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Canon 39 – Of Emergency Powers


In the event that the Vestry or other authorities of a Parish are unable to function adequately due to natural disaster or other emergency, loss of personnel, or abandonment of The Episcopal Church (TEC) by parish officials, the Bishop, in the Bishop’s discretion, may declare an Emergency in the Parish. Disputes among Parish officials who remain within TEC shall not in themselves constitute an Emergency within the meaning of this Canon. When an Emergency is declared, the Bishop may exercise the authority otherwise given to the Vestry or other parish authorities, call and conduct elections, and take the appropriate action to deal with the Emergency (“Emergency Powers”). The Bishop shall relinquish the Emergency Powers described in this Canon as soon as is practical and is consistent with the best interests of the Diocese, TEC, and the Parish. Further, the Bishop shall not exercise the Emergency Powers for more than ten days without the approval of the Standing Committee of the Diocese, except that if it is not practical to consult the Standing Committee within ten days, the Emergency Powers may be continued until the Standing Committee can reasonably be Consulted. This Canon does not change the procedures for ecclesiastical discipline provided for in the Canons of TEC.