Governance and Structure
The governance of the diocese is vested in the bishop and the governing councils and boards, including the Diocesan Convention, Executive Council, the Commission on Ministry, and the Standing Committee, each of which exercises specific duties and authority assigned to them by the constitution and canons of the diocese and of The Episcopal Church.
The Bishop serves as the ecclesiastical authority of the diocese, with the charge of convening the annual convention or special conventions, presiding at conventions, serving as president of the diocesan corporation and as president of the Commission on Ministry. When the diocese is without a bishop, whether due to a vacancy or disability, the role of ecclesiastical authority is assumed by the Standing Committee.
The Executive Council carries out the policies and programs adopted by the annual Diocesan Convention; oversees the financial affairs of the diocese, including clergy and staff compensation standards, contracts, leases, loans, mortgages, property conveyance, and budget preparation; receives reports from various boards, committees, agencies, and offices; and makes long range policy and program recommendations to Diocesan Convention.
The Standing Committee serves as a council of advice to the bishop, and in the case of a vacancy in the office of bishop, the Committee assumes the role of ecclesiastical authority. Other duties include issuing consent to the election of bishops of other dioceses, and to the reunion of dioceses; and the certification of ordination of deacons and priests.
The Commission on Ministry is charged with determining the current and future ministry needs of the diocese; recruiting aspirants for holy orders, and guiding and examining postulants and candidates for ordination; providing pastoral care to clergy and lay persons in the bishop’s service and oversight; promoting continuing education for clergy and lay professionals; supporting and affirming ministry of lay people; and reporting annually to the Diocesan Convention.
The Diocesan Convention, composed of lay delegates and canonically resident and licensed clergy, elects the ordinary and suffragan bishops of the diocese, and the officers of the convention and certain committees and commissions; sets the programs and policies of the diocese; adopts a budget for funding program and administration; sets assessments for funding the budget; and approves the admission of parishes or mission congregations to the diocese.