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  • Resolutions Adopted at the 204th Di...

Resolutions Adopted at the 204th Diocesan Convention

R1: On Clergy Compensation

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;x

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 to account for the current financial uncertainty, each congregation and clergy person should prayerfully consider together other forms of non-monetary compensation and adjustments to benefits such as paid time off, or some combination that maintain the minimum salary standards;

and be it further

Resolved, that each congregation prayerfully consider adjusting the current compensation level of their clergy to account for 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; 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 COVID-19 pandemic has created all forms of uncertainty for parishes, the diocese, and the larger church ranging from when we will be able to be in service with one another, to concerns of accidently spreading the virus if we do serve together. Among the uncertainties is the financial burden parishes have experienced and/or might experience as the pandemic impacts our daily lives. Approval of this resolution recognizes that uncertainty and asks all involved to work together prayerfully and creatively to review and possibly adjust compensation and benefits (but not lower than the minimum levels specified in this resolution) in order to balance the financial capacity of the parish with the financial needs of the assisting clergy, transitional deacons, and clergy in charge of congregations. It is intended that once the pandemic has been managed to allow for some form of normalcy that this rationale and associated statement may be removed from future clergy compensation resolutions.

Submitted by:

The Commission on Ministry

R2: A Resolution to Create the Commission for Racial Justice

Resolved, that the Commission on Racial Understanding be renamed the Commission for Racial Justice (CRJ), and that it continue to pursue the ongoing work of achieving racial justice in the Diocese of Ohio, and be it further

Resolved, that Diocesan Council approve in early 2021 the initial membership of the group and revised Operating Guidelines, and be it further

Resolved, that in compliance with Resolution R-2 approved by the 201st Convention in 2017, the CRJ continue to offer in person and/or on-line anti-racism training to communicants in the Diocese: “Seeing the Face of God in Each Other.”

Rationale:

Over four decades, the Convention of the Diocese of Ohio has endorsed and approved this important work through task forces and Commissions, most recently the Commission for Racial Understanding (CRU), and its Operating Guidelines, which were approved by Diocesan Council in 2016. Members of the CRU submitting this resolution support making structural changes to the CRU in order to allow the group more flexibility in response to the rapidly-changing environment and in furtherance of our baptismal covenant.

The national events of the past six months have precipitated urgent reflection on the part of the Commission for Racial Understanding, with the recognition that the current structure and nomenclature need to evolve. COVID-19 and its exposure of disparities in health care, and the murder of George Floyd and others, have led us to name our work not just as “understanding,” which can be benign, but to justice: to challenge existing structures and work for remediation within our Diocese, our parishes, and in the communities of which we are a part. This focus aligns with the Episcopal Church’s commitment to Becoming Beloved Community, with a particular emphasis on “Telling the Truth” in education and formation, and “Repairing the Breach” in actions which address our systemic failings.

As Presiding Bishop Michael Curry has said, “Our long-term commitment to racial justice and reconciliation is embedded in our identity as baptized followers of Jesus. We will still be doing it when the news cameras are long gone.” (May 30, 2020). Racial justice will be the work of our lifetime and beyond. Our catechism says that prayer is “responding to God, by thought and by deed, with or without words” (BCP, p. 856). We pray that our response to injustice will draw us ever closer to the kingdom “on earth as it is in heaven.”

The Diocese of Ohio’s commitment to of racial justice requires that we continue to address the systemic history of racism and the racism in ourselves, our Diocese, our parishes and our communities, which includes maintaining a clearinghouse for public witness and engagement and curating action opportunities around the Diocese, developing and implementing formation opportunities, and partnering with entities inside and outside the church to implement systemic change.

Submitted by:

The Rev. Debra Bennett, Our Savior, Akron

Ms. Denise C. Caywood, St. Philip’s, Akron

The Rev. Margaret D’Anieri, Canon for Mission

Ms. Imani Driskell, St. Michael’s-in-the-Hills, Toledo

Ms. Allison Hauserman, Trinity Cathedral, Cleveland

Ms. Debbie Likins-Fowler, Trinity Cathedral, Cleveland

The Rev. Barbara Maxwell, Deacon

The Rev. Lisa O’Rear, St. Andrew, Mentor

Ms. Anita Pruitt, St. Andrew’s, Cleveland

Dr. Robin Woodberry, St. John’s, Youngstown


Resolutions of Courtesy

Resolved, that the 204th Convention of the Diocese of Ohio extend warm greetings and continued good health to the Tenth Bishop of Ohio, the Right Reverend J. Clark Grew II, and Wendy Grew, to Penny Moodey, widow of the Right Reverend James R. Moodey, Ninth Bishop of Ohio; and to Nancy Bowman, widow of the Right Reverend David C. Bowman, Ninth Bishop of Western New York and Assisting Bishop in the Diocese of Ohio.

Resolved, that the 204th Convention of the Diocese of Ohio express warm greetings to the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings, President of the House of Deputies, and the Most Reverend Michael Bruce Curry, Twenty-Seventh Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church.

Resolved, that the 204th Convention of the Diocese of Ohio express warm greetings to our companion diocese in Africa in the Anglican Communion and the Most Rev. Dr. Maimbo Mndolwa, Bishop of Tanga and Archbishop and Primate of the Anglican Church of Tanzania, and his wife, Frida, and offer continued prayers for the health of their son, Tahona.

Resolved, that the 204th Convention of the Diocese of Ohio express warm greetings to the Rt. Rev. Philip Wright, Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Belize, and his wife Carla.

Resolved, that the Convention recognize this year the 200th anniversary of St. Paul’s, Norwalk and the 125th anniversary of Church of our Savior, Akron.

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