The Structure Committee’s first attempt at restructuring the Church failed in the House of Deputies Thursday.
Structure put forward B027 on “re-envisioning committee structure,” which would have ended all Standing Commissions except for Constitution and Canons and Structure. All other Standing Commissions would have been turned into task forces that would do only the work assigned to them by General Convention, and then disband.
The intent of the resolution, according to the Rev. Christopher Cunningham, Southern Virginia, a member of the Structure Committee, “is that the task forces do the work they are assigned and then disband [so that they] don’t add their own work.”
Deputy Deborah Fish, Albany, was opposed to the resolution. “Earlier in this session, we passed something to have a task force to look at the whole structure of the Church,” she said, referring to the Task Force created by C0905. “If we pass this resolution, we’re giving them guidance on how they should work … Why would we want to create a task force and then tell them what to do?”
Deputy Jack Finlaw, Colorado, agreed with Fish. Passing B027, he said, would cut off the “institutional memory” of Standing Commissions’ members, who currently serve six-year terms, and added, “it prejudges the work of the Task Force.”
The Rev. Canon Neal Michel, Dallas, a member of the Structure Committee, supported the resolution, saying, “I would like to remind the House that the committee that endorsed the restructuring resolution that this House passed unanimously also recommended this resolution to do away with the Standing Commissions. … While we preach resurrection, we practice immortality. … Let us not just preach restructuring but practice restructuring.”
But the Rev. Ernesto Medina, Nebraska, argued against it the resolution, and in favor of referring the resolution back to Structure. “I believe this to be the baby and not the bathwater.”
Deputy Diane Pollard, New York, chair of the Program, Finance & Budget committee, urged the deputies to slow down and “not dismantle things too early.”
In the end, Structure’s first attempt at restructuring was left to the still-to-be-formed Task Force.
–By Lauren R. Stanley