In July 2012, General Convention created the Task Force for Reimagining the Episcopal Church (TREC). The creation of the task force was in response to a 2011 proposal from the Rt. Rev. Stacy Sauls, the Episcopal Church’s Chief Operating Office, which called for changes to the constitution. The members of TREC are called by Resolution C095 “to present the 78th General Convention with a plan for reforming the Church’s structures, governance, and administration.” TREC is made up of 24 clergy and lay leaders from the Episcopal Church, and two representatives from the Anglican Communion.
There are several questions guiding the work of TREC:
1. Who are we as Episcopalians? What is our particular identity?
2. How is Episcopal identity being expressed and renewed in the 21st century?
3. How has our Church-wide organization evolved, and does the current paradigm best support our identity and calling in today’s context?
4. What do we need from a Church-wide organization today and going forward?
One of the larger questions TREC has addressed is how to interpret the mandate in Resolution C095. Much consideration was given to what it means to “reimagine” the Episcopal Church and offer recommendations for reform. At their February 2013 meeting, the members divided into small working groups to study specific issues and report back to the larger group in July 2013. Individual groups studied the current structures, efforts to change those structures, Episcopal identity and Church-wide engagement. After meeting, they divided again into two working groups: one to work on creating a “purposeful and proactive way of engaging different groups around the Church” and one to “work on the principles meant to provide a vision developing specific legislative proposals.”
In February 2014, TREC released the first of a series of study papers with the intention to “stimulate conversation and seek input from the larger Church.”
They are asking you to consider these questions as you review the study papers:
1. People have told us that there are serious problems in the church. There are also many signs of grace. In this paper, we attempt to address some of these. Where are we on target? What are we missing?
2. What resonates with you about the paper?
3. Please, would you respond to the questions we have posed in through the paper? You can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. What stories, in support, or in contrast, would you like to share?
The first, Study Paper on Episcopal Networks, examines the four types of networks: Personal networks; Issue/lobby/political networks; Project/missional networks; Knowledge sharing or co-learning networks. The second, Study Paper on Reforms to Church Wide Governance and Administration, focuses on drafting proposals “for clarifying and reforming the current church wide structures of governance and administration.”