Canons Task Force Updates & More – News Roundup October 2023

Welcome to the News Roundup, where we aim to provide brief recaps of current news from the Diocese, including the Bishop’s Council, Task Forces, and more.

In This Issue: 
Canons Task Force Update
Standing Committee Nominations 

Revive Conference

Canons Task Force Update

Watch Bishop Stewart’s video to learn about our canonical revision process:

Since last year, our Constitution and Canons have been examined by clergy, lay leaders, and outside consultants. (See background.) Last December, our Diocesan Assembly passed a revised Constitution by a two-thirds majority vote. It must undergo a second ratification this December to be finalized.

While working on the revised Constitution last year, we realized that the Canons, which are far more detailed, require significant time for review. We are thankful that the American Anglican Council continues to consult with the Canons Task Force on the proposed Canon revisions, as it did for the Constitution. This Task Force, led by Chancellor Charlie Philbrick, is comprised of lay and clergy members from each Deanery.

Last month, the Canons Task Force proposed a modified schedule and meeting plan, which the Bishop’s Council approved. Our revised Canons will continue to undergo review and feedback opportunities under this new timeline below:

We are thankful that the American Anglican Council is consulting with the Task Force again on the proposed Canon revisions, as it did for the Constitution. Laity and clergy from across the Diocese will have opportunity to review and provide feedback before the final revisions are ultimately voted on by delegates at the General Assembly.

This timetable enables laity and clergy from across the Diocese ample opportunity to review and offer input before the final revisions are ultimately voted on by delegates at the General Assembly on Saturday, December 16.

On Friday, October 27, at the non-voting Diocesan Assembly, active clergy and two lay delegates from each congregation will hear directly from Bishop Stewart and the Canons Task Force regarding the proposed Canon revisions and process ahead. Open floor time will provide delegates time to interact thoroughly with the proposed revisions, ask questions, as well as listen to others’ questions and answers, and dialogue together. The goal is to enable everyone’s voice to be heard, and ideas exchanged, without a rushed process.

The Canons Task Force will record delegates’ feedback in real time, meet later to incorporate that feedback, and then share that revised Canons draft with the whole Diocese for a two-week open feedback period, November 13 to 27. (Please note these updated dates). The Task Force will then incorporate this input.

Delegates will gather again in-person on Saturday, December 16, for Assembly, where active clergy and two lay delegates from each congregation will vote on the Canons. Along with other business items, Standing Committee members will be voted in. (This December date enables a longer nominating period open for the Diocese.)

Once the Constitution is ratified and the Canons are passed, then the “Assembly” nomenclature changes immediately to “Synod.” The Synod will then elect the “Standing Committee,” formerly the Bishop’s Council.

Nominations to the Standing Committee

The elected Standing Committee will be comprised of the Bishop plus three clergy and three laity from the Diocese. These three clergy and three laity may be members of any Deanery; there is no requirement for one from each Deanery. The Standing Committee will assume oversight of functions of the Bishop’s Council*, including providing leadership as the ecclesiastical authority, in the absence of a bishop.

Elected members serve rotating three-year terms, and may serve up to two consecutive terms plus any partial term. Standing Committee members are nominated, through an open process, by members and regular attenders in diocesan churches. The current Bishop’s Council will determine the nominee slate on which Synod delegates will vote. In subsequent years, the Standing Committee will serve as the nominating committee.

A nominee must agree to being nominated and be aware of Committee member responsibilities before their name is submitted. Learn more about the expectations of Standing Committee members and submit your nomination(s) here by Tuesday, October 24.

*The Bishop’s Council is comprised of 10 voting members–three members from each Deanery (the Dean, one clergy, and one lay person)–and the Bishop. Elected members serve rotating two-year terms, and may serve consecutive terms. Lay and clergy members are chosen by each Deanery through a Deanery designated process. The Bishop’s Council provides ecclesiastical authority in the absence of a bishop.

Learn about other diocesan task forces here









Revive Conference

Revive is back! We’re excited to gather all of our churches for this unique time of worship and connection.

Learn more and register by Friday, October 20 here.

The Upper Midwest seeks to connect you to leaders and ministries across the Diocese via timely updates, clear information, and encouraging ministry reports via three publications: 

  1. UMD Stories e-newsletter, which provides encouraging ministry news of how the Lord is moving through churches in the diocese. (See the July issue)
  2. The News Roundup, launched this year to provide brief recaps of current news from the Diocese, including the Bishop’s Council, Task Forces, and more. (See the first issue this April)
  3. Leaders’ Latest, our newest publication to provide regular greetings from Bp. Stewart and introduce another leader, whether a clergy, church staff member, or lay leader from around the Diocese. (See the first issue this June)

Subscribe here to receive our News Roundup, UMD Stories, Leaders’ Latest, and other updates from the Diocese.