Canons and Constitution
1 Title I: 1 Of the Diocesan Convention
3 Canon 1: Of Membership in Convention
5 Section 1: Clergy Entitled to Seats
7 Not less than one week before the meeting of every Convention of this Diocese, the Bishop
8 shall deliver to the Secretary a list of all the clergy canonically resident in the Diocese,
9 entitled to seats in the Convention, with the names of their respective cures, parishes,
10 stations, or places of residence. This list shall determine the right of any member of the
11 Clergy to a seat, subject, however, to correction by the Convention in accordance with the
12 Constitution and Canons.
14 Section 2: Lay Delegates
16 A. Each Parish and each Mission shall elect one or more Lay Delegates based on the number
17 of lay members as reported in the annual Parochial Report for the year ending December 31
18 preceding to represent said Parish and Mission in Convention; and may also elect Alternates,
19 equal in number to the Delegates to which the Parish or Mission is entitled, to take the place
20 of the regular Delegates in case of absence:
22 Number of Lay Members Reported in Parochial Report
23 Less than 100 1 (one) Lay Delegate
24 100-299 2 (two) Lay Delegates
25 300-499 3 (three) Lay Delegates
26 500-699 4 (four) Lay Delegates
28 Parishes or Missions reporting 700 or more lay members in the Parochial Report shall have
29 an additional delegate for each 200 lay members reported above 700.
31 B. Each Parish or Mission may elect its Lay Delegates at its annual congregational meeting, a
32 special congregational meeting or by its Vestry or Executive Committee.
34 C. Lay Delegates to the Convention shall be certified in writing by the Secretary or Clerk of
35 the Vestry or Executive Committee of the proper Parish or Mission; and the certificate shall
36 state that the Delegates therein named were chosen from the number of those who have
37 been, for not less than six months before the election, lay members in the Parish or Mission
38 to be represented.
40 D. The certificate shall be forwarded to the Secretary of the Convention not later than four
41 months prior to Convention.
43 E. If during the year, and prior to Convention, there shall be any change in elected Lay
44 Delegates, prompt notification shall be given.
46 F. The Lay Delegation shall report to the Vestry or Executive Committee the actions of each
47 Convention and discuss how those actions will be implemented in the Parish or Mission.
The report of the lay delegation may be presented in writing, or orally, 48 and shall be presented
49 at a meeting of the Vestry or Executive Committee not more than sixty (60) days following
50 the adjournment of the annual Diocesan Convention.
52 Canon 2: The Call of the Convention
53 Not fewer than forty-five days notice of each meeting of the Convention shall be given by
54 the Secretary to every member of the Clergy of the Diocese, and to every Parish and Mission
55 in union with the Church in this Diocese.
57 Canon 3: The Regular Committees of Convention
59 Section 1. The Regular Committees of convention include: Claims of Clergy and Lay
60 Delegates to Seats in the Convention, Constitutions and Canons, Resolutions, and
63 A. Each committee shall consist of two to six persons; clergy canonically resident in the
64 diocese and lay members in good standing in this diocese.
66 B. Each committee shall have at least one clergy member and one lay member.
68 C. Members shall continue in office until their successors are appointed. Appointments may
69 be from one to three years with provision for annual rotation of a portion of the committee
72 Section 2. The regular Committees may be appointed by the President at any time between
73 meetings of the Convention. Their duties and responsibilities shall be as follows:
75 Section 3. The Committee on Claims of Clergy and Lay Deputies to Seats in the
78 A. The Committee shall receive from the Secretary any reports of disputed or uncertain
79 claims to seats in the Convention.
81 B. The Committee shall meet promptly and consider the matters laid before it, and shall
82 make a recommendation to the President who shall rule on the matter.
84 Section 4. The Committee on Constitution and Canons
86 A. The Committee on Constitution and Canons shall receive from the Secretary all proposed
87 changes in the Constitution and Canons of the Diocese, and shall consider the same.
89 B. In every case it shall take care that the material in its report shall be in proper canonical
90 form. It may approve or disapprove the form or substance of a resolution, or either of them,
91 according to its own judgment. The report of this Committee in both form and substance
92 shall take precedence over the original resolution submitted to it.
- The Committee shall submit its report on the proposed changes 94 to the Convention with
95 approval, with disapproval, with amendments, or without comment.
97 D. The Committee shall annually review the Constitution and Canons of the Diocese in
98 consultation with the Bishop and make any necessary recommendations to the annual
99 Diocesan Convention.
101 Section 5. The Committee on Resolutions
103 A. The Committee on Resolutions shall receive from the Secretary resolutions not referred
104 by the President of the Convention to any other Committee, including any reports or
105 resolutions regarding admission of new Parishes or Missions.
107 B. Such resolutions must always be presented in writing at least 60 days before the meeting
108 of the Convention unless a majority consent is given by the Convention to a later
111 C. The Committee shall consider resolutions as to form, substance, and language, and shall
112 report its recommendations to the Convention.
114 Section 6. The Committee on Nominations
116 A. Not later than four months before each annual Convention the Committee on
117 Nominations shall notify all clergy canonically resident in the Diocese, and every Parish and
118 Mission, of the offices to be filled by election at the Convention and request that names and
119 addresses of candidates to be nominated for such offices be submitted to the Committee.
121 B. Each name shall be accompanied by a brief biography and a statement that the individual
122 so submitted to the Committee has consented, and is willing to serve if elected.
124 C. Not later than two months before the date set for Convention, the Committee shall
125 prepare a list of nominees who are in the consideration of the Committee well qualified for
126 such offices.
128 D. In determining nominees for Diocesan Council, the Committee shall nominate persons
129 who represent diverse geographical areas of the Diocese, taking into consideration the
130 existing membership of Diocesan Council.
132 E. The list of nominees presented by the Committee to the Convention shall include the
133 names of the Parishes or Missions to which the respective nominees belong, and the number
134 of terms, if any, during which each of them has held the office for which nominated.
136 F. The Committee shall not later than 21 days in advance of the date set for Convention
137 send a copy of the list of nominees to all clergy canonically resident in the Diocese and to
138 every Parish and Mission.
- Nominations from the floor of the Convention shall be accepted, 140 provided that the
141 person nominated has given prior approval and has agreed to serve if elected and provided
142 further that a biography of the person is available at the time of nomination for distribution
143 by the Secretary of the Convention.
145 Canon 4: The Officers of Convention
147 Section 1. The Officers of the Convention shall consist of a President, Secretary, Treasurer,
148 and Chancellor.
150 Section 2. President
152 A. The Bishop Diocesan, if there is one, will be President and preside at meetings of the
153 Diocesan Convention.
155 B. If there is no Bishop Diocesan then the person to preside at the Convention is chosen in
156 accordance with the provisions in the Diocesan Constitution.
158 Section 3. Secretary
160 A. Upon nomination by the Ecclesiastical Authority, each annual convention shall elect a
161 member of the clergy or a lay person to be Secretary of the Convention and to serve until a
162 successor is elected. Upon assuming office, the Secretary is granted seat, voice, and vote in
163 the Convention.
165 B. It shall be the duty of the Secretary to take minutes of the proceedings of all Conventions,
166 to preserve the Journals and Records, to attest the public acts of the body, and faithfully to
167 deliver into the hands of the successor all books and papers relative to the concerns of the
168 Diocese, which may be in his or her possession.
170 C. The Secretary shall cause one copy of every printed Journal to be certified, which shall be
171 deposited as the official record of such Convention, and shall be preserved as such.
173 D. In the event of a mid-term vacancy in this office, the Ecclesiastical Authority shall
174 appoint a successor with the advice and consent of the Diocesan Council.
176 Section 4. Treasurer
178 A. Upon nomination by the Ecclesiastical Authority, each annual convention shall elect a
179 member of the clergy or a lay person to be Treasurer of the Diocese and to serve until a
180 successor is elected. Upon assuming office, the Treasurer is granted seat, voice, and vote in
181 the Convention.
183 B. The Treasurer shall be the treasurer of the Diocese, reporting to the Diocesan Council
184 and shall perform such duties as may be directed by the Bishop, Council and the
- He or she shall keep such accounts, as may be required, which 187 shall be audited annually,
188 and make such periodic reports as may be deemed necessary by the Bishop, Council and the
191 D. The Treasurer shall be required to give such security as may from time to time be
192 required and prescribed.
194 E. In the event of a mid-term vacancy in this office, the Ecclesiastical Authority shall
195 appoint a successor with the advice and consent of the Diocesan Council.
197 Section 5. Chancellor
199 A. The Bishop, with the advice and consent of the Standing Committee, may appoint a
200 person licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as Chancellor of the
203 B. The Chancellor shall be the legal adviser and chief law officer of the Bishop, the Diocese,
204 the Diocesan Council, the Standing Committee, and all special committees appointed by the
205 Convention, whenever they may require legal advice in questions affecting the interest of the
208 C. The Chancellor, if a member of the clergy, must be canonically resident in the Diocese
209 and, if a member of the laity, must be an adult communicant in good standing in the
212 Canon 5. Elections
214 Section 1. Voting
216 A. Elections shall be by a majority vote of the valid votes cast for each office. A person shall
217 be considered to have obtained majority vote when they have received more than 50% of
218 the valid ballots cast for that office. For any election, when requested by any five members
219 of convention, a vote by orders will be held. Elections shall be determined by a majority
220 vote, as defined by this canon, in each order.
222 B. Each delegate shall have one vote on each ballot for each office or position to be filled.
224 C. All delegates must vote for the number of persons to be elected to the various offices.
226 Section 2. When elections are for different terms of office, the nominee first elected shall be
227 the one elected for the longest term; or if two or more are elected on the same ballot, the
228 candidate receiving the highest number of votes shall be the one or ones elected.
230 Section 3. Every person appointed or elected to office shall assume office upon the close of
233 Title II: Of Parish Vestries and the Governance of Parishes
235 Canon 1. General Vestry Matters
237 Section 1. Responsibilities of Parish Vestry
239 A. The Vestry in every parish shall cooperate with the rector in promoting the spiritual
240 welfare of the parish and shall aid the rector in the initiation, conduct and development of
241 the mission of the Church both within and outside the parish.
243 B. The Vestry shall supervise the care and maintenance of the buildings, furnishings and
244 other properties of the parish, providing adequate insurance thereon.
246 C. The Vestry shall be responsible for the proper care of the finances of the parish,
247 including any trust funds, subject to the General Canons of the Church and the appropriate
248 laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
250 D. Each Vestry meeting shall be open to members of the congregation, except with respect
251 to confidential personnel, legal or pastoral matters. The Vestry may, upon majority vote of
252 the members where a quorum is present, designate the relevant portion of the meeting as
253 confidential and closed.
255 Canon 2: Call of a Priest
257 A call to a priest in the event of a vacancy in a clerical position shall be made in the form of
258 a written Letter of Agreement, which shall include all items required by the Bishop, including
259 a clause that the Letter of Agreement may be revised by mutual agreement. The Letter of
260 Agreement and any subsequent revisions shall be submitted to the Bishop for approval.
262 Canon 3: Of the Governance of Parishes
264 Section 1: This section of the Canon takes the place of and supersedes the Bylaws of all
265 Parishes in the Diocese.
267 A. Annual Parish Meeting
269 1. In every Parish, the Annual Parish Meeting shall be held in January at a time and
270 place designated by the Vestry. Public notice of the Annual Meeting shall be given at all the
271 services on the two preceding weekends. With the consent of the Ecclesiastical Authority,
272 the Annual Meeting may be held during a different month.
274 2. The purpose of this Annual Meeting shall be to elect members to the Vestry; receive
275 reports from the Vestry, parish officers, and organizations; including any reports about the
276 budget approved by the Vestry for the new year; and to transact such other business as may
277 properly come before it.
279 3. At the Annual Meeting, a report of the Parish finances shall be given, including reports of
280 all assets and liabilities and all income and expenditures including any subsidiary or related
organization or entity, including (but not limited to) all trusts, 281 endowments or other
284 4. The Annual Parish Meeting shall be presided over by the Rector or Priest-in-Charge, or if
285 the office be vacant, or if the Rector or Priest-in-Charge be absent, by the Senior Warden.
287 5. Lay Members in good standing of the Parish who are physically present, who are at least
288 18 years of age, who are regular attendants at the services of the parish, and who are regular
289 contributors for the six months preceding the meeting to the support of the Parish, shall be
290 entitled to vote at all Parish Meetings. A quorum for the transaction of business in the
291 Annual Parish Meeting shall consist of 25% of the persons entitled to vote if they were
292 present or 25 persons entitled to vote, whichever is less.
294 6. Each Parish shall have a Vestry consisting of not fewer than five nor more than twelve
295 Lay Members at least 18 years of age in good standing elected at the annual Parish Meeting.
296 The number of persons to serve on the Vestry of the Parish shall be set by resolution of the
297 Annual Parish Meeting. A change in number may be effected by the same procedure.
299 7. The qualifications of persons to serve on the Vestry shall be the same as the qualifications
300 to vote at the Annual Parish Meeting as set out above except that the person to be elected
301 need not be present at the Meeting.
303 8. No cleric or member of a cleric’s family shall be eligible for election as a member of the
304 Vestry. No employee of the Parish or member of the employee’s family shall be eligible for
305 election to Vestry. No more than one member of a family may serve on Vestry at the same
306 time. A Parish may apply by letter to the Bishop for an amendment to the provisions of this
307 subsection, stating the specific provision it wishes to amend and the reasons for the
308 amendment. The Bishop shall provide a response by letter to the Parish. If the Bishop
309 approves the amendment, the provisions of this subsection shall be considered amended to
310 the extent that the Bishop has approved the amendment as of the date of the letter.
312 9. In each Parish the Vestry may by resolution designate a Nominating Committee,
313 otherwise the Rector or Priest-in-Charge together with the Senior Warden and the Junior
314 Warden shall be the Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee shall publish to
315 the parish two weeks prior to the Annual Parish Meeting a ballot with sufficient qualified
316 nominees to fill the vacancies on the Vestry for the upcoming year.
318 10. Additional nominations may be made from the floor of the Annual Parish Meeting. The
319 nominator shall first obtain the consent of the nominee. Any question of the nominee’s
320 qualification to serve shall be resolved by the Rector or Priest-in-Charge prior to the election
321 of Vestry members. In the absence of a Rector or Priest-in- Charge, the Senior Warden shall
322 have the responsibility for determining the qualifications of any person nominated from the
325 11. Each Annual Parish Meeting shall elect persons to serve on the Vestry replacing those
326 members whose term in office has ended.
328 12. The length of one term of office for members of the Vestry shall be three years with one
third of the members, or as near as may be, elected each year at the 329 Annual Parish Meeting.
330 A vestry member shall not be eligible for re-election until after one year after his or her
331 second term has ended.
333 B. Special Parish Meetings
335 1. A Special Parish Meeting may be held at any time on the written order of the Ecclesiastical
336 Authority or of the Rector or Priest-in-Charge, or by resolution of the Vestry, or on a
337 petition to the Ecclesiastical Authority if such petition be signed by not less than one-quarter
338 (25%) of the number entitled to vote at the last Annual Parish Meeting.
340 2. All such orders, resolutions, or petitions shall specify the time and place of such meeting
341 and the business to be considered.
343 3. At such meeting, no business shall be considered other than that specified in the call.
345 4. Notice of such meeting shall be read publicly in church at all services on two weekends
346 prior to the meeting. This notice shall specify the time and place of the meeting, the business
347 to be considered, and by whose order the meeting is called.
349 5. Such meeting may be presided over by the Bishop. If the Bishop does not preside, the
350 Rector or Priest-in-Charge shall preside. If there is no Rector or Priest-in-Charge, the
351 Ecclesiastical Authority may request the Senior Warden to preside.
353 C. Vestries
355 1. Duties of the Vestry.
357 a. In accordance with the Constitutions and Canons of The Episcopal Church and of this
358 Diocese the Vestry shall govern the Parish and shall manage and be responsible for its
359 property and material affairs; shall further the temporal and spiritual welfare of the Parish;
360 provide a suitable place of worship and see that it is provided with all things necessary to the
361 worship of Almighty God; shall select and call a Rector and provide for the remuneration of
362 the Rector; and shall present to each Annual Parish Meeting a report on its work during the
363 year preceding and a budget for the next year.
365 b. As to civil matters, the Vestry shall be the corporate Board of Directors. The Rector or
366 Priest-in-Charge shall be a member of and preside over the Vestry and is the President of the
367 corporation. If there is no Rector or Priest-in-Charge then the Senior Warden shall be the
368 President of the Corporation.
370 c. In consultation with the Rector or Priest-in-Charge, all staff positions are created and
371 funded by the Vestry. Personnel filling those positions are hired by and serve at the
372 discretion of the Rector or Priest-in-Charge and are accountable to the Rector or Priest-in-
373 Charge. The Rector or Priest-in-Charge may work collaboratively with a nominating or
374 personnel committee in the selection of personnel.
376 d. A financial report shall be given at each regular meeting of the Vestry, which shall include
current income and expenditures. Following approval, the report 377 shall be made available to
378 members of the congregation by publicly posting or otherwise.
380 2. Officers of the Vestry and of the Parish
382 a. The Lay Officers of a Parish shall consist of the Senior Warden, Junior Warden, Clerk
383 and Treasurer who shall all be adult Lay Members in good standing of the Parish and at least
384 18 years of age. No cleric or family member of a cleric may serve as an Officer of the Parish.
385 No employee of the Parish or member of such employee’s family may serve as an Officer of
386 the Parish. No family member of a Vestry member may serve as an Officer of the Parish. A
387 Parish may apply by letter to the Bishop for an amendment to the provisions of this
388 subsection, stating the specific provision it wishes to amend and the reasons for the
389 amendment. The Bishop shall provide a response by letter to the Parish. If the Bishop
390 approves the amendment, the provisions of this subsection shall be considered amended at
391 to the extent that the Bishop has approved the amendment as of the date of the letter.
393 b. The Senior Warden shall be elected annually by the Vestry, upon nomination by the
394 Rector or Priest-in-Charge, from among the members of the Vestry. If there be no Rector or
395 Priest-in-Charge of the Parish, the Ecclesiastical Authority shall nominate a Senior Warden
396 from among the members of the Vestry. The Vestry may, by majority vote, decide to call the
397 Senior Warden the “Rector’s Warden” or the “Vestry Warden”, but in all cases the Senior
398 Warden shall be elected by the Vestry and perform the duties of the Senior Warden.
400 c. It is the duty of the Senior Warden to work closely with the Rector or Priest-in- Charge, to
401 advise the Rector or Priest-in-Charge on all matters pertaining to the parish upon which the
402 Rector or Priest-in-Charge may wish to consult the Senior Warden, and to inform the Rector
403 or Priest-in-Charge of all matters which the Senior Warden feels the Rector needs to know.
404 If there is no Rector or Priest-in-Charge, it shall be the duty of the Senior Warden to assume
405 all the temporal duties of the Rector including, but not limited to, presiding at Vestry
406 meetings, signing documents, filing reports, and maintaining the Parish Register. In addition,
407 it shall be the duty of the Senior Warden to provide for the continuation of Divine Worship.
409 d. The Junior Warden shall either be elected annually from among their number by the
410 Vestry or shall be appointed by the Rector. In the absence of the Senior Warden, the Junior
411 Warden is to assume the duties of the Senior Warden. The Vestry may, by majority vote,
412 decide to call the Junior Warden the “Vestry Warden” or the “Rector’s Warden”, but in all
413 cases the Junior Warden will perform the duties of the Junior Warden.
415 e. The Wardens shall see that the financial obligations of the Parish are met and that the
416 buildings belonging to the Parish are kept in good repair and are adequately insured. Under
417 the Rector or Priest-in-Charge, they shall see that all things needed for the orderly worship
418 of God and for the proper administration of the sacraments are provided. They shall prevent
419 or repress all disturbance of divine worship. In the absence of a Rector or Priest-in-Charge,
420 they shall, with the advice of the Ecclesiastical Authority, procure suitable supply for the
421 continuance of the services.
423 f. A Clerk shall be elected annually by the Vestry. The Clerk shall be responsible to see that
424 minutes are taken of all Annual and Special Parish Meetings and of all meetings of the Vestry
and shall attest to the same in the Book of Minutes of the Vestry, 425 shall maintain in the said
426 book the annual accounts of the temporal condition of the Parish, shall keep all original
427 documents, and the list of voters provided for by these Canons. The Clerk shall turn over to
428 his or her successor all books and documents in his possession that belong to the Parish.
430 g. A Treasurer shall be elected annually by the Vestry. Under the authority of the Vestry, the
431 Treasurer is responsible to collect, receive, disburse, and account for the funds of the Parish.
432 Prior to the Annual Parish Meeting, the Treasurer shall present to the Vestry a full and
433 accurate statement of the financial condition of the Parish. This statement shall also be
434 presented at the Annual Parish Meeting before the election of officers. At every meeting of
435 the Vestry the Treasurer shall report the total assets and liabilities of the Parish and the
436 income and expenses of the general operating funds. As directed the Treasurer shall report
437 the income and expenses of any other funds. The Treasurer shall furnish a bond, but the
438 cost of such bond shall be borne by the Parish. The Treasurer shall turn over to his or her
439 successor all books, documents, and funds in his or her possession that belong to the Parish.
441 h. The Vestry shall fill any mid-term vacancies in their number or among the officers of the
442 Parish by majority vote.
444 3. Meetings of the Vestry
446 a. Regular meetings of the Vestry shall be held at least quarterly. All Vestry members are
447 expected to be present at Vestry meetings. If any member of the Vestry is absent from three
448 consecutive meetings without due cause, as determined by the Rector or Priest-in-Charge
449 and the Wardens, that seat shall be declared vacant.
451 b. The Vestry shall not transact any business without the presence of the Rector or Priest-in-
452 Charge of the Parish, or in the event that the office of Rector or Priest-in-Charge be vacant,
453 without the presence of one of the Wardens. A quorum consisting of a majority of the
454 elected members of the Vestry must be present for the Vestry to transact business. No
455 action affecting the rights of the Rector or Priest- in-Charge shall be taken at any meeting at
456 which the Rector or Priest-in-Charge has not been given the opportunity to attend.
458 c. Special Meetings of the Vestry may be called at any time at the request of the
459 Rector or Priest-in-Charge, or of any two Vestry members. Notice of such meeting shall be
460 given to the Rector or Priest-in-Charge, the Wardens, and the members of the Vestry. This
461 notice shall specify the time and place of the meeting and the business to be considered. No
462 other business shall come before such special meeting except with the unanimous consent of
463 the Rector or Priest-in-Charge and all members of the Vestry.
465 4. Indemnification
467 a. No member of the Vestry shall be personally liable for monetary damages for any action
468 taken, or any failure to take any action, unless said person has breached or failed to perform
469 the duties of the office prescribed by these Canons, and the breach or failure to perform
470 constitutes self-dealing, willful misconduct or recklessness. The provisions of this section
471 shall not apply to the responsibility or liability of said person pursuant to any criminal
472 statute, or for the payment of taxes pursuant to local, state, or federal law.
474 b. The Parish shall indemnify any Vestry member who was or is a party to, or is threatened
475 to be made a party to or who is called as a witness in connection with any threatened,
476 pending, or completed action, suit or proceeding, whether civil, criminal, administrative or
477 investigative, including any action by or on behalf of the Parish by reason of the fact that he
478 is or was a member of Vestry against expenses, including attorney’s fees, judgments, fines
479 and amounts paid in settlement actually and reasonably incurred in connection with such
480 action, suit, or proceeding unless the act or failure to act giving rise to the claim for
481 indemnification is determined by a court of competent jurisdiction to have constituted
482 willful misconduct or recklessness. With respect to any such action, the Parish may
483 participate therein at its own expense; and the Parish shall be entitled to assume the defense
484 thereof, with Counsel selected by the Parish to the reasonable satisfaction of the party being
485 indemnified. After notice from the Parish to such person of its election to assume the
486 defense thereof, the Parish shall not be liable to such person for any legal or other expenses
487 subsequently incurred by such person in connection with the defense thereof. Such person
488 shall have the right to employ separate Counsel in such action, but the fees and expenses of
489 such Counsel incurred after a notice from the Parish of its assumption of the defense
490 thereof, shall be at the expense of such person.
492 Section 2: Subordinate Entities
494 A. If a Parish wholly owns any subordinate entity, whether or not that entity is separately
495 incorporated, and the Parish pays staff to perform work for that entity, that subordinate
496 entity shall have its own bylaws.
498 B. All such bylaws and any amendments thereto shall first be submitted to the Bishop and
499 Standing Committee for approval prior to submission to the Vestry for approval.
501 C. Any existing bylaws for such entities which have not already been approved by the Bishop
502 and the Standing Committee shall be submitted to the Bishop and to the Chancellor for
505 Canon 4. Of Business Methods in Church Affairs
507 Section 1. In every parish, mission, congregation or institution connected with the Diocese
508 of Bethlehem, the Manual of Business Methods in Church Affairs, as issued from time to
509 time by the Church, shall be used as a guide for the conduct of business.
511 Section 2. All property, real and personal, held by or for the benefit of any Congregation of
512 this Diocese is held in trust for the Diocese and The Episcopal Church. The existence of this
513 trust, however, shall in no way limit the power and authority of the Congregation otherwise
514 existing over such property so long as the Congregation remains a part of, and subject to,
515 this Church and its General and Diocesan Constitution and Canons.
517 Section 3. No mortgage, judgment, lien, or indebtedness shall be incurred by any
518 Congregation of this Diocese without the consent and approval of the Bishop Diocesan, if
519 there be one, and the Standing Committee.
521 Section 4. No real property titled to any Congregation or other institution of this Diocese
522 shall be sold, given away, deliberately destroyed, or otherwise alienated or encumbered
523 without the consent and approval of the Bishop Diocesan, if there be one, and the Standing
526 Section 5. All Congregations, institutions, and other entities belonging to this Diocese or
527 any of the Congregations of this Diocese shall be adequately insured with property and
528 liability insurance that shall conform to a minimum standard for insurance established by the
529 Diocesan Council, and shall provide annually to the Diocese a certificate of insurance.
531 Section 6. No Congregation, institution or other entity belonging to this Diocese shall
532 purchase real estate without the consent and approval of the Bishop Diocesan, if there be
533 one, and the Standing Committee.
535 Section 7. Real property held or administered by the Diocese of Bethlehem or by
536 Institutions, Parishes or Congregations connected with it, shall be offered for sale, sold, or
537 leased only on a non-discriminatory basis consistent with the applicable laws of the
538 Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, of the United States of America, and of the General
539 Canons of the Church.
541 Section 8. Every Congregation shall present the Annual Parochial Report to the
542 Ecclesiastical Authority by the date specified.
544 Canon 5. Parishes Under Review
546 Section 1. Definition of Sustainable Parish
547 It is the policy of the Diocese that all Parishes should be ‘Sustainable’. A Parish (including
548 yoked parishes or a cluster of parishes) which is ‘Sustainable’ is defined as a Parish or parish
549 ministry initiative that exhibits these characteristics:
551 A. It is mission-focused and able to come into alignment with Diocesan strategic priorities.
553 B. It is outward-looking and seeks to make an impact on its surrounding community.
555 C. It has clergy (full or part-time) and active lay leadership with the skills to manage the
556 programs and property of the parish ministry to meet its own sense of mission.
558 D. It has the energy and resources to meet the challenges of the community it serves and to
559 provide for the future well-being of parish life.
561 E. It relies mainly on the freewill offering of its members and its own resources for its core
562 financial support.
564 F. It does not endanger its future well-being by depleting its capital assets.
566 Section 2. Conditions for Declaration of Review Status
A Parish may be declared to be a Parish Under Review when 567 one or more of the following
568 conditions exist, as determined by the Bishop with the consent of the Standing Committee:
570 A. The Vestry or Rector of a Parish request the Bishop to declare it to be a Parish Under
573 B. The Parish has violated the Constitution or Canons of the Diocese or the General
574 Constitution and Canons of the Church, including employing a member of the clergy under
575 ecclesiastical censure or process, permitting a church edifice to be used for purposes
576 incompatible with its consecration, or engaging in any persistent course inconsistent with the
577 doctrine, discipline, or worship of the Church;
579 C. The Parish has refused or neglected to elect a Vestry, or failed to provide representation
580 at any Annual Convention of this Diocese, or refused or neglected to pay its Diocesan
583 D. The Parish has failed to call a Rector after a reasonable period of time and without having
584 made reasonable efforts;
586 E. The Parish has failed to comply with the provisions of the Canons of this Diocese or the
587 General Canons of this Church pertaining to Business Methods in Church Affairs or the
588 Church Pension Fund;
590 F. The Parish has repeatedly invaded the principal portion of endowment funds for regular
591 operating expenses, evidenced substantial financial instability, or otherwise is not
594 Section 3. Review Committee
596 A. The Bishop shall appoint a Committee of three (3) persons who are not members of the
597 Parish to investigate and seek to ameliorate the conditions, and to report to the Bishop.
599 B. The Committee, with the Parish, may enlist the advice and assistance of Diocesan
602 C. The Bishop shall have the right to have the books and records of the congregation
605 Section 4. Restoration to Regular Canonical Status
607 A. When a Parish is under Review, it shall be the obligation of all parties to labor to restore
608 the Parish to a greater degree of health, setting forth problems to be addressed in an open,
609 honest manner, and working toward the resolution of such problems in a climate or respect
610 and charity, and for the greater good of the Church’s witness to its Lord.
612 B. The Bishop, with the advice of the Standing Committee, shall develop a plan for restoring
613 the parish to greater degree of health (“Restoration Plan”).
615 C. The Restoration Plan shall be delivered in writing to the Rector or Priest-in-Charge and
616 the Senior Warden of the Parish under Review within 90 days of the Parish having been
617 placed on Review status and will take effect upon delivery.
619 D. The Restoration Plan shall contain in writing all matters which the Parish must resolve to
620 be restored to health, and the guidelines that will demonstrate such return to health and such
621 plan may be amended by the bishop at any time.
623 E. A parish shall be declared to be no longer a Parish under Review when the Bishop, with
624 the advice of the Standing Committee, determines that all of the requirements of the
625 Restoration Plan have been satisfied.
627 Canon 6. Parishes at Risk
629 Section 1. Conditions for At Risk Status
631 A. If the conditions set forth in Title II, Canon 5, Section 2, shall persist for more than one
632 year, or if conditions warrant immediate action, the Bishop, with advice and consent of the
633 Standing Committee, may declare the Parish to be a Parish at risk, and may require the
634 application of one or more of the following measures to restore health to the Parish:
636 1. Appointment, by the Bishop, of three (3) to five (5) persons, some or all of whom may be
637 adult communicants of the Parish to govern the affairs of the Parish as the Vestry, replacing
638 the current Vestry, notwithstanding any other provisions for such governance or the election
639 of a Vestry in the Canons of this Diocese;
641 2. Designation of the Rector as Vicar;
643 3. Conveyance of title of all property to the corporation named Incorporated Trustees of the
644 Diocese, through its Board, Diocesan Council, who shall hold the same while these
645 conditions exist;
647 4. Such other measures which the Bishop, with the concurrence of the Standing Committee,
648 determines to be appropriate. Such measures may include formally designating the Parish to
649 be a Mission of the Diocese.
651 Section 2. Restoration to Regular Canonical Status
653 A. At least yearly, the Bishop (together with such other persons or Committees as the
654 Bishop may designate) and the Vestry will evaluate the progress toward correcting the
655 conditions that led to the Parish being declared at risk, including, but not limited to, the
656 issues and guidelines listed in the Restoration Plan.
658 B. When the conditions which have led to the decision to declare a Parish at risk have been
659 substantially ameliorated, the Parish may petition the Bishop for restoration of the Parish to
660 regular canonical status.
662 C. The Bishop, with the advice of the Standing Committee, shall decide whether or not to
663 approve the petition.
665 D. If a Parish at Risk shall remain in such status for a period of more than four (4) years
666 without extension of its Restoration Plan, then a special meeting of the Parish at Risk shall
667 be called by either the Bishop or the Wardens of the Parish, and by majority vote thereof, it
668 shall be determined whether such Parish at Risk shall petition to be restored to full and
669 regular Parish status, or shall ask to be changed to the status of a Mission, merged, or closed.
671 E. The Bishop, with the advice and consent of the Standing Committee, shall then decide
672 not less than four months after the vote on such requested action whether to restore the
673 Parish, to change its status to Mission, to merge or to close the Parish.
675 F. Any decision as to closing of a Parish shall be taken in accordance with Title II, Canon 8.
677 Canon 7. Missions
679 Section 1. Definition
680 A Mission is a congregation of the Diocese of Bethlehem which does not meet the
681 requirements of a Parish.
683 Section 2. Establishment of Missions
685 A. The power to establish a Mission in any town or district is hereby vested in the Bishop of
686 the Diocese. A Mission is, for the purpose of this Canon, an incipient organization over
687 which a Missionary may at any time be placed by the authority of the Bishop.
689 B. A Mission shall not be established in any town or district until an application shall have
690 been made by not less than ten adult persons, declaring their attachment to the Protestant
691 Episcopal Church, and their purpose to sustain the services of said Church; they shall
692 furthermore pledge the payment of a specified sum for the maintenance of the Vicar whom
693 the Bishop shall appoint.
695 Section 3. Property
696 All property of a Mission shall be vested in The Incorporated Trustees of the Diocese
697 through its Board, Diocesan Council, who shall hold the same for the benefit of said
698 Mission, until such time as it shall be duly organized as a Parish, when the said property may
699 be transferred to the Parish Corporation; provided that when a property is vested in a parent
700 Parish it shall retain the same until the Mission be organized as a Parish and as such be
701 admitted into union with the Convention.
703 Section 4. Executive Committee
704 There shall be annually elected in every Mission not fewer than four nor more than ten adult
705 members who, with the Vicar, shall constitute the Executive Committee of the Mission, and
706 whose duty it shall be to promote the temporal and spiritual interests of the Mission.
708 Section 5. Wardens
709 The Vicar shall appoint from the Executive Committee a Warden, and the Executive
710 Committee shall elect a Secretary and Treasurer. The Treasurer need not be a member of the
711 Executive Committee.
713 Section 6. Convention Delegates
714 The Lay delegates from the Mission shall be chosen from among the members thereof in the
715 manner provided in Title 1, Canon 1, Section 2.A.
717 Canon 8. Closing of a Parish
719 Section 1. Conditions for Voluntary Closure
720 A Parish may voluntarily determine to close, if such action is:
722 A. approved by two-thirds (2/3) of the Vestry; and
724 B. approved by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Members present at a special or regular
725 meeting; and
727 C. approved by the Rector, if one is in place; and
729 D. approved by the Bishop.
731 Section 2. Conditions for Closure
733 A. Other than as set forth in Section 1 above, no Parish shall be closed except upon the
734 affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the Members of any Convention of the Diocese.
736 B. Such Convention vote shall be upon a special report of the Diocesan Council, which shall
737 consider the issues and evidence of conditions warranting a declaration of dissolution. Such
738 report shall contain a statement of the issues and evidence of conditions placed before the
739 Bishop and the Diocesan Council.
741 C. Upon the affirmative vote of the Convention, such Parish shall be closed, and title to all
742 property thereof shall vest in the Incorporated Trustees of the Diocese and its Board of
743 Directors, the Diocesan Council.
745 Section 3. Disposition of Property
746 Upon closing, title to all property thereof shall vest in the Incorporated Trustees of the
747 Diocese and its Board of Directors, the Diocesan Council.
749 Title III: Of Constitutional Committees
751 Canon 1. Standing Committee
753 Section 1. The Standing Committee shall consist of eight (8) elected members; 4 clergy
754 members and 4 lay members.
Section 2. Each annual Convention shall elect one Priest 756 in Good Standing and one Lay
757 Person in Good Standing to serve a term of four years on the Standing Committee.
759 Section 3. No one so elected shall be eligible for re-election after having served two
760 consecutive terms until after the expiration of one year.
762 Section 4. The Standing Committee shall fulfill all duties prescribed for Standing
763 Committees in the General Constitution and Canons and in the Constitution of this Diocese
764 and in these Canons.
766 Section 5. Within thirty (30) days following the annual Diocesan Convention, the Standing
767 Committee shall elect from their own body a President of the Standing Committee and shall
768 also elect from their body a Secretary who shall serve a term of one year and may succeed
771 Section 6. The Standing Committee shall have the authority to fill, for the unexpired term,
772 all vacancies that occur in its own body.
774 Canon 2. The Diocesan Council
776 Section 1. Purpose of the Diocesan Council
777 A. The Diocesan Council shall be the executive agency of the Convention of the Diocese in
778 between meetings of the Convention, and shall be responsible to the Convention.
780 B. The Diocesan Council shall administer and advance the work of the Church in this
781 Diocese, subject to the provisions of the Constitution and Canons of this Diocese.
783 C. As the executive agency of the Convention of the Diocese, the Diocesan Council may
784 inaugurate, revise and enact policies that are not inconsistent with the Constitution and
785 Canons of the Diocese.
787 D. The Diocesan Council shall constitute the Board of Directors of that Pennsylvania non788
profit corporation known as The Incorporated Trustees of the Diocese of Bethlehem. The
789 Diocesan Council shall also constitute the Board of the Directors of that Pennsylvania non790
profit corporation known as the Diocese of Bethlehem.
792 E. The powers and duties of the aforesaid corporations shall be as set forth in their
793 respective Articles of Incorporation. The Diocesan Council shall have power to make such
794 bylaws and rules as may from time to time be deemed necessary or expedient for the
795 governance of said corporations; provided, always, that the said bylaws and rules, or any of
796 them be not repugnant to the Constitution and laws of the United States, to the Constitution
797 and laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, to the General Constitution and Canons of
798 the Church, and to the Constitution and Canons of the Diocese of Bethlehem.
800 Section 2. Membership of the Diocesan Council
802 A. The Bishop of the Diocese shall be, ex-officio, president of the Diocesan Council.
804 B. The Bishop Coadjutor, the Bishop Suffragan, the Assistant Bishop, the Treasurer and the
805 Chancellor shall be ex-officio members of the Diocesan Council.
807 C. The Council shall consist of twelve elected members in addition to the ex officio
810 D. Convention shall elect four persons, two clerical and two lay, to the Diocesan Council
811 annually to serve for a term of three years.
813 E. No one so elected shall be eligible for re-election after having served two consecutive
814 terms until after the expiration of one year.
816 F. The Diocesan Council shall have the authority to fill, for the unexpired term, all vacancies
817 in its own body related to the elected members in Section C above.
819 Section 3. The Duties of the Diocesan Council
821 A. The Diocesan Council shall develop for consideration and approval by Convention a
822 Diocesan mission strategy and shall develop and maintain programs to implement the
825 1. Council shall regularly review the strategy and report the results of the review to
828 2. Council shall make an annual report to Convention for its consideration including an
829 assessment of Diocesan programs and services.
831 B. The Diocesan Council shall prepare and submit annually to the Convention for its
832 consideration and approval, subject to sub-section (C) herein, a proposed operating budget
833 for all programs and services included in the proposed strategy, and the assessments and
834 acceptances of the parishes and missions necessary to effect said strategy. The Council shall
835 propose minimum salaries and cost of living increases. This provision does not apply to
836 positions filled by deacons, diocesan interns, or non-stipendiary clergy.
838 C. At the first meeting of the Diocesan Council in each fiscal year, the aforementioned
839 proposed operating budget shall be finalized and approved, in accordance with the strategy
840 and priorities adopted by the Convention, which operating budget shall not be greater than
841 the financial resources available for these purposes.
843 D. The Diocesan Council shall have the powers and duties, either in its own name, in the
844 name of the Diocese, or in the name of the Incorporated Trustees of the Diocese of
845 Bethlehem, or as trustee of any of these entities, to buy and sell real estate, securities and
846 other investments, to receive, hold, administer, and properly dispose of all property, real and
847 personal, which may be given, granted, conveyed, devised, bequeathed, or transferred to the
848 Diocese, including but not limited to the Episcopal Endowment Fund or the Episcopal
849 Diocesan Fund, or to the Incorporated Trustees, either in its own name or in trust, for any
religious, charitable or educational use of purpose connected w 850 ith the Diocese or any
851 portion of the Diocese, or for the aid, benefit, or advancement of any parish, congregation,
852 or religious, charitable or educational association of Episcopalians in the Diocese.
854 E. Upon approval of the proposed operating budget by the Convention, notice shall be sent
855 to the Rector or Vicar and Treasurer of each Parish and Mission of the assessment due and
856 payable by the respective Parish or Mission, which shall be payable in monthly installments
857 to the Treasurer of the Diocese commencing January of the fiscal year to which said budget
858 is applicable.
860 F. Notice of the right of appeal from the amount of the assessment shall be printed in the
861 notices sent to the Parishes and Missions. All requests for reduction or for exoneration shall
862 be submitted to Diocesan Council, who shall act upon the same in a timely fashion.
864 G. At least one month before the close of the diocesan fiscal year and one month before any
865 Special Convention, Diocesan Council shall notify all Parishes and Missions which may have
866 failed to meet their assessments in full, stating the amount still due, and shall add to the
867 notice the clause in Article V of the Constitution, which bars representation in the
868 Convention for certain financial delinquency.
870 H. At the opening of each annual Convention, the Treasurer shall present a written report
871 stating in detail the fiscal condition of the Diocese, and a list of the Parishes and Missions
872 which may have failed to pay their assessments, stating the amount still due from each.
874 Section 4. Committees of Council
875 The Diocesan Council shall have the power to initiate and appoint such as are necessary to
876 fulfill the diocesan mission, strategy, and policies.
878 A. Finance Committee
879 Notwithstanding any other committees it may establish, the Diocesan Council shall be
880 required to establish a Finance Committee.
882 1. Membership of the Finance Committee
883 a. The Finance Committee shall consist at a minimum of the Treasurer, two members
884 appointed by the Bishop, and two members appointed by the Diocesan Council.
886 b. In order to fulfill its mandate, additional members may be appointed by nomination of the
887 Bishop and approval of the Diocesan Council.
889 c. Members of the Committee need not be members of the Diocesan Council. Members
890 appointed shall be persons with expertise in fiscal or fiduciary affairs.
892 d. Such committee members shall serve at the pleasure of the body that appointed them.
894 2. Powers and Duties of the Finance Committee
896 a. The Committee shall monitor the financial affairs of the Diocese.
898 b. The Committee shall provide for an annual audit of the Diocese.
900 c. The Committee shall recommend to the Diocesan Council the proper and prudent
901 administration of such real or personal property and as may have been granted to the
902 corporations known as the Incorporated Trustees of the Diocese of Bethlehem, the
903 Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem, or any real or personal property designated for the use of
904 the Episcopal Church in this Diocese.
906 d. Such recommendations shall include recommendations for the approval of all
907 investments or change in investments in respect of which the Diocesan Council, the
908 Diocese, or the corporation known as the Incorporated Trustees of the Diocese of
909 Bethlehem has any authority or responsibility, and any matters relating to loans from the
910 Colt Sterrett and Clergy loan funds, and any other loan funds under the control and
911 supervision of the Diocese.
913 e. To carry out its purpose, the Finance Committee shall keep a record of its meetings and
914 make a report at each meeting of the Diocesan Council.
916 B. All Committees established by Council pursuant to this Canon, including but not limited
917 to the Finance Committee, shall report to Council in such ways as Council shall determine.
919 1. Any reports and recommendations of these Committees shall be subject to Council’s
920 review and approval.
922 2. Members of the Committees need not be members of the Diocesan Council
924 C. The Diocesan Council shall report to the Annual Convention of the Diocese.
926 Canon 3. Ecclesiastical Discipline
928 Section 1. Title IV of General Canons
929 Those provisions of Title IV of the General Church Canons, which are applicable or may
930 become applicable to the Diocese, are hereby incorporated as part of this Canon. To the
931 extent, if any, that any of the provisions of this Canon are in conflict or inconsistent with the
932 provisions of Title IV, the provisions of Title IV shall govern.
934 Section 2. Discipline Structure
936 A. Disciplinary Board. The Board shall consist of seven persons, four of whom are members
937 of the Clergy and three of whom are Laity.
939 B. Clergy Members. The clergy members of the Board from the Diocese must be canonically
940 and geographically resident within the Diocese.
942 C. Lay Members. The lay members of the Board from the Diocese shall be Adult
943 Communicants in Good Standing and geographically resident in the Diocese.
945 D. Election
947 1. By May 1st of each year, the Bishop shall nominate and the Standing Committee shall elect
948 persons to fill the terms of those members whose terms are expiring in July of that year.
949 Those persons newly elected shall assume office on July 1st of the year they are elected.
951 2. The members of the Disciplinary Board shall serve for a term of three (3) years.
953 3. No member shall be eligible for reelection for a year after the end of his or her second
954 three (3) year term.
956 4. There shall be no change in the composition of a Disciplinary Board as to a proceeding
957 pending before it while that proceeding is unresolved except for just cause as determined by
958 the Disciplinary Board.
960 5. Should a mid-term vacancy occur, the Bishop shall nominate a replacement to the
961 Standing Committee for election.
963 Title IV. Miscellaneous
965 Canon 1: Diocesan Staff
967 Section 1: No part-time or full-time employee or staff person of the Diocese shall be
968 eligible for election to, or to serve as a member of a Constitutional Committee or the
969 Commission on Ministry.
971 Section 2: Nothing in this Canon shall preclude an employee or staff person of the Diocese
972 from election to, or serving as, a Deputy to General Convention or a committee of Diocesan
973 Council or a committee of the Diocesan Convention.
975 Canon 2. Commission on Ministry
977 Section 1. Membership
979 A. The Bishop shall ex-officio be a member of the Commission on Ministry. The Bishop
980 Coadjutor, the Bishop Suffragan and the Assistant Bishop (if there be such) shall ex-officio
981 be members of the Commission on Ministry.
983 B. The Commission on Ministry will consist of 12 persons in addition to the ex officio
984 members. The Convention shall elect six of the 12 members of the Commission, three
985 clerical and three lay: one in each order to be elected annually for a term of three years. No
986 one so elected shall be eligible for re-election after having served two consecutive terms until
987 after the expiration of one year.
989 C. The Bishop shall annually appoint six members for a term of one year.
- As circumstances require, in consultation with Commission on 991 Ministry, the Bishop may
992 appoint up to two additional members to the Commission for a term of one year.
994 E. The Commission on Ministry shall have the authority to fill, for the unexpired term, all
995 vacancies in its own body related to the elected members in Section B above.
997 Section 2. Duties
998 The duties of the Commission on Ministry shall be those prescribed in the General Canons
999 of the Church and such other duties relating to the ministry of this diocese as shall be
1000 assigned by the Bishop.
1002 Section 3. The Commission on Ministry shall have the power to devise and enact by-laws
1003 for its own governance that are not inconsistent with the Constitution and Canons of the
1006 Section 4. The Commission on Ministry shall report to the annual Convention of the
1009 Canon 3. Deputies to General Convention
1011 Section 1. At every annual meeting of the Convention held in the second year preceding
1012 that year in which a meeting of the General Convention is scheduled, four clergy and four
1013 lay communicants in good standing shall be elected by ballot as deputies and four of each
1014 order shall be elected as alternates of this Diocese to the General Convention of The
1015 Episcopal Church.
1017 Section 2. Notwithstanding any other provision of the Constitution or these Canons, all
1018 elections for Deputies and alternates to General Convention shall be held by Orders. No
1019 person shall be declared elected unless they receive a majority of the vote of each Order
1020 voting on the same ballot. Elections shall continue until four Deputies and four alternates
1021 are elected in each order.
1023 Section 3. In case any of those elected deputies shall decline such election or will be unable
1024 to attend, such individual shall forthwith inform the Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese
1025 and the said Ecclesiastical Authority shall thereupon appoint one of the alternates in the
1026 order of their election; if none of the alternates elected shall accept such appointment, the
1027 Ecclesiastical Authority may appoint a deputy of the same order as the deputy who resigned.
1029 Section 4. The Diocesan Council shall make a reasonable allowance for the expenses of the
1030 deputies of the General Convention by the Diocese.
1032 Section 5. The Deputies shall elect a chair of their delegation from among their number by
1033 majority vote of the Deputies elected.
1035 Canon 4. Failure to Perform Duties
1036 If any officer of the Diocese shall in the judgment of the Bishop fail to perform the duties or
1037 function of the office to which elected for a period of three (3) consecutive calendar months,
or if any elected member of any committee or other body of the 1038 Diocese shall be absent
1039 from three or more consecutive meetings of that committee or other body without
1040 reasonable excuse then the Standing Committee may, on the application of the Bishop or of
1041 the committee or body in question, declare, by a two-thirds vote of the entire committee,
1042 that the office is vacant.
1044 Canon 5. The Cathedral
1046 Section 1. The Church of the Nativity in the City of Bethlehem is the Cathedral Church of
1047 the Bishop and the Diocesan Church of the Diocese of Bethlehem for the use of the clergy
1048 and laity of the Diocese, and it is also a House of Prayer for all people who may resort
1049 thereto for worship.
1051 Section 2. The Cathedral is the official seat of the Bishop, and the center of Diocesan
1052 worship and work. It shall set an example of constant and well-ordered worship, of effective
1053 preaching, of missionary zeal, of religious education and Christian Social Service.
1055 Section 3. The Rector of the Cathedral, when duly elected by the Parish and installed as
1056 such, shall be the Dean thereof.
1058 Section 4. The title of the property of the Cathedral shall be held by the Rector, Church
1059 Wardens and Vestry thereof who shall, subject to the Canons of the Diocese and the
1060 General Canons of the Church, administer said property, supervise and direct the activities
1061 of the Cathedral Church and exercise all the duties and functions entrusted to a parish
1062 church by those Canons.
1064 Section 5. Assistant ministers on the staff of the Cathedral may, at the discretion of the
1065 Dean and with the consent of the Bishop, be designated as Canons of the Cathedral.
1067 Section 6. The Cathedral shall be at the Bishop’s disposal for special services, whereof due
1068 notice shall be given to the Dean.
1070 Section 7. The Bishop shall take such part in religious services as is mutually agreed upon by
1071 the Bishop and the Dean, shall have the use of the pulpit of the Cathedral on giving due
1072 notice to the Dean and shall always have the privilege to celebrate the Holy Communion and
1073 to preach in the Cathedral on Easter Day and on Christmas in each year.
1075 Canon 6. The Historiographer
1076 The Historiographer shall be appointed by the Bishop and shall be the custodian of all
1077 Journals of other dioceses and jurisdictions and of all files, papers, reports and documents
1078 that shall become the property of the Diocese and shall keep the same in some suitable,
1079 accessible place of deposit subject to the direction of the Convention.
1081 Canon 7. Amendments to and Interpretation of the Canon Law
1083 Section 1. All proposals, other than proposals originating with the Committee on
1084 Constitution and Canons, to amend the Constitution or the Canons of the Diocese shall be
referred without debate to the Committee on Constitution and C 1085 anons for consideration
1086 and report.
1088 Section 2. No existing Canon shall be changed, and no new Canon shall be enacted on the
1089 day on which the change or the enactment may be proposed.
1091 Section 3. The Constitution and Canons shall be interpreted in their plain and literal sense
1092 except that words specific to one gender shall be read as gender inclusive. The terms used in
1093 these Canons shall be defined as follows:
1095 (a). Family: spouse, parent, sibling, child, stepchild, in-law or domestic partner.
1097 (b). General Canons or General Church Canons: Constitution and Canons of the Protestant
1098 Episcopal Church in the United States of America, otherwise known as The Episcopal
1101 (c). Diocese: the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem
1103 (d). Lay Member: every baptized lay member of the Church.
1105 (e.) Rector: Rector or Priest-in-Charge