Committees, Commissions, and Boards: Diocesan Council

The Diocesan Council develops, administers, oversees, coordinates, and evaluates the program of the Diocese and maintains general supervision over the Diocese’s budget and financial affairs. Members must be canonically resident in the Diocese.  They should be knowledgeable about and active in diocesan programs.

Time of meeting
Diocesan Council meets about ten times a year, usually on the fourth Tuesday. On occasion the date may be changed. Phone Diocesan House, 1 877 394-5281, for confirmation of date.

The meetings are open to everyone.

Meeting reports
Below you’ll find reports of Diocesan Council meetings for the last year. The most recent summaries are first. If you’d like to read Diocesan Council reports from earlier years, click the year that interests you:

2014
2013

2012

2011


2015

Report from the December 2015 Meeting of the Diocesan Council
At a meeting of the Diocesan Council on December 8, 2015, the Council:

  • Approved, on the recommendation of the Loan and Grant Committee, to endorse funding the full, professional inspections of both diocesan buildings at 808 West State Street, Trenton and the Episcopal Chaplaincy buildings at Rutgers (New Brunswick) and Princeton by mini-grants from the Capital & Revolving Fund.
  • Approved, on the recommendation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Grant Committee, that the balance of the funding allocated to the Committee for 2015 be allocated to Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD).
  • Approved The Reverend Matthew Tucker to serve a one-year term as Vice President of Diocesan Council. The sole responsibility of the Vice President is to chair meetings of the Council in the absence of the Bishop. Council Vice Presidents will rotate each year between lay and clergy.
  • Accepted other reports as presented.

Report from the November 2015 Meeting of the Diocesan Council
At a meeting of the Diocesan Council on November 17, 2015, the Council:

  • Approved, on the recommendation of the Loan and Grant Committee to provide a 15 year loan of $71,757 from the Venture in Mission Fund at 4% interest, with payments to be made monthly, to Christ the King Episcopal Church, Willingboro for the specified electrical and roof repairs and a new boiler for the rectory/parish office building, and the other extensive repairs and renovations to the same building as specified in the application. The roof and electrical repairs and the boiler replacement must be completed and approved by the Township Inspectors before any of the other renovations are done.
  • Approved to make the exception to policy to ensure that Rev. John Sosnowski will be provided with 100% supplemental Medicare after he retires, regardless of canonical residence at the time or how many years of service within the diocese he has attained.
  • Approved, on the recommendation of the Board of Mission and the Finance & Budget Committee to allocate $391,000 to Mission Congregations (line 10) for 2016 and to the missions as follows:
    • Church  Amount
      1. St Andrew’s, Camden     $51,000
      2. St. James’, Edison     $25,000
      3. San Jose, Elizabeth     $49,000
      4. St. Mark’s, Keansburg     $29,000
      5. All Saints’, Lakewood     $31,000
      6. St. James, Long Branch     $25,000
      7. St. Alban’s, New Brunswick $36,000
      8. St. Mary the Virgin, Pleasantville     $36,000
      9. Cristo Rey, Trenton     $45,000
      10. Holy Spirit, Tuckerton     $25,000
      11. St. Barnabas, Villas,     $39,000
      Total: $391,000
  • In addition, the following conditions are to be placed on the assistance to the missions:
    • St. Alban’ s, New Brunswick – Of the allocation of $36,000, none of these funds may be disbursed until clergy is in place. Then $3,000 per month may be disbursed.
    • St. James’, Long Branch – The allocation of $25,000 is to be used solely for the compensation of their clergy, contingent on receiving the completed audits for 2012, 2013 and 2014 and the appropriate bonding being established. In addition, the Board of Mission must receive an update on the finances of the church at its January meeting from Canon Jones and the new priest serving at this mission.
    • St. Mary the Virgin, Pleasantville – Of the allocation of $36,000, $6,000 may be allocated during the first quarter for the purpose of engaging a clergy person with the remaining $30,000 allocated at $2,500 per month once clergy is in place.
  • Ratified email vote taken October 13th to approve funding the portion of the cost to replace the boiler and modernize the HVAC system serving the front (office) building at 808 West State Street not covered by the current budget – an amount not to exceed $70,000 – from the proceeds of the recently completed sale of the Holy Communion, Fair Haven property, with the balance of those proceeds to then be transferred to the Mission Renewal Fund. A full and transparent account of the Holy Communion, Fair Haven sources and use of funds will be provided as part of the report on disposition of assets from closed churches.
  • Accepted other reports as presented.

Report from the October 2015 Meeting of the Diocesan Council
At a meeting of the Diocesan Council on October 6, 2015, the Council:

  • Approved, on the recommendation of the Loan and Grant Committee to provide a grant of $25,000 from the Capital & Revolving Fund to All Saints’ Church, Lakewood for their new high efficiency furnaces and lighting system. Their bonding must be satisfactory in the judgment of the CFO of the Diocese before a check is delivered.
  • Approved a drawdown of $93,554 from the St. Elizabeth’s Fund to support the Elizabeth Episcopal Urban Center for the next two years. This drawdown may be from principal as well as interest.
  • Agreed to enter into the Partner Diocese Covenant with the Episcopal Preaching Foundation, as follows:
    1. The Episcopal Preaching Foundation will bring conferences, seminars and other events to the Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey to support and improve preaching within the diocese. When possible, preference in registration at national programs will be given to preachers from the partner diocese, including PEP II conferences for priests three to five years into their parish ministries.
    2. The Episcopal Preaching Foundation will develop and support peer sermon preparation and evaluation groups within the Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey and will help develop mentoring opportunities for interested preachers.
    3. The Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey will co-sponsor events for preachers in the diocese, including at its discretion, preachers from neighboring dioceses and from its local ecumenical partners, and encourage participation in diocesan and national events of the Episcopal Preaching Foundation.
    4. The Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey will encourage its parishes, clergy and laity to include the Episcopal Preaching Foundation as part of their ongoing support of theological education, and will cooperate and partner with the Foundation in occasional fundraising appeals.
  • Accepted other reports as presented.

Report from the September 2015 Meeting of the Diocesan Council
At a meeting of the Diocesan Council on September 15, 2015, the Council:

  • Approved renewal of the Diocesan membership to the Coalition Against Human Trafficking at an annual fee of $35.
  • Accepted other reports as presented.

Report from the June 2015 Meeting of the Diocesan Council
At a meeting of the Diocesan Council on June 9, 2015, the Council:

  • Approved, on the recommendation of the Loan and Grant Committee to provide a grant of $25,000 from the Capital & Revolving Fund to St. Luke’s Church, Woodstown for a new roof for its Parish Hall, for tree-trimming over its new roof, insulation in the attic over the Parish Hall, and to use any remaining funds from the grant to purchase new Energy Star certified windows.
  • Approved, on the recommendation of the Loan and Grant Committee to provide a grant a $25,000 grant from the R. Bowden Shepherd Fund to the Church of the Holy Spirit, Tuckerton for interior drainage work and exterior drainage work that would minimize water intrusion onto walls and floors along the north undercroft wall. Any remaining funds could be used for interior repair.
  • Approved, on the recommendation of the Loan and Grant Committee to provide a grant and/or loan from the R. Bowden Shepherd and the Capital & Revolving Funds for an amount up to $177,000 to buy the former St. Matthias property for the benefit of St. Peter’s Igbo Church, Trenton subject to the approval of all of the details of the agreement by the Board of Missions, Holy Apostles Church, St. Peter’s Church, the Loan & Grant Committee, the Bishop of New Jersey, and the Standing Committee.
  • Adopted the revised twenty-year vision for the Diocese of New Jersey regarding its anti-racism position as presented by the Anti-Racism Commission, as follows (the underlining notes the changes from the vision adopted by the Council in September 2001:
    The Diocese of New Jersey is recognized as a part of the Body of Christ because all its congregations joyfully celebrate their anti-racist, multicultural embodiment of Christ’s love and justice as expressed in vibrant and prophetic music, prayers and preaching.
    The congregations, diocesan staff and all diocesan committees provide intentional leadership in dismantling racism in the church and wider community by modeling and promoting the sharing of power and mutual respect among all people at all levels of diocesan life. Our mission, structures, policies and practices systematically perpetuate the anti-racist identity we claim in Baptism.
    The Diocese’s Anti-Racist way of living together through values of Justice and Equality is seen by all as a model for change and a sign of hope. This vision is expressed and realized through acknowledged understanding of institutional racism and intentional interaction across the Diocese as the Beloved Community.
  • Accepted other reports as presented.

Report from the May 2015 Meeting of the Diocesan Council
At a meeting of the Diocesan Council on May 12, 2015, the Council:

  • A motion was made by the Loan & Grant Committee to provide a Line of Credit to Christ Church, Shrewsbury, drawn from the Capital & Revolving Fund at 0% interest for its New Jersey Historic Trust and US government Sandy Recovery grants program. The Line of Credit would be the full $273,580 necessary to complete the project as of the start date of the Line of Credit, which would be after the CFO of the Diocese of New Jersey has received written proof of adequate bonding for the church’s full financial assets. The Line of Credit would drop to $200,000 as of June 1, 2016; to $100,000 as of June 1, 2017 and to zero as of June 1, 2018. If there is any balance still to be paid on this loan as of June 1, 2018, it would convert automatically to a one year loan at 4% from the Venture in Mission Fund with monthly payments. The motion passed unanimously.
  • Accepted other reports as presented.

 

Report from the April 2015 Meeting of the Diocesan Council
At a meeting of the Diocesan Council on April 21, 2015, the Council:

  • Approved, on the recommendation of the Loan & Grant Committee to provide a four-year loan of $13,600 from the Venture in Mission Fund at 4% interest, with monthly payments, to St. Francis Church, Dunellen for its energy efficiency upgrades.
  • Appointed Rosa Peña as the Diocesan Council representative to the Audit Committee.
  • Appointed a subgroup composed of three individuals from the Diocesan Council – lay, clergy, and staff – to explore an alternative time for the Council meetings and report to the Council in September.
  • Accepted other reports as presented.

 

Report from the March 2015 Meeting of the Diocesan Council
At a meeting of the Diocesan Council on March 10, 2015, the Council:

  • Approved, on the recommendation of the Loan & Grant Committee to grant $6,000 from the R. Bowden Shepherd Fund to San Andres, Camden for its handicap-accessibility project.
  • Made the following appointments:
    – Visitation Committee Chair – The Reverend James M. Tucker
    – Recording Secretary – Canon Constance White
    – Corresponding Secretary – Ms. Deborah Kirk
    – Finance & Budget Committee (two appointees, only one must be a Diocesan Council member) – Mr. Louis Cavaliere and Mr. Robert Diemar
    – Board of Mission (two appointees, both Diocesan Council members) – Ms. Wendy Blackman and The Reverend Dr. Francis Hubbard
    – Audit Committee (two appointees, only one must be a Diocesan Council member) – Canon Charles Perfater (second appointee to be selected at a future meeting)
  • Accepted other reports as presented.

 Report from the February 2015 Meeting of the Diocesan Council
At a meeting of the Diocesan Council on February 24, 2015, the Council:

  • Ratified the email vote of February 12, 2015, approving Total Revenues and Outlays for the 2015 Revised Budget of $3,880,456 and for the 2016 Proposed Preliminary Budget of $3,835,073.
  • Ratified the email vote of February 12, 2015, to approve the Special Initiatives Requests with total amounts over the five-year period from 2015 through 2019 as follows:
    – From Special Initiatives – $698,472
    – From Other Diocesan Sources – $651,000
    – From Non-Diocesan Sources – $2,631,187
    – Total From All Sources – $3,980,659
  • Approved funding from the Mission Renewal Fund for Christ Church, Middletown as follows:
    – 2015 – $53,981
    – 2016 – $25,000
    – 2017 – $15,000
    The Council noted that the Diocese has requested that the vestry of Christ Church fund 50% of the 2015 amount if possible and that any amount that the Church is able to fund will reduce the amount from the Mission Renewal Fund.
  • Accepted other reports as presented.

 

 Report from the January 2015 Meeting of the Diocesan Council
At a meeting of the Diocesan Council on January 13, 2015, the Council:

  • Approved a grant to All Saint’s Church, Lakewood, from the Mission Renewal Fund, $28,000 for nine months in 2015, $30,000 in 2016, and $20,000 in 2017 to support the engagement of full time bi-lingual clergy.
  • Approved a diocesan canonical change to be submitted to Diocesan Convention that will permit the balances in the various diocesan loan funds to be invested in the Diocesan Investment Trust.
  • Accepted written reports as presented.