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CENTRAL NEW YORK: Bishop calls church to mission without fear

By Mary Frances Schjonberg


[Episcopal News Service]  The Episcopal Diocese of Central New York, meeting November 17-18 in its 138th annual Convention, affirmed the church's support of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and heard Bishop Gladstone B. (Skip) Adams call the diocese to a strategic planning effort.

"It will be grass roots and give the opportunity to every person of the diocese to be a voice of God's Spirit among us," Adams said of the process.

"We must be places of bold and risky mission that trust God's promise of the Kingdom present among us and its fulfillment no matter what," he said during his convention address. "To do so will enable us to be about what Archbishop Rowan Williams calls the ‘art of ordinary living.'"

Williams, Adams explained, "says that we learn to live without fear of the complexity of everyday life. He goes on to say that the Church cannot fear having the conflicts necessary for peace. Moreover, if the Church is capable of such conflict, the Church cannot help but be deeply threatening to the world's systems of power, based on the fear of each other."

Among the resolutions the convention passed were ones to:

  • affirm Resolution A008 of the 75th General Convention to make achieving the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) its top mission priority and commit the diocese's Global Mission Committee to work within parishes to raise awareness of the MDGS, support the MDGs at a minimum of 0.7% of the diocesan budget, and strongly recommend individuals and congregations be called to give at least 0.7% toward efforts to reduce global poverty;
  • endorse the continuation of a companion relationship with the Diocese of El Salvador beginning January 1, 2007, and continuing until December 31, 2009;
  • encourage Adams, the Standing Committee and all other diocesan boards and committees "to do all in their power to further inclusiveness in the ministry and life of the Episcopal Church;"
  • set the 2007 clergy compensation schedule with a range from $30,900 to $66,744; and
  • study the issue of how to deal with congregations which disagree with the stances of the Episcopal Church;

Complete information on all the resolutions passed by convention is available here.

The Diocese of Central New York comprises 19,900 Episcopalians worshipping in 98 congregations.