Saturday, February 16, 2008

Flash: Statement of the Convocation Presidents, Diocese of Oregon

This just in from multiple, unimpeachable sources --BKM & C+


Statement of the Presidents of the Convocations of the Diocese of Oregon

Saturday, February 9, 2008

The Presidents of the Convocations of the Diocese of Oregon, which Convocations include all of the churches of the Diocese of Oregon, meeting in the City of Eugene, this Saturday, February 9, 2008, adopt the following:

1. We believe it is important to recognize and support the fact that the governance of the Diocese is conducted through its canonically created institutions, including its Convocations, its Council, its Trustees, its Standing Committee, and its Convention, and

2. We appreciate the service of the current Bishop of Oregon and wish him well in his future endeavors, and

3. We support and applaud the work and decisions of the Diocesan Standing Committee in its handling of the issues relating to the Bishop of Oregon necessitated by his decision three months ago that the process to select his successor should be initiated with the assistance of the Office of Pastoral Development of the US House of Bishops, and

4. We appreciate our consultations to date with the members of the Standing Committee, the Committee’s offer for future consultations, and its timely and informative communications regarding the succession matters properly placed before it, and

5. We note that one reason for an extended period of time for a transition between two Bishops is to allow for reflection and that this process can include the selection of an interim at the beginning of that transition process. In this context we appreciate the current Bishop’s decision both to agree to:

a) an early and certain date on which to depart from the Diocese and b) his willingness to continue to fulfill certain agreed upon roles including the retention of the title of Bishop of Oregon through the end of 2008.

We believe this mechanism will best facilitate the independence of action of the institutions of the Diocese as they work with the clergy and laity of the Diocese to select the successor Bishop of Oregon. We applaud the incumbent Bishop’s appreciation of this approach and the work of the Standing Committee and the Office of Pastoral Development of the House of Bishops in achieving a global agreement that included the specific departure date.

6. Finally, the Presidents believe that the financial terms of the agreement that the Standing Committee and the incumbent Bishop arrived at with the assistance of the national church are quite generous.

While we don’t wish to substitute our judgment for that of the Standing Committee as this matter is exclusively within its purview and as agreement on the terms have already been reached, we do urge that if either party seeks to renegotiate fundamental elements of the agreement that all elements of the agreement be considered anew, including the financial package which we respectfully submit might be adjusted to more closely approach the common experiences of Oregonians in like situations.


Central: Sharon Rodgers
Columbia: James Baxendale
Metro-East: Melissa Parkhurst
South Coast: Frank Smith
Southern: Pete Benham
Sunset: Cynthia Reynolds
Willamette: Richard Van Orman

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have a feel for why all this is happening in the first place (starting with the Bishop's announcement, followed by the SC's letter, followed by the Bishop's letter, etc)? I'm from the Diocese of Oregon, but currently living elsewhere. I was e-mailed a copy of the Bishop's letter, but wouldn't know about the rest of these letters if it wasn't for this Blog. Interestingly, the website of the Diocese of Oregon currently has news of the retirements of two of the Bishop's staff listed as its "important announcements". How do those play into this? Are they related?

Also, I have to agree with the Convocation Presidents- the compensation package is MORE than generous- particularly when it is going to cost an arm and a leg to search for a new bishop so soon after electing one.