Thursday, May 14, 2015

General Convention 2015 - Resolutions on Health

When I began this blog, one of the points was to prepare for the General Convention. So, here we are, coming to General Convention again. 

As in the past, I have looked at the resolutions submitted to Convention to see which might be about the Episcopal Church’s comments on issues of health, whether public health, medical care, or other issues. So far, there is only one that addresses health explicitly. That resolution is C020 “Ministry to People with Mental Illness and Their Families. A C resolution is one that comes by referral from a diocese meeting in convention, and this is from the Diocese of Delaware. The content is straightforward:

Resolved, the House of _______ concurring, That the 78th General Convention of the Episcopal Church call upon dioceses, congregations, schools and agencies of the Episcopal Church to assess best practices in their mission and ministry for the inclusion, support, and spiritual care for persons with mental illness and their families; and be it further

Resolved, That dioceses, schools, and agencies publish those best practices while promoting and providing links to local mental health advocacy groups and providers.

The desire to identify and use best practices is common across many disciplines these days. In this case, the accountability for the identification falls broadly. It runs the risk of that old saw that “if it’s everybody’s responsibility, it’s nobody’s responsibility.” In the past, we might imagine this passing and then being referred to a continuing body, one of the committees, commissions, agencies, or boards (CCAB’s) in the Church. However, one of the likely consequences of this convention is that there will be fewer CCAB’s, and that those that remain will have more defined (or perhaps restricted) portfolios. This could become an agenda for a network of interested persons, as imagined by the Task Force for Reimagining the Episcopal Church (TREC). What we don’t know yet is whether this Convention will lean away from CCAB’s and toward such networks; and if so, when, how, or even if such networks will form.