I am honored to announce that I have been elected as President of the Standing Committee of the Diocese of North Carolina.
The Standing Committee is a permanent (or “standing”) governing body of the Diocese of North Carolina. Composed of four lay members (enrolled confirmed adult communicants in good standing in their parish) and five canonically resident clergy elected by Diocesan Convention, the Standing Committee provides ongoing leadership and governance to support the work of the Diocese. The term of office is three years, and members are not eligible to serve consecutive terms. In the Diocese of North Carolina, the Standing Committee usually meets eleven times per year, normally on the third Monday of each month.
The first canons of the Episcopal Church (1789) made four references to an organization known as the Standing Committee. In 1832, the General Convention of the Episcopal Church added the provision that where there was no bishop, the Standing Committee was the ecclesiastical authority. In 1901, the role of the Standing Committee was added to the Constitution of the Episcopal Church. Today, the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church make over 100 references to the Standing Committee, outlining and defining its work.
The Episcopal Church requires that the convention of every diocese elect a Standing Committee, which is given specific authority under the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church. The Constitution and Canons of the Diocese of North Carolina elaborate on this authority. The Standing Committee elects its own president and secretary and sets its own bylaws (subject to the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church and the Diocese of North Carolina). In this respect the Standing Committee is unique; for every other entity of the Diocese, the Bishop Diocesan either acts as chair or appoints/delegates the appointment of the chairperson.
As part of its responsibilities, the Standing Committee:
- Consents to the election & ordination of every bishop in the Episcopal Church.
- Consents to the election of a presiding bishop if a vacancy occurs between General Conventions.
- Acts as a council of advice to the Bishop Diocesan.
- Acts as the ecclesiastical authority of the Diocese when there is no bishop
- Oversees the search for and election of a bishop in the Diocese.
- Authorizes any encumbrance, sale, or removal of real property by any congregation or other entity of the Diocese. No congregation may sell or mortgage its property or take down a dedicated and currently consecrated worship building without prior approval of the Standing Committee.
- Approves the ordination of any person in the Diocese to the diaconate or the priesthood, as well as the acceptance of an ordained minister from another Christian church.
- Participates in the release and removal of deacons and priests from ordained ministry or their return to ordained ministry.
- Participates in decisions to create a new congregation, to change the status of a congregation between mission and parish, or to close a congregation.
In addition, the Standing Committee may in some circumstances participate in the disciplinary process for clergy and participate in final disposition of disputes between a parish and its rector.
Your prayers are appreciated as I begin this term of service January 1, 2023.