Report Number: 003 appendix 9
Diocesan executive has discussed the document twice and commended it to parishes for use.
The Sexual Misconduct Policy has been revised to provide more transparency and to ensure pastoral care for all involved.
A common personnel policy for those employed under the Community Ministries Board has been developed, including policies on discipline and appeals.
The Episcopal Commission on the Delivery of Ministry has moved to a more consultative approach.
The diocesan canon on the ending of an ordained ministry has been changed to allow for a higher degree of transparency
Synod Office Hiring Procedures provides for open competition.
A procedure has been put in place to respond to complaints in a timely manner.
The Residential Schools Settlement Commission has focused on restoring right relationships, not just fundraising for the Settlement Fund.
Diocesan budget setting processes are becoming more transparent.
Discussions around the blessings of same sex unions have been set to create a helpful environment and foster appreciative listening.
Task Group on Gays and Lesbians fulfils the principles of DIFT.
Diocesan Executive Committee is seeking to be more intentionally involved in decision-making.
DIFT is used as a guide and an audit tool.
The document was endorsed by Diocesan Council, circulated to clergy, presented to Synod which commended it for adoption by parishes.
A canon has been developed on misconduct under three categories: sexual, financial and ‘vexatious behaviour’.
Diocese is engaged at every level in becoming more intentionally transparent and open to challenge, clarifying mandates and procedures and wide dissemination of information.
The document was provided to the Diocesan Council and various committees, and is to be discussed by the Bishop’s Council Human Resources sub-committee and the May 2004 Diocesan Synod.
Document was circulated to all parishes and diocesan leaders.
The option of blessing of same sex unions was provided as a component of inclusive pastoral care
The option of an Episcopal Visitor and right of conscience was provided.
Work is moving ahead on a general harassment policy, employment standards, a review of all Canons and ethical guidelines for clergy and parish volunteers.
The “get Fit, Keep Fit” program provides for parishes a vehicle for appreciative inquiry and visioning with opportunity for regular parochial and clerical review.
A clergy member has been assigned to provide leadership in this area
Draft policy has been written re: a process for transparent decision-making, effective complaint resolution, advocacy for the wounded persons, mediation to ensure due process.
Work has started on a training module for staff and church leadership.
The document was discussed by Diocesan Council and sent to deaneries.
The diocese is already practicing the spirit of DIFT, so no formal implementation was needed. It has had no impact on the life of the diocese.
A working group was formed to formulate a response.
The diocese endorses and endeavours to fully apply DIFT, “subject to the theological prerequisites of the diocese and the Anglican Church of Canada”.
A Diocesan Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Policy is being prepared. It is intended that training for clergy and laity will be planned.
A recent redrafting of the diocesan Canons has been part of the implementation of the DIFT principles
A review of the Handbook of the Diocese is underway, ensuring that nothing overturns the fundamental convictions and beliefs regarding the church’s expectations of employees and clergy.
The diocese voted against DIFT at General Synod. It has not been considered in the diocese, but the diocese adheres to its spirit. All clergy receive the same remuneration. The diocese has been working hard at building up the family by example, not by code of law.
The document was considered by a meeting of the executive staff and archdeacons. It was determined that the diocese was in compliance with Human Rights Code and Employment Standards Act. Some changes were made in procedures to ensure this compliance.
The document was discussed at synod and sent to all parishes and select vestry members with encouragement for study and response.
Confusion arose when the document was seen as only dealing with fairness to homosexuals. The diocesan council established a task force to develop a study guide.
A task force raised several questions about the document. Would the adoption of DIFT lead to state intrusion in determining doctrinal questions that belong to bishops and the General Synod? It also acknowledged that many of its principles are important and true.
The task force felt that existing avenues in the diocese met the criteria of being just, clear, accessible, humane, simple, manageable, affordable and in keeping with the quality and character of community life outlined in Scripture.
DIFT continues as a standard to which the diocese looks. No change in diocesan policy is needed.
The diocesan handbook has been revised, and includes a Code of Ethics for Clergy, and Professional Lay Ministers, as well as Guidelines for Dealing With Allegations Against the Clergy, Church Employees and Volunteers of Sexual Abuse. The Code has been reviewed with the clergy and licensed lay ministers.
A motion was passed at provincial synod and referred to the Provincial Executive. The motion called for DIFT to be referred back to General Synod because: its lack of balance theologically; its lack of full and clear acknowledgement of the primary authority of scripture in all matters of faith and conduct, especially with regard to service in the church; its inadequate grasp of spiritual teaching on the nature of humanity; and a concern that it may open us to legal actions in matters of employment practices.
The Provincial Council decided not to refer it to General Synod. The next meeting of the Council will consider these concerns further.
Summarized by J. Boyles
March 23, 2004