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The Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Oregon is incorporated under the laws of the State of Oregon under the name and title of “The Diocese of Oregon.” The Board of Trustees makes up the trustees of the corporation. The board of trustees is comprised of the bishop, the chancellor, the secretary, three clergy and three lay persons elected by the convention.
The trustees act within bounds set by the Bishop, the Convention, and the Standing Committee to steward the funds and property entrusted to the diocese. The Finance Committee of the Diocese, appointed by the Board of Trustees, conducts ongoing review of all financial transactions in the diocese.
The Commission on Ministry serves as counsel to the Bishop and works at times with the Standing Committee of the Diocese which has certain canonical responsibilities regarding ordination. This commission is comprised of two committees: the Committee on Ordained Ministry Development and the Committee for Baptismal Ministry. A member of each committee serves as a liaison to the other and the whole Commission meets together from time to time. The COM is made up of lay and ordained members elected at Diocesan Convention.
(COM-O) assists the Bishop in regards to those seeking ordained ministry. This committee assists congregations in the development of discernment resources and provides further discernment for a person once a call has been discerned at the congregational level.
When a call has been discerned at the diocesan level by the COM and the Bishop, the committee offers support and advice to those in the ordination process, interviews those in formation at various points in their process and makes recommendations to the Bishop. The Ordination Manual describes the steps and guidelines for those seeking ordination in detail.
At Baptism, Christians are given the gift and calling to Christian service. Discernment of particular baptismal ministries is a dynamic, life-long process. The Commission on Ministry – Committee for Baptismal Ministry (COM-B) develops discernment tools and pathways for all members of the Church discerning participation and leadership
The bishop appoints COM members annually subject to confirmation by the diocesan convention.
The Diocesan Council is the body of lay and clergy members of the Diocese elected by the annual Diocesan Convention and authorized by the Canons of the Diocese to “administer the “missionary, educational, and social service work of the Church” in the Diocese of Oregon. The Bishop presides at the meetings. Diocesan Council oversees the creation of a budget each year to carry out this work, and has authority to create and prescribe the duties of program ministries and committees in support of the mission of the Church in the Diocese.
Membership of Council is comprised of the Bishop, the Secretary, lay and clergy representatives elected by all Convocations of the Diocese, and lay and clergy members elected by Convention.
The Standing Committee is the body of lay and clergy members of the Diocese elected by the annual Diocesan Convention and authorized by the Canons of the Episcopal Church as the Bishop’s Council of Advice. If there is no Diocesan or Suffragan or Coadjutor Bishop canonically authorized to act, the Standing Committee becomes the Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese for all purposes declared by General Convention.
The Standing Committee advises the Bishop and gives consent in matters of the disposition of property, ecclesiastical discipline, the election and consecration of Bishops, and in the matter of candidates for ordained ministry. The election of members and the terms and conditions of their office are defined by the Canons of the Diocese of Oregon.
The Diocese of Oregon is divided into seven geographical areas called Convocations. Each Convocation is made up of specific congregations, and each has a Dean (clergy person) and a President (lay person). The Convocation Deans are appointed annually by the Bishop at the annual Diocesan Convention. The Presidents are elected by each Convocation.
The idea of Convocations is a time-honored one that harkens back to traditional Anglican structure, where members of a “deanery” were a Bishop’s liaison, regional representative and pastoral minister.