Petition 81432

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Episcopal Areas (81432-SU-¶405)

Insert the following new paragraph as a substitute for existing ¶405:
  
¶ 405. Provision for Episcopal Areas
1. In central conferences, the number of bishops shall be determined on the basis of missional needs, as approved by the General Conference on recommendation of the Commission on Central Conference Affairs.  
2. In the jurisdictions, the number of bishops shall be determined on the following basis:
    a) Each jurisdiction having 300,000 church members or fewer shall be entitled to five bishops and each jurisdiction having more than 300,000 church members shall be entitled to one additional bishop for each additional 300,000 church members or major fraction thereof.
    b) A jurisdiction shall not have the number of bishops to which it is entitled reduced until and unless the number of its church members shall have decreased by at least ten percent below the number of church members which had previously entitled the jurisdiction to its number of bishops.
    c) If the number of church members in a jurisdiction shall have decreased by at least ten percent below the number of church members which had previously entitled the jurisdiction to its number of bishops, then the number of  bishops to which it shall be entitled shall be determined on the basis of missional needs, as approved by the General Conference on the recommendation of the Interjurisdictional Committee on Episcopacy, provided however that said jurisdiction shall be entitled to no less than the number of bishops to which it would be entitled under subparagraph a) above.
    d) If a jurisdiction, as a result of the provisions of this paragraph, shall have the number of bishops to which it had previously been entitled reduced, then the reduction in the number of bishops to which it is entitled shall be effective as of September 1 of the fourth calendar year after said reduction has been determined by the General Conference.

Rationale

With increasing challenges in financial demands of the worldwide Church, we must match episcopal leadership and good stewardship to the reality of the Church’s structure and declining jurisdictional membership.  This would create estimated 2013-1216 savings of $4,800,000.* (*  $6,000,000 if the SEJ continues not to create a 14th  episcopal Area.)