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79th General Convention Legislation Recap

Perspective

Fall 2018

79th General Convention Legislation Recap

This will be a busy triennium for CPG. More than one hundred of the resolutions that were approved by General Convention touch on one or more of our three lines of business: employee benefits, property and casualty insurance, and publishing. The following resolutions are noteworthy because they have the most direct and immediate impact on CPG’s work:

New Trustees of The Church Pension Fund (CPF)

Resolution 2018-X015: Confirmation of Election as Trustees of the Church Pension Fund approved the election of 12 trustees to CPF’s Board of Trustees. You can read more about them and CPF’s new board officers in this issue of Perspective.

CPF and the Church

Resolution 2018-A060: Create a Task Force to Study Church's Pension System invites CPF and Executive Council to study the historical and current relationship of the Episcopal Church and CPF in order to achieve greater clarity on the respective roles, responsibilities, and authority.  We will issue a joint report by December 31, 2019.

¡Cuba Sí!

Resolution 2018-A238: Admit Episcopal Diocese of Cuba as a Diocese of the Episcopal Church ensures that active clergy of La Iglesia Episcopal de Cuba are now eligible to participate in CPF’s International Clergy Pension Plan and related plans, subject to applicable laws. It further directs the Church, together with La Iglesia Episcopal de Cuba and other potential ministry partners and, in consultation with CPF, to collaborate on a plan to fund the past service liability accrued by the active clergy of La Iglesia Episcopal de Cuba.

Pension Parity

Resolution 2018-A237: Investigation of Pension Parity Resolution urges CPG to examine lay/clergy and international pension disparities (with a focus on income inequality across gender, racial, and ethnic lines), and to consider supplemental models for the pension system to benefit lay and clergy employees while the Church works toward parity. This work is already underway.

Resolution 2018-D045: Pension Equity for Lay Employees asks CPG to identify necessary steps for providing pension equity for lay and ordained Church employees, compare possible plans with pension benefits offered by non-church organizations, and report the results of this study to Executive Council by July 1, 2020.

Socially Responsible Investing

In keeping with the creation care emphasis of the Jesus Movement, Resolution 2018-C021: Climate Change and Additional Support for EC Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility (CCSR) encourages CPF and CCSR to identify 10 companies within the Church’s investment portfolio that significantly affect the environment and to work with these companies to increase board-level sustainability expertise. This resolution is aligned with CPF’s shareholder engagement strategy, which has focused on environmental sustainability, human rights, and board diversity. Learn more about our socially responsible investing initiatives.

Resolution A061: Create a Task Force on Theology of Money calls for the Presiding Bishop and President of the House of Deputies to appoint a culturally and economically diverse Task Force on the Church’s Theology of Money, to inform policy on giving, spending, and investing across the Church. This group will examine responsible investing, including applying ethical guidelines in investment selection and management, shareholder activism, and investing for positive social and environmental outcomes as well as financial return. The task force will present its findings to the 80th General Convention.

Inclusion

Several resolutions, including Resolution 2018-C029: Clergy Compensation by Race, Resolution 2018-D005: Gather Racial/Ethnic Statistics About Episcopal Elections and Clergy Compensation, and Resolution 2018-D037: Expand Clergy Compensation Report, seek to examine and promote inclusion and increased socioeconomic equity. They ask CPG, as the Recorder of Ordinations, to develop and implement a strategy to show ordination, deployment, and compensation trends related to race, gender, and ethnicity by providing additional demographic data in the annual clergy compensation report.

Family Flexibility

Resolution 2018-C019: Church-Wide Paid Family Leave Policy calls for a task force, in consultation with CPG, to propose a Church-wide paid family leave policy that gives employees more flexibility if they need to take time off following childbirth or adoption or to care for ill family members.

Resolution 2018-A223: Family Leave Policies directs an Executive Council committee to study and distribute model policies for paid and unpaid family leave for consideration by dioceses, congregations, and institutions before July 2019. This resolution also urges dioceses to establish family leave policies.

Church Publishing

Resolution 2018-A068: Plan for the Revision of The Book of Common Prayer requests the development of efforts toward the next edition of The Book of Common Prayer, which was last published in 1979. Church Publishing Incorporated, publisher of official worship materials, books, music, and digital ministry resources for the Church, is a publisher of the prayer book. While this resolution encourages the creation of new liturgical resources at the parish and diocesan level, it includes no definite timeline for prayer book revision. Once authorized by a future General Convention, the long, thorough revision process is expected to take at least 12 years before publication of a new prayer book.

Resolution 2018-B012: Marriage Rites for the Whole Church authorizes the continued trial use of the range of marriage rites (for different- and same-gender couples) across the Church, while Resolution 2018-A070: Translation of The Book of Common Prayer requests the translation of the current Book of Common Prayer into Spanish, French, and Haitian Creole.

You can learn more about CPI’s focus on social responsibility in this issue of Perspective and read more about General Convention resolutions.