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#GC79 Resolutions of Note

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Last Updated: Aug 3, 2018, 12:21 PM
Date Posted: Aug 3, 2018, 12:21 PM

The 79th General Convention of The Episcopal Church took place July 5-13, 2018 in Austin, Texas. Significant statements and decisions related to The Episcopal Church emerged from this gathering, including trial marriage rites for same-sex couples, transgender access, Safe Church training, statements on racial reconciliation, and study of lay family leave benefits.

NAES has compiled a list of resolutions adopted by GC79 that may be of interest to Episcopal schools, along with a brief overview of the role General Convention plays in the Church.

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What is General Convention?

The General Convention is the governing body of The Episcopal Church. Much like the United States Congress, General Convention is a bicameral legislature, consisting of the House of Bishops (current and former bishops) and the House of Deputies (elected clergy and lay representatives from each diocese). 

General Convention gathers every three years for approximately ten days and acts through the adoption of resolutions. A resolution becomes an Act of Convention after both Houses adopt it in the same form and at the same General Convention.

The work of General Convention includes:

  • adopting legislation of concern to the Church;
  • amending the Book of Common Prayer, the Constitution, and the Canons of the Church;
  • adopting a triennial budget for The Episcopal Church;
  • and electing candidates to offices, boards and other committees. 

Although individual bishops and deputies at General Convention may have deep ties to one or more Episcopal schools, neither NAES nor Episcopal schools as a group have representation in General Convention’s legislative bodies. 

How is the work of General Convention relevant to Episcopal schools?

The majority of resolutions passed at General Convention address any number of social, theological, or institutional issues of importance to The Episcopal Church. As such, they are not binding on Episcopal schools. Nonetheless, NAES believes that Episcopal school leaders should be aware of and take seriously formal statements and calls to action adopted by General Convention, particularly those that can inform school programs or policies.

Some resolutions are in the form of changes to the Canons of The Episcopal Church (church law). These may, in fact, be binding on Episcopal schools that are “subject to the authority of the church.” Two recent examples are the resolutions related to lay pension and medical benefits which were passed a General Conventions of 2006 and 2009. The 2018 General Convention did not produce canonical changes that would directly impact Episcopal schools. 

NAES has compiled below a list of resolutions of the 79th General Convention that we believe are of most interest to Episcopal schools.

Accepted Resolutions

Safe Church - Defining, Preventing & Reporting

A124 - Amend Canon IV.2 Terminology of Sexual Misconduct (CANON IV.2 Of Terminology Used in this Title)

A048 - Establish Task Force to Oversee Creation of Training Materials for Safe Church/Inclusion

A108 - Amend Canon III.6.5(g,h) Addressing Harassment and Sexual Misconduct

A115 - Adopt/Implement Charter for Safety of People Within the Churches of the Anglican Communion

Legislation related to Lay Personnel

C019 - Task Force: Church-Wide Paid Family Leave Policy

A223 - Family Leave Policies - Study and Distribution of Model Policies to Dioceses for Study/Action

A237 - Investigation of Pension Parity Resolution - CPF/Church towards True Parity


C034 - Task Force: Ministry to People with Mental Illness and their Families

C022 - Supporting Transgender Access

C054 - Inclusion of Transgender People - Guiding Principles

B004 -  Encouraging the Language of Dismantling Racism and Racial Healing/Justice/Reconciliation

A037 - Encourage Interreligious Engagement

A036 - Affirm Ongoing Work and Dialogue with Ecumenical Partners

D086 - Inclusive Practices for Diverse Representation - Schedule, Geography, Working Parent

Liturgical Alterations and Resources

A066 - Add Thurgood Marshall, Pauli Murray, and Florence Li Tim-Oi to Lesser Feasts and Fasts, 2018

A087 - Develop Relationship Pastoral Resources - Intimate Relationships Other than Marriage

D078 - Authorize Holy Eucharist, Rite II (Expansive Language) for Trial Use

B012 - Marriage Rites for the Whole Church

A218 - The Proposed Book of Occasional Services

A219 - Refer Portions of The Proposed Book of Occasional Services back to SCLM

A283 - Multicultural Liturgies for Occasional Services