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112th Annual Council | Legislation and Elections

Nov 19, 2018

Delegates listened in love and sought God’s guidance in coming to decisions as they passed three Resolutions and elected members to governing groups.

Passed Resolutions

C18-1 Procedure For Securing Approval Of Encumbrances Of Parish Property

Resolved, that the Canons of the Diocese of Atlanta be amended to add as Canon 41 the following:


Pursuant to Canon 1.7.3 of the Canons of the Episcopal Church, the following regulations
are prescribed by this Diocese:

(a) A vestry or other body of the Parish authorized to hold, manage, or administer real property (“Church Real Property”) for a Parish, Mission, Congregation or Institution (“Authorized Body”), may, without the necessity of obtaining further approval of the Bishop or Standing Committee of the Diocese, encumber or alienate Church Real Property or a part thereof, only as follows:

  1. Granting another person or entity a right to use Church Real Property for a period of less than 12 months when that grant is revocable, without cause shown, notice or penalty;
  2. Renting or otherwise granting permission for use of Church Real Property for a total of seven or less days in any one calendar year, limited to single year grants; or
  3. Granting permission to charitable or other not-for-profit entities to use Church Real Property, other than the principal worship space, for no more than one day per week, provided that the Authorized Body retains the unrestricted right to cancel such permission without penalty on no more than 30 days’ notice.

(b) Any other encumbrance or alienation of part or all of Church Real Property shall require the written consent of the Bishop and Standing Committee, but the Bishop or Standing Committee may delegate the authority to grant such consent to the Bishop of Atlanta or the Canon to the Ordinary under the following circumstances:

  1. Where the encumbrance or alienation is for a maximum of one year;
  2. Where residential or commercial property of the Parish is being rented for a maximum of three years; or
  3. For construction and installation of utilities.

Nothing herein shall be construed to limit the general oversight of a parish by the Bishop of Atlanta or other ecclesiastical authority or to restrict the authority of the Bishop or other ecclesiastical authority to provide pastoral direction to a parish regarding its use of its property.

Any written consent required by Canon 1.7.3 or this Canon may be provided by electronic means.

R18-1 Resolution to Dissolve the Commission on HIV/AIDS

Whereas the HIV/AIDS pandemic continues to claim the health and lives of thousands of our kindred in Christ, even after more than 36 years since it was first identified as a health problem;

Whereas the Diocese of Atlanta created a Task Force on AIDS in March of 1986 to help address the multitude of issues surrounding HIV/AIDS, in doing so thinking that the disease would have been eradicated and said task force could be dissolved;

Whereas over a number of years the Task Force on AIDS morphed into the Commission on HIV/AIDS and continued to address the situation within the church and society for many years and reflected the existence of similar structures at the Provincial and church-wide level of The Episcopal Church;

Whereas The Episcopal Church ended church-wide ministry related to HIV/AIDS at the General Convention of 2015, bringing to an end a ministry that began in February 1987 in Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, California, attended by two representatives from the Diocese of Atlanta;

Whereas the Diocese of Atlanta provided financial and leadership support for the Annual HIV/AIDS Retreat of Province IV of The Episcopal Church, held at Kanuga Conferences for all of the 25 years of its existence until that retreat ended in June 2016; and

Whereas the lack of a coordinated, comprehensive ministry regarding HIV/AIDS no longer exists for any practical purposes in the Diocese of Atlanta.

Resolved that the Commission on HIV/AIDS of the Diocese of Atlanta be dissolved at this 112th Annual Council of the Diocese of Atlanta. And be it further

Resolved that funds for this ministry be removed from the annual budget of the diocese and any materials suitable for archival preservation be given to the diocese. And be it further

Resolved that Ms. Lola Thomas of Ascension Church in Cartersville, Georgia, be commended for her leadership in chairing the planning committee for the Kanuga Retreat for over a decade. And be it further

Resolved that Mr. Bruce Garner of All Saints’ Church in Atlanta, Georgia be commended for his tireless leadership in AIDS/HIV ministry at the national, provincial and local level.

R18-2 Resolution Concerning Prejudiced-Based Violence and Social Media

Resolved, the 112th Annual Council of the Diocese of Atlanta, meeting at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School, November 9 & 10, 2018, note with great concern recent acts of violence committed on the basis of prejudice because of religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, ethnicity, country of origin and political opinion. And be it further

Resolved, that we recognize the negative impact on human relations the use and misuse of social media has created in our church and in our society. And be it further

Resolved, that we, as members of a faith community whose members regularly take vows to respect the dignity of every human being and to seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbor as ourselves, recommit ourselves to those vows especially following these acts of violence that have threatened, injured and killed many of God’s children. And be it further

Resolved, that we offer our prayers and concerns for the victims of violence in Pennsylvania, Kentucky, New York, the District of Columbia and the other locations where these acts took place. And be it further

Resolved, that we, as individuals, will strive to avoid the use of inflammatory, divisive, abusive, derogatory, anti-Semitic, homophobic, sexist, transphobic, xenophobic and other hurtful and negative terminology when referring to any of the children of God on social media platforms. And be it further

Resolved, that we as a community of faith will renew and strengthen our efforts toward building that Beloved Community where all of God’s people live in love and harmony with each other, regardless of our differences. And be it further

Resolved, that the Secretary of Annual Council shall be directed to send electronic copies of this resolution to the Governor of Georgia, the Governor-elect of Georgia, the Secretary of State of Georgia, to our United States Senators, the members of the United States House of Representatives whose constituents are within the boundaries of the Diocese of Atlanta, and to the Vice President and President of the United States.

Elected to Governing Groups

Standing Committee

Mary Caroline Davies Cravens, Cathedral of St. Philip, Atlanta

The Rev. Nikki Mathis, St. Gregory the Great, Athens

Mikell Camp & Conference Center Board of Governors

John Ballard, Grace-Calvary, Clarkesville

Timothy Lytle, Grace-Calvary, Clarkesville

University of The South Trustee

George Williamson, St. Martin in the Fields, Brookhaven