The 161st meeting of the convention of the Diocese of California was held Saturday October 16th at Grace Cathedral.  Here is summary of the actions taken:

Changes to the Canons

Official Youth Presence at Convention (Canon III, Section 3.06)

ADOPTED: Establishes Official Youth Presence at diocesan convention consisting of one youth elected or appointed from each deanery. Members will have seat and voice, but not vote.

Committee on Nominations (Canon VI, Section 6.09)
ADOPTED. Provides that Committee on Nominations shall consist of one cleric and one lay person elected by each deanery. In addition, Executive Council and Standing Committee shall each appoint one nonvoting member. Conforms the Committee on Nominations more closely to model in Robert’s Rules of Order. Repeals existing canon on committee.

Minutes Kept by Executive Council and Standing Committee (Canon VIII, Section 8.02(d), and Canon XVI, Section 16.01(d))
ADOPTED. Codifies existing requirements of civil and canon law that Executive Council and Standing Committee keep minutes of their proceedings. Implements agreement between Executive Council and Standing Committee to share their minutes. Provides right of inspection to all members of convention except for actions taken in executive session.

Deaneries (Canon IX, Sections 9.01–9.05)
ADOPTED. Keeps existing deanery boundaries. Requires convocation of each deanery at least 4 times a year. Allows each deanery to provide method for filling vacancies in a congregation’s lay delegation. To existing objective that deaneries develop and implement policies and plans of convention and Executive Council, adds: education and participation in governance, leadership training and development, communication between diocese and the congregations and institutions located in the deanery, and support of ministries located in the deanery. Requires deaneries to adopt bylaws and provide for president, treasurer, and secretary, and any other necessary officers. Provides for deanery bylaws to be filed with Secretary of Convention and reviewed by Executive Council and Committee on Canons.

Clergy Attendance at Deanery Convocations (Canon XIII, Section 13.08)
REJECTED. Declares expectation that clerics attend deanery convocations, and that at least one cleric from each congregation and diocesan institution attend each convocation. Does not compel attendance or penalize non-attendance.

Implementation of Revised Title IV (Canon XV, Sections 15.01–15.21)
ADOPTED.  Establishes Disciplinary Board effective July 1, 2011 as required to implement revised Title IV. Authorizes partnership with Dioceses of El Camino Real, Northern California, and San Joaquin. Disciplinary Board will consist of one cleric and one lay person from each diocese, appointed by the Bishop with the consent of the Standing Committee, plus one additional member (a cleric) appointed by the remaining eight members with the consent of all four bishops. Repeals canons providing for existing Ecclesiastical Trial Court effective June 30, 2011 except for any pending proceedings required to be completed under the existing Title IV.

Corporation Sole (Canon XVI, Section 16.03)
ADOPTED. Removes sunset clause on Corporation Sole because the Bishop and Executive Council have determined that it cannot feasibly be merged into the Diocesan Corporation. Requires Corporation Sole to transfer assets to the extent feasible to the Diocesan Corporation. Requires Corporation Sole to amend its articles of incorporation to require consent of Executive Council for any transaction by the Corporation Sole affecting real property.  NOTE:  It turns out that transferring title to church properties in the city and county of San Francisco subjects the church to a substantial sum of transfer tax liabilities.  This action avoids that.

Amendment of the Canons (Canon XXI, Sections 21.01–21.02)
ADOPTED.  Advances deadline for submission of proposed amendments to the canons from 60 to 90 days before convention. Authorizes submission in electronic form. Eliminates requirement for proposed amendments to be printed.

Resolutions of the Convention (click on link to see the resolution copy)

The following resolutions were adopted by the convention:

1.       Addressing the needs of the poor

2.       Reducing gun violence

3.       Strategies for peace in Israel/Palestine


Executive Council-Gary Hunt, three year term-Lay Order. Gary had been nominated for Executive Council by Kathy Trapani and was elected for a three year term on the first ballot. For Gary this was his third attempt at election to a Diocesan office. He will fill a lay seat on the Executive Council.

Executive Council-The Rev. Dana Corselo, new Rector of St. Luke’s / San Francisco-Clergy Order, was elected to a three year term.  Both terms begin in January 2011.  (In contrast, Shelton Ensley’s term as representative of the Contra Costa Deanery expires at the end of 2010; his replacement will be elected at the December Contra Costa deanery meeting.)

You can find other information about the Diocesan Convention and each of the items mentioned here on the DioCal website.


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