of the plan deductible in a health savings account (HSA) of the least expensive plan provided as an option by the Diocese for those clergy being paid less than $61,689 (or the pro-rated part-time equivalent) and their eligible dependents or 95% 93% of the health insurance premium (plus full (100%) funding of the plan deductible in a health savings account (HSA) of the least expensive plan provided as an option by the Diocese for the clergy being paid $61,689 (or the pro-rated part-time equivalent) or more, and their eligible dependents. If a priest chooses a health insurance plan that is more expensive, the additional cost is his or her responsibility, unless the Vestry, Diocese or other participating Episcopal institution agrees to pay the additional cost for such coverage. The employer may choose to pay 100% of its clergy’s health insurance plan; and be it further

Resolved, that in addition to the above minimum standards, each employer of such clergy in the Diocese of Ohio shall:

  • Make pension assessment payments as the Church Pension Fund shall determine [Note: The Church Pension Assessment is based on the following elements: Base salary; Social Security tax reimbursements; Cash housing allowance and utilities; Employer contributions to 403(b) or deferred compensation plan; Value of church-provided housing; Pre-tax contribution to Health Savings Account (HSA) – clergy contribution up to IRS limits; and Other cash allowances (i.e., automobile, cell phone)];
  • Provide appropriate reimbursement for expenses incurred in the course of fulfilling the responsibilities of the position, including the actual cost of the use of a personal automobile;
  • Allow no fewer than four weeks of paid vacation annually;
  • Allow no fewer than eight weeks of paid parental leave for the birth or adoption of a child for a member of the clergy, and follow the maternity leave benefits provided by Church Pension Group for members of the clergy (i.e., 12 weeks).
  • Allow annual professional education/development leave of no fewer than two weeks, with a minimum allowance of $800; and be it further

Resolved, that the provisions of this resolution be applied on a pro-rata basis to the minimum compensation and benefits related to positions that are less than full-time and more than one-quarter time; and be it further

Resolved, that every letter of agreement shall be revisited by the Vestry and the Rector with the clergy member at least once every two years. For parishes in which this has not happened in the last two years it should be done promptly; and be it further

Resolved, that every letter agreement shall be submitted to the Bishop’s Office in compliance with General Canon Title III.9.3 along with the most current version of the Compensation Worksheet provided by the Commission on Ministry (COM) and be it further

Resolved, that (a) whenever clergy letters of agreement are amended, they should be submitted to the Bishop’s Office in compliance with General Canon Title III.9.3; along with (b) the Compensation Worksheet provided by the Commission on Ministry to each parish; and be it finally

Resolved, Without regard to whether a letter of agreement has been amended, the Compensation Worksheet should be submitted by the parish for each clergy person to the Bishop’s Office every two years, thereafter on or before May 1 in the odd years, for that current year’s compensation.

Resolved, that those congregations/missions areas that are served by the ministry of a vocational deacon, would consider reimbursement for mileage and/or the costs associated with participation in ministries done on behalf of the congregations/mission areas, and that those congregations/mission areas that have long standing relationships with vocational deacons consider contributing to the annual continuing education costs of said deacon.

Rationale: The recommended levels of compensation represent a 2.0% Cost of Living Adjustment based on the change in the Midwest Region CPI-U for the year ending in July 2019.

Assisting Clergy

¼ Time - $12,789.76
½ Time - $25,579.52
¾ Time - $38,369.28
Full - $51,159.04

Clergy in Charge

¼ Time - $15,482.88
½ Time - $30,965.76
¾ Time - $46,448.46
Full - $61,931.52

Rationale: When a congregation commits to a newly ordained transitional deacon in charge, the parish must also absorb the cost of a priest on Sunday mornings and any other service that provides the Eucharist. The traditional diaconate must last for at least 6 months and may last a year or more. At the time the transitional deacon becomes a priest, the salary will be adjusted based on the congregations NOI. The increase to the percentages of employee responsibility for health insurance premiums reflects similar changes in other institutions. In addition, the change in percentages provides additional financial flexibility for parishes.

With respect to health insurance, the reference to the requirement to pay for health insurance premium “including full (100%) funding of the plan deductible in a health savings accounts (HSA)” confirms and clarifies the language of the Denominational Health Plan Resolution (R7, approved by the 195th Convention in 2011), which defined the “premium” for a high deductible plan to include 100% funding of the plan deductible in a Health Savings Account (HSA). Approval of this resolution followed action by the General Convention that mandated full coverage of all employees of dioceses and parishes in The Episcopal Church (General Convention Resolution 2009-A177), which remains in effect. Diocesan Resolution 2011- R7 authorized the Commission on Ministry to determine annual the minimum cost-sharing provisions that the Diocese and all its congregations are required to pay.

Therefore, the cost-sharing percentages in R-1 apply to:

  • the premium for a non-high deductible plan (i.e., a plan that is not a Consumer Directed Health Plan (CDHP));
  • and for a Consumer Directed Health Plan (CDHP), the sum of:
    • the premium for a CDHP; and
    • funding 100% of the deductible in a Health Savings Account (HSA).

Submitted by The Commission on Ministry

R2: A Resolution to Endorse the Diocesan Investment Policy to Consider Non-Financial Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Factors

Download a PDF version of R2.

Now, Therefore, Be It Resolved, that the 203rd Convention endorses the Diocesan Investment Policy and encourages all parishes in the Diocese to conduct a similar review of their investment portfolios, taking into consideration the ESG principles described therein.

Rationale: The Joint Investment Fund of the Trustees of the Diocese of Ohio (JIF) is administered by the Trustees for the invested funds of the Diocese of Ohio, existing parishes, and parish organizations. The investments of the fund is managed by the investment advisory firm, Clearstead, with oversight by the Trustees. Currently, 49 parishes participate in the JIF.

The updated investment policy for JIF continues the long-standing moratorium on direct investment in tobacco and gaming companies (so-called “negative screens”). The recent changes include new guidelines for investment (positive screens) including those that incorporate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors.

In 1998, the 182nd Diocesan Convention adopted a socially responsible investment policy for investments in the diocesan portfolio, imposing a moratorium on tobacco and gaming investments in the diocesan portfolio and created the Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) subcommittee consisting of Trustees of the Diocese of Ohio (“Trustees”) and Bishop’s appointees who meet quarterly to monitor compliance and developments in this area.

In 2015, the General Convention approved Resolution C045 that “urge[d] all dioceses and parishes of the Episcopal Church to engage the topic of divestment from fossil fuel and reinvestment in clean energy,” in response to which the SRI subcommittee conducted a survey of other dioceses in Province V, and learned that others were making positive investments in solar and other alternative sustainable energy sources. The SRI subcommittee concluded (and the Trustees concurred) that such a divestment effort was impractical given the wide-ranging use of fossil fuels by many different industries, and instead decided to consider expanding the current moratorium on gaming and tobacco investments.

The subcommittee therefore recommended (and the Trustees approved in 2018) changes to the Diocesan Investment Policy for the Joint Investment Fund (JIF) that included theological justification and consideration of certain non-financial environmental, social, and governance factors (ESG) in making investments that promote sustainability in their corporate practices, policies, and culture, as follows: “Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) is at the heart of our Christian beliefs. The Episcopal Church
teaches and practices an incarnational faith seeing the face of Christ in the other, knowing that the fullest expression of God is in Jesus Christ. As such, our investments must honor the embodied realities of humankind and creation, doing no harm to either human communities or our physical environment.

“Responsible stewardship is a core value which runs through Scripture, from Genesis to Revelation. This means that we are accountable for the ways in which we protect, use, and maintain all manner of assets: environmental, human, material, financial. In addition, fulfilling the two great commandments to love God and to love one’s neighbor as one’s self demands our tangible engagement in the complex interplay of fiscal action and faithful values.

“While no investing practice is completely without negative consequences with regard to social responsibility, these Biblical principles call us to mitigate those choices and contribute significantly to forward-looking, responsible, and just enterprises in our investment strategies and decisions. “As such, JIF investment strategy will be aligned with core Episcopal Church values in two ways, excluding some industries while actively seeking to include others:

  • “We will do our best to comply promptly with all General Convention resolutions concerning market investments. Currently, this means a moratorium on direct investment in tobacco and gaming. We recognize that mutual funds may have relatively insignificant holdings in these categories. Direct investment in companies with more than 10% of their revenue in one of the aforementioned industries should be excluded from investment. The Trustees will review overall portfolio exposures including commingled funds in an annual SRI audit.
  • “Certain non-financial environmental, social, and governance factors (ESG) are part of a holistic investment process and can have a material effect on financial returns. Accordingly, the Fund seeks investments in companies, consistent with our fiduciary duty, which have a positive impact (globally and locally) and promote sustainability in their corporate practices, policies, and culture. To this end, the Fund will consider investment managers who actively incorporate ESG factors into their investment decision-making processes.”

For those parishes participating in the JIF, the policy applies to those invested funds. The resolution encourages other parishes and parish organizations to consider the policy for their own portfolios. Parishes desiring more information about the JIF may contact Sue Leishman, Chief Financial Officer, Diocese of Ohio.

Submitted by the Socially Responsible Investment Committee and the Trustees of the Diocese of Ohio

R3: A Resolution Calling Parishes to Adopt a Policy for the Protection of Children and Youth from Abuse

Download a PDF version of R3.

Resolved, that the Diocese of Ohio strongly encourages all parishes to adopt a policy prior to the 204th Diocesan Convention for the Protection of Children and Youth from Abuse that meets or exceeds the requirements of the diocesan policy approved by Diocesan Council on June 18, 2019;

Further Resolved, that each parish provide a copy of the policy that it may adopt to the Office of the Bishop.

Rationale: The 2015 General Convention called for creation of an updated and expanded set of policies designed to create safe and welcoming space for all children and youth in our communities and those engaged in ministry with children and youth, and to prevent sexual abuse. (Resolution 2015-A073. Update Model Policies for Protection of Children and Youth; Resolution 2015-A074. Update the Safe Church Training Materials) That work culminated in a model policy presented at the 2018 General Convention. In the Diocese of Ohio, a task force adapted these policies which in June 2019 the Diocesan Council approved for Diocesan events. The Diocesan policies are mandated for diocesan-sponsored events such as Diocesan Convention, Winter Convocation, youth events, Bellwether Farm Summer Camp, etc.

We encourage each parish to adopt a Policy for the Protection of Children and Youth from Abuse by the 204th Diocesan Convention.

To support parishes in fulfilling this recommendation, the task force has created a sample policy for congregations, which is available on the diocesan website.

Submitted by the Safeguarding Policy Task Force
Rev. Anna Sutterisch, Canon for Christian Formation
Ms. Mary Ann Semple, Diocesan Coordinator, Safeguarding Program
Mr. Brandon Gooch, Director, Bellwether Farm Camp, Retreat, and Education Center
Rev. Vincent Black, Rector, Church of the Ascension, Lakewood
William A. Powel, III, Chancellor

R4: A Special Resolution Submitted by the Committee on Constitution and Canons

Download a PDF verison of R4.

Be it Resolved, that this 203rd Convention acknowledges with both gratitude and sadness, the end of the parish ministry of St. Alban’s, Cleveland Heights and that the Convention expresses its deep appreciation to the laity and clergy of this congregations for their years of faithful service to God and the people of their communities; and be it further

Resolved, that this Convention accepts this recommendation of the Committee on Constitution and Canons in accordance with Canons of the Diocese of Ohio (Title II, Canon 7), and declares St. Alban’s, Cleveland Heights to be extinct.

Rationale: In the year of our Lord 1890, the Brotherhood of St. Andrew Chapter from Emmanuel Church, Cleveland, realized the need for planting a church in the “extreme eastern part of the city” of Cleveland, and the Rev. A.B. Putnam, Rector of Emmanuel Church, was appointed on August 11, 1890 to “further look into the matter.” On January 4, 1891, Rev. Putnam became the first Priest-in-Charge of the mission church, St. Andrews-in-the-East.

The mission continued to grow, and on June 29, 1892, the Rt. Rev. William Andrew Leonard laid the cornerstone of the church of St. Andrew’s-in-the-East on the corner of Murray Hill and Fairview Avenue, with Bishop Leonard consecrating the completed building on St. Andrew’s Day, 1892.

Now a parish, the congregation moved its church to its current location by a team of oxen in the year 1897 and changed its name at its first annual meeting in 1901, taking as its patron Saint Alban, Britain’s protomartyr (i.e., its first martyr). The church building was later extensively renovated and reconsecrated by the Rt. Rev. Beverly Dandridge Tucker in 1947. Despite a terrible act of arson perpetrated on St. Justin’s Day 1989, the parish of St. Alban’s remained strong and faithful in the worship of Almighty God, and the parish rebuilt its church and, in the spirit of interfaith cooperation, shared the worship space with the Temple Ner Tamid. St. Alban’s prayed with our Lord the Solemn Collects of His Passion and received His Blessed Body and Blood from the Reserved Sacrament at their last liturgy together on Good Friday, 2019.

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