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Canons 20 - 35


(adopted  at Diocesan Council, November 2005.)

Of the Funding of the Ministry and Mission of the Diocese of Atlanta

Section 1.  We the people, clergy, and parishes of the Diocese of Atlanta acknowledge our need to give of our time, talent, and treasure for the work of Christ.  We further embrace our strong heritage — expressed both in the Bible and in longstanding Tradition — of parishes supporting one another and joining together to accomplish the work of Christ.  We acknowledge our responsibility to support the episcopacy and to provide for the mission of the Church.  We recognize the tithe as the minimum standard of biblical giving, and we acknowledge the important example our parishes provide to parish members by practicing the tithe.  Finally, we feel strongly the bonds we have toward one another as members of the Body of Christ.  We therefore desire that funding of the ministry and mission of the Diocese be accomplished fairly and equitably, within a framework that promotes both compassion and accountability.  We seek a framework in which no parish will be required to contribute more than a fair share, and no parish will be allowed to contribute less than a fair share.  To these ends:

Section 2.  Ten percent (a tithe) of the average of the past three years’ Total Operating Revenue (as reported on the Annual Parochial Report) shall be the minimum amount each parish shall give in support of the Ministry and Mission Budget of the Diocese.  On or before June 15 of each year, the Finance Committee shall give notice to each parish of its ten-percent minimum contribution (based on its Annual Parochial Report data) for the Mission and Ministry Budget of the Diocese for the upcoming year.  In the event that a parish has not filed a timely Annual Parochial Report, the Finance Committee shall substitute the most recently filed parochial report for its calculations.  Should the parish subsequently file an Annual Parochial Report showing Total Operating Revenues differing from that used in the computation, the Finance Committee shall adjust the required contribution to the Budget of the Diocese, as appropriate.

Section 3.  For most parishes, the ten-percent minimum will be an appropriate fair share.  For some parishes an appropriate fair-share may be a voluntary contribution of more than ten-percent.  Because of extenuating circumstances, a parish may be unable to give the ten-percent minimum and shall be afforded an appeal opportunity as described herein.  Not later than August 15, all parishes shall acknowledge, in writing to the Director of Finance, their commitment to give ten-percent, more than ten percent, or state their intent to appeal.

Section 4.  Any parish believing that, for good cause, it will be unable to give a minimum of ten percent to the Budget of the Diocese may file a written appeal signed by the Rector (or Vicar) and Senior Warden not later than August 15 with an Assessment Appeal Board.  The Assessment Appeal Board shall meet with representatives of the parish filing an appeal.  The parish will be given an opportunity to request a reduction from the ten-percent minimum contribution for the year in question.  The Assessment Appeal Board shall operate pursuant to guidelines and timelines provided by the Executive Board.  In making its determination, the Assessment Appeal Board shall consider, among other factors, the parish’s current monthly financial report, the level of stewardship training and education in the parish, the nature of the annual stewardship campaign in the parish, any extraordinary circumstances faced by the parish, and other data as considered relevant by the parish and the Assessment Appeal Board.  After such review, the Assessment Appeal Board may reduce the percentage of the assessment for that parish for that year or affirm that ten percent is a minimum assessment.  Such decision, and the reasons therefore, shall be communicated in writing to the Rector (or Vicar) and Senior Warden, the Bishop, Executive Board, and the Director of Finance of the Diocese.  In the event that the Assessment Appeal Board grants a reduction, that Board shall refer the parish to the Commission on Stewardship and the Commission for Congregational Growth and Development.  These Commissions will assist the parish leadership in developing a plan to enhance stewardship and enable the parish to increase its giving to the ten-percent minimum.

Section 5.  In the event that annual contributions from any parish fall short of the minimum ten-percent or the reduced amount set by the Assessment Appeal Board, at the next Annual Council of the Diocese the cleric and lay delegates of that parish will be denied vote on all matters of business and denied voice regarding matters related to finance or the expenditure of diocesan funds.  In addition, such parishes shall not call any assistant or associate clergy, nor fill vacancies for such clergy.  In the second successive year of not contributing the fair-share amount, any such parish shall, by operation of this canon, have its status changed to that of an Aided Parish of this Diocese.

Section 6.  The Assessment Appeal Board shall consist of three lay and three cleric members.  The Executive Board, with the consent of the Bishop, shall appoint these six members of the Assessment Appeal Board for a three year term.  Initially, the Executive Board shall establish staggered classes of this board, with two people sitting for a one year term, two people for a two year term, and the final two for a full three year term.  Thereafter, the Executive Board shall appoint two members each year to serve a full three year term. The Bishop shall appoint annually a convener as a seventh member, who will vote only to break ties.  The Executive Board will make a good faith effort to appoint members of the Assessment Appeal Board as follows: two will be appointed from parishes having Total Operating Revenues in the upper one-third of the diocese, two will be appointed from parishes having Total Operating Revenues in the middle one-third of the diocese, and two will be appointed from parishes having Total Operating Revenues in the lower one-third of the diocese.  In addition, the Executive Board will make a good faith effort to ensure broad geographical representation on the Assessment Appeal Board.

Section 7.  Every congregation in the Diocese shall include in its annual budget the amount of its fair-share contribution (assessment) for the support of the Mission and Ministry Budget of the Diocese.  A portion of the annual contribution is to be paid to the Diocese on or before the twentieth day of each month.

Section 8: The Executive Board shall prepare a tentative Diocesan Mission and Ministry Budget and send it to each Vestry.  Each Vestry shall, by a date set by the Executive Board, consider the mission and ministry priorities of the Diocese and report recommended changes in the Ministry and Mission Budget to the Executive Board.  The Executive Board, in its discretion, may develop additional means of soliciting recommendations from the people and parishes of the Diocese.  When the process for receiving such recommendations is ended, the Executive Board, with the assistance of the chairs of Diocesan commissions, committees, and the Diocesan staff, shall develop a Proposed Ministry and Mission Budget that reflects the mission priorities of the Diocese.

Section 9.  Council shall consider the Proposed Mission and Ministry Budget, make amendments as desired, and approve and return the resulting Proposed Mission and Ministry Budget to the Executive Board.  Using the Proposed Mission and Ministry Budget approved by Council, the Executive Board shall establish and adopt the Mission and Ministry Budget in its final form.  Copies of the budget in its final form shall be mailed to all Vestries.  The Executive Board shall give direction to and administer the gross amounts budgeted through its various departments.  The Treasurer shall make a detailed financial status report for the previous and current year to Council in session.

Section 10. This canon shall take effect on January 1, 2006, in preparation for the 2007 budget year.



Of the Finance Department

Section 1. There is hereby created a Finance Department to have the powers and perform such other duties as may be delegated to it by the Executive Board or by the Council.

Section 2. The members of the Finance Department shall consist of at least three members of the Executive Board, a member of the Standing Committee, and five other members as the Bishop shall determine. At least three of the nine members shall be members of the clergy canonically resident in this Diocese. All appointments, including the Chairperson of the Department, shall be made by the Bishop who shall report such appointments to the Executive Board.

Section 3. The Finance Department shall be directors and supervisors of all financial affairs of the Diocese, but it shall not direct the manner of payment of any of the monies administered by the other Boards and Departments of the Diocese, except as to the budgets expressly approved by the Executive Board for that fiscal year. To this Department shall be submitted at such time during the year as provided by Canon or as the Department shall require, reports of all Diocesan individuals, Boards and Committees handling monies, including, but not excluding others, the Board of Governors of Appleton Family Ministries, the Episcopal Church Women, the Board of Officers, the Cathedral Board of Trustees, Mikell Camp and Conference Center, Emmaus House, Episcopal Community Foundation for Middle and North Georgia, Treasurer, the Executive Board, and the Bishop as to the Trust Funds that are held in the Bishop's name, in such detail as the Finance Department shall determine; provided, however, that the Treasurer shall make a monthly report to this Department of receipts and disbursements in detail, and send a copy to the Chairperson of the Finance Department and to the Bishop of the Diocese. The Finance Department shall make a comprehensive report to the Council annually of the financial affairs of all Diocesan Institutions, Boards, and Committees.

Section 4. The Finance Department shall cause an audit to be made at least annually of all Funds administered by the Diocese. All such audits shall be made by a Certified Public Accountant. The Treasurers and Diocesan staff administering Funds thereof shall be under bond.

Section 5. The Finance Department shall meet regularly and shall make such additional reports as may be necessary to show the current financial condition of all Diocesan Funds.

Section 6. The Finance Department shall provide, with the approval of the Executive Board, in one of the budgets prepared by it, for annual amounts to be paid to the Permanent Fund in support of the Episcopate, and for such other purposes from time to time as it may deem advisable and worthy.



Of Trust Funds

Section 1. The assets now on hand or to accumulate in the fund now known as the Infirm and Disabled Clergy Fund shall be vested in the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, Inc., a Corporation with full power to appoint an agent. Same shall be held by said Corporation, or by an agent to be appointed by it, in trust for age or infirmity, for the discharge of their clerical functions; and the same shall be administered under the authority of said Corporation, or its agent, and they shall have the power to invest the funds and to reinvest the same, and to change the investments and to make sales of any of the assets of said fund, without order of court, at public or private sale, but said Corporation shall not be relieved in any way from its responsibility hereunder by reason of the appointment of an agent, and an agent, when appointed, shall make investment only as directed by the Corporation.

Section 2. All other trust funds held for the use of the Diocese or any of its purposes shall likewise be vested in the said Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, Inc., a Corporation, with the same powers; provided that nothing herein shall confilct with an instrument creating any trust.

Section 3. Any such trust funds held for the use of the Diocese or any of its purposes may be invested in a common fund, provided that accurate records be kept as to each such trust fund and its respective percentage or share interests in said common fund and the income therefrom, and provided further that nothing herein contained shall conflict with any instrument creating any trust.



Of Church Debt

Section 1. No indebtedness shall be incurred by an Aided Parish without prior approval of the Bishop and the Department of Finance.

Section 2. Indebtedness may be incurred by a Parish without the prior approval of the Bishop and the Department of Finance, where the debt service (i.e., annual payments of principal and interest) including debt service for all indebtedness heretofore incurred for current expenses and still existing, does not exceed 20% of the total annual receipts of such Parish during the preceding fiscal year. Short-term indebtedness in excess of the 20% limit may be incurred when there is reasonable expectation that it can be repaid in its entirety out of Parish receipts within the next three (3) years, and budget provision for such repayment has been so made. No further indebtedness may be incurred without the approval of the Bishop and Department of Finance.

Section 3. The Bishop and the Department of Finance must be notified before any short-term or long-term indebtedness is incurred.

Section 4. Providing that, in computing receipts under Section 2 hereof, amounts from or for endowments or from or by bequests, except income therefrom not specifically designated, and receipts for expenditures other than parochial shall not be included.

Section 5. Provided that under any circumstances for which approval is required, it shall be granted only when the payment of all indebtedness shall be provided for in a plan of amortization or other method of payment to be submitted to and approved by the same authority.



Of the Thanksgiving Day Offering

Section 1. Every minister in charge of any Church in this Diocese shall take a special offering for the Appleton Family Ministries Fund for Children and Youth at Risk on Thanksgiving Day or between the Sundays preceding and following Thanksgiving Day, both inclusive.

Section 2. Every such minister shall report annually to the Council as to said offering; and if any be not taken, shall state in the Parochial Report the cause of such omission.



Of Expenses of Diocesan Committees and Diocesan Boards

Section 1. Members of Diocesan Boards and Committees, by whatever name, shall be paid their actual traveling expenses for attendance upon duly called meetings of such agency as follows:

(a). By any such agency if it is in control of sufficient funds.

(b). From the General Treasury of the Diocese when and where such agency is not in control of sufficient funds.

Section 2. That such reimbursement shall be made according to such rules and regulations as the Treasurer of the Diocese or such agency shall prescribe.


CANONS 26-29



Of Parishes and Aided Parishes

Section 1. Any congregation in which the Sacraments are regularly administered, the Gospel preached, and the Ministry and Mission of Jesus Christ actively pursued according to the Doctrine and Discipline of the Episcopal Church, the said congregation also being in communion with the Bishop and the Council of The Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Atlanta and contributing of its time, talents, and financial resources to the support of the Diocese of Atlanta and to the Episcopal Church, shall constitute a Parish in the Diocese of Atlanta with the approval of the Bishop and the Diocesan Council. Active pursuit of the Ministry and Mission of Jesus Christ includes the following items as a minimum:

(a). Regular Worship services throughout the year;

(b). Christian education;

(c). Pastoral care and visitation;

(d). Stewardship of time, talents, and financial resources;

(e). Evangelization; and

(f). Outreach to the community in which it is located.

Section 2. For administrative purposes, there shall be two categories of Parish in the Diocese of Atlanta: Parish and Aided Parish.

(a). A Parish exists when the congregation, in addition to fulfilling its ministry and mission to the people of God in its community, is self-supporting and also contributes proportionately of its human and financial resources to the ministry and mission of the Diocese and of The Episcopal Church.

(b). An Aided Parish exists when the Diocese of Atlanta or another Parish provides financial assistance to enable it to pursue and implement its ministry and mission.

(c). Whenever the term "Parish" is used in these Canons, it shall include both administrative categories of Parish except in those cases where a provision is made for Aided Parishes. In such excepted cases, the provisions applying to an Aided Parish shall apply to Aided Parishes alone.

(d). An administrative category shall not be changed without securing the approval of the Bishop.

Section 3. Each Parish shall be under the pastoral care and supervision of a Minister canonically resident in the Diocese of Atlanta or licensed by the Bishop of Atlanta. Any Minister in Holy Orders who shall be assigned the care of a Parish not an Aided Parish shall be canonically resident in the Diocese of Atlanta.

Section 4. A Parish may be established in the Diocese of Atlanta in the following manner:

(a). The Bishop of the Diocese of Atlanta may desire to establish a Parish in a given location and contact people in that area, including a reasonable number of Communicants of The Episcopal Church. Alternatively, a reasonable number of Communicants of The Episcopal Church, which includes at least three (3) confirmed communicants aged 18 years or over, may desire to establish a Parish. In either case, the people and the Bishop meet and consult together. If the people and the Bishop desire to continue the endeavor, the Bishop may authorize the people to meet as a worshipping community subject to the Canons of The Episcopal Church and of The Diocese of Atlanta and to any requirements the Bishop of Atlanta may further set forth in writing. The Bishop may assign a Minister to lead the group during this time. When the people desire to establish a Parish, they may apply to the Bishop for permission to make application to the Council. Upon approval by the Bishop, the people may then petition the Council as set forth in subsection (b) below.

(b). After receiving the Bishop’s approval, the people desiring to establish a Parish shall submit three copies of the following petition at least forty days and not more than ninety days before the Diocesan Council to be held next thereafter. The petition shall be submitted through the Bishop of the Diocese of Atlanta who shall refer it to the Diocesan Council with any recommendations. The petition shall be signed by not less than three members of the group aged eighteen years or over who are confirmed communicants of The Episcopal Church. Any Minister in charge of the group, shall approve the petition by signature thereon.


We whose names are hereunto signed, and who are confirmed communicants of The Episcopal Church or who are desirous of being confirmed communicants of the Episcopal Church, deeply sensible of the truth of the Christian Religion and conscientiously attached to the Doctrine, Discipline, and Worship of the Church known as the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, and being desirous of further establishing its authority and securing its holy influences for ourselves, our families, and neighbors and those who come after us, do hereby respectfully petition the Ecclesiastical Authority and the Council of the Diocese of Atlanta that we be granted the status of a Parish of The Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Atlanta, under the name and title of N and we do hereby solemnly promise and declare that the said Parish shall forever be held under the Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese of Atlanta, the authority of which we do recognize, and to the liturgy, doctrine, discipline, rites and usages of The Episcopal Church in the United States of America we promise for ourselves and our successors corporate obedience and conformity at all times, so help us God. Furthermore, we solemnly engage and stipulate that all real and personal property of which the Parish is or may become possessed is held in trust for this Church and the Diocese of Atlanta and shall be secured against alienation from the Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Atlanta unless such alienation shall be in conformity with its Canons."

(c). The Bishop shall refer the petition to the Council of the Diocese with any recommendations. The Council of the Diocese meeting next after the submission of the petition shall act on it. Upon approval by the Council of the petition for admission as a Parish, the group is thereupon admitted into union with the Bishop and the Council as a Parish. Its administrative status as a Parish or an Aided Parish is determined by the criteria in Section 2 of this Canon.

(d). Whenever an administrative category is changed from Aided Parish to Parish, the Presiding Officer of the Council at which this takes place shall advise Council of the fact.



Of Parish Meetings and Elections

Section 1. The congregation of each Parish shall meet annually on a date to be appointed by the Vestry; notice of which must be given by the Rector or Vicar or, if there be none, by one of the Wardens in any practical manner at least fourteen (14) days prior to the appointed date. The meetings shall be designated as the Annual Parish Meeting. The provision of this Canon relating to the qualifications of Vestry Members shall be read to the congregation at the meeting before nominations for the Vestry are made.

Section 2. Other Parish meetings may be held from time to time as occasion may require, at such times as may be appointed by the Vestry; due notice of which must be given by the Rector or Vicar or, if there be none; by one of the Wardens, in any practical manner, at least fourteen (14) days prior to the appointed date.

Section 3. At the Parish meetings the Rector or Vicar or, if absent, the Senior Warden, or, if absent, the Junior Warden, shall preside.

Section 4. Except when otherwise specified by existing charter, the following shall alone be entitled to vote in any Parish meeting under these Canons: all confirmed communicants in good standing not less than sixteen years of age as certified by the Rector or Vicar or the Vestry. Those voters so qualified and being present at the meeting shall constitute a quorum.

Section 5. All elections and other matters voted upon at Parish meetings shall be decided by a majority of the qualified voters present.

Section 6.

(a).(1). The Vestry shall be elected by ballot at the Annual Parish Meeting and shall take office as stipulated by Parish By-Law; in absence of such a By-Law, the Vestry shall take office at the next following meeting of the Vestry.

(2). Vestry Members may also be elected at any other Parish Meeting held during the three (3) months of the year next preceding the Annual Parish Meeting if the Vestry so determines and gives notice of the time and place of such election as required by Section 1 of this Canon, in which case the term of office of each Vestry Member so elected shall commence on the date of the next Annual Parish Meeting.

(3). The polls shall be open until all qualified voters present have had ample opportunity to cast their ballots. Each member elected on the Vestry shall be given written notice thereof by the Secretary; and the new Vestry shall convene for organization and business as soon as practicable after the election.

(b). The Vestry so elected shall continue to discharge the functions of their office until their successors are elected.

(c). The Vestry shall consist of not less than three nor more than twenty-one Vestry Members, provided that a Parish having more than 600 communicants may have a maximum of thirty Vestry Members, if it so desires. Vestry Members in Parishes having more than twenty persons qualified to vote in a Parish meeting shall initially be elected in the following manner, viz: one-third to serve for a period of one year, one-third to serve for a period of two years, one-third to serve for a period of three years. Thereafter, Vestry members shall be elected for a period of three years, and no retiring Vestry Member, except those Vestry Members who have served less than one-half of a full term, shall be eligible for re-election until there shall have elapsed a period of one year, or until the Annual Parish Meeting following such retirement. Vestry Members in Parishes having not more than twenty persons qualified to vote in a Parish meeting shall be elected for such terms, not exceeding three years, as the congregation may in Parish meeting determine.

(d).(1). Those qualified for election to the office of Vestry Member shall be as follows: Any confirmed communicant in good standing of the Parish who is not less than eighteen years of age, a regular attendant at the services of the Church in the year preceding election, and known by the Treasurer to have made and fulfilled a stated financial commitment for church support in the year preceding election. (Note: this phrase was inadvertently omitted from the June 1997 printing of revised canons. Correction posted on this Web site 1/19/99.)

(2). Those qualified to continue to hold the office of Vestry Member shall be as follows: Any confirmed communicant in good standing of the Parish who is a regular attendant at the services of the church during such term and known by the Treasurer to have timely made and faithfully fulfilled, in accordance with its tenure, a stated financial commitment for church support at all times during such term.

Section 7. The Vestry shall annually elect from the Vestry Members one member as Senior Warden and one member as Junior Warden; or elect a Junior Warden and empower the Rector, or Vicar, to appoint the Senior Warden.

Section 8. Upon the convening of the Annual Parish Meeting, a suggested order of business shall be as follows:

(a). Prayer;

(b). Election of a Secretary for the meeting;

(c). Appointment of three tellers to count the votes, one of them being designated chairperson. The results of the election shall be declared by the presiding officer and shall be recorded in the minutes by the Secretary before adjournment of the meeting.;

(d). Rector’s or Vicar’s Report and any recommendations;

(e). Report of the Vestry (required by Canon 33, Section 2) and any recommendations; to be submitted by the Senior or Junior Warden, or, in their absence, by some other member of the Vestry;

(f). Reports, in writing, of all Parish organizations;

(g). Elections;

(h). Miscellaneous business;

(i). Prayer and benediction;

(j). Adjournment.

Section 9. The Secretary of the Annual Parish Meeting shall sign and deliver to the Clerk of the Vestry the minutes and all reports received at the meeting. These shall be transmitted to the Vestry, to be by them examined and duly recorded in the minutes of the first meeting of the Vestry following the Annual Parish Meeting and filed among the permanent records of the Parish.



Of the Duties of the Wardens

Section 1. There shall be two Wardens in each Parish, who shall always be confirmed communicants in good standing and members of the Vestry and who shall be distinguished as Senior and Junior, although all duties belong equally to both; for every duty which may be assigned to one Warden devolves, in absence or disability, on the other.

Section 2. The Wardens shall see that the Church is duly provided with a standard Bible, containing the Old and New Testaments and other books commonly called Apocrypha, and Prayer Books of proper size and of standard editions, for the lectern, prayer desk and Altar. It shall be their duty to provide fair linen and the elements of bread and wine meet for the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, and all vessels, vestments and things necessary to the conduct of public worship, including those persons necessary to lead such worship.

Section 3. The Wardens shall provide a Parish Register and all necessary record and registration books and, if there be no Rector, Vicar or Cleric in charge, they shall:

(a). Make or cause to be made all registrations required by the Canons of the Church or of the Diocese; and

(b). Issue and receive certificates of memberships for members moving from the Parish to another congregation of this or another Church; and

(c). Cause to be made the Annual Parish Report; and

(d). Cause to be done by the Vestry any duty which may be required by any present or future Canon of the Church or the Diocese.

Section 4. The Wardens, under the direction of the Rector or Vicar, shall have a care that the church building be kept from all secular or other uses not authorized by or especially named in the Constitution and Canons and that at all times it be kept in good repair and clean, as becometh the house of God, and that the premises around be in proper order.

Section 5. It is the duty of the Wardens, under the direction of the Rector or the Vicar, to preserve order and decorum in and around the church building on all occasions.

Section 6. In case of vacancy or impending vacancy of a Rector or Vicar in a Parish, the Wardens shall immediately notify and consult with the Bishop on measures to be taken. Upon election of a Rector, the Wardens shall sign and send to the Bishop written notice of such election.



Of the Vestry

Section 1. The Rector, or Vicar, Church Wardens and Members of the Vestry (called the Vestry) shall administer all the temporal business of the Parish; shall see that all things needful for the public services are provided; shall pay with punctuality, at the intervals agreed, the stipulated salary of the Rector or Vicar and others; shall inform themselves of the orders and times of all offerings required by the Canons of the Diocese and of assessments imposed by the Council, and take measures for the obedient fulfillment and due liquidation of these obligations; and before the close of each fiscal year, if the treasury be deficient, the Vestry shall collect, as far as practicable, by subscription or otherwise, a sum sufficient to liquidate all of the current annual obligations of the Parish.

Section 2. The Vestry shall, prior to the Annual Parish Meeting, cause to be written and delivered to the Rector or Vicar or, if there be none, to the Wardens, a full, accurate and faithful statement of the temporal condition of the Parish. This statement (to be designated the Annual Report of the Vestry) shall show, among other things, what money, lands and other property have been received during the year past and from what sources what money has been expended and for what objects, what property has been exchanged or mortgaged or sold and for what purposes and what debts are owing by the Parish and what security, if any, has then owned by the Parish. This Annual Report shall be communicated to the Annual Parish Meeting as provided in Canon 31, Section 8.(e).

The Vestry shall also furnish and read to the Annual Meeting a separate statement of the money and property held in trust by or for the Parish, which shows:

(a). the nature and purpose of each trust;

(b). when and by whom the same was created, and the kind of instrument under which it was created;

(c). the names of the beneficiaries thereof;

(d). the total value of the original trust fund and the amount of the principal thereof at the end of the preceding fiscal year;

(e). a brief description of the securities in which the same were then invested;

(f). the rate of interest on each investment and the amount of interest in default, if any; and

(g). the disposition of the income therefrom during such year; which statement shall also show whether or not fiduciary bonds required for such funds by Canon have been approved and delivered, the surety or sureties thereon, and the principal amount of each such bond. An exact copy of such separate statement shall be delivered to the Bishop by the Wardens promptly after each Annual Parish Meeting.

Section 3. There shall be held at least six regular Vestry meetings in each year. Special meetings of the Vestry may be called by order of the Rector or Vicar, or, in case of vacancy, by the Wardens, at any time deemed expedient; and shall call such meetings when requested, in writing, by a majority of the members of the Vestry, which writing shall declare the object of such meeting.

Section 4. Vacancies in the Vestry shall be filled for the unexpired term by a majority of the remaining members of the Vestry at any regular meeting, of which election previous notice shall have been given, in writing, to every member of the Vestry by the Secretary or Clerk.

Section 5. The Rector or Vicar shall preside at all meetings of the Vestry and shall be entitled to cast the deciding vote in the case of a tie. If present, the Rector or Vicar may, if desirable, appoint any other member of the Vestry to preside at a meeting of the Vestry, such designee being entitled to cast the deciding vote in the case of a tie. The Rector or Vicar shall be ex officio member of all Committees.

Section 6. In case there is no Rector, or Vicar, or in case of absence or inability to act, the Senior Warden, or if absent the Junior Warden, shall preside at all meetings of the Vestry. No meeting of the Vestry shall be valid in which there shall not be present either the Rector, or Vicar, or one Warden, except for the purpose of electing Wardens if there be no Rector, or Vicar, or Wardens.



Of the Change of Status of Parishes

Section 1. (a). The Bishop, upon determining that a Parish or Aided Parish has not met the basic requirements of Section 1, Canon 30, shall report the facts to the Council assembling next thereafter together with recommendations.

(b). The Bishop, upon making a determination under Section l.(a). of this canon, shall advise the Rector or Vicar and Vestry of the Parish or Aided Parish of that fact in writing. The Vestry may appeal the determination of the Bishop to the Standing Committee of the Diocese. The Standing Committee shall consult with the Bishop and with any other persons from whom it desires to receive information and shall act as a Council of Advice to the Bishop in the matter before the Bishop makes recommendation to the Diocesan Council.

Section 2. The Council acts on the Bishop’s recommendation, by Orders.



Of the Pastoral Relationship

Section 1. (a). Call of a Rector: No presbyter shall be called as Rector of any Parish in this Diocese without previous conference between the Vestry of the Parish and the Bishop in reference to the expediency of the proposed call.

(b). Any presbyter regularly called to take charge of a Parish as provided by the Canons of the General Convention, and whose letter dimissory has been accepted by the Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese, shall, during the time of such charge of said Parish, be held to be Rector of the same.

(c). The Rector, or Vicar, by virtue of office, shall have exclusive jurisdiction, under such Rector’s or Vicar’s Ecclesiastical superiors, of the spiritual concerns of the Parish, and shall at all times have access to the Church, and may open the same for services or instruction as such Rector or Vicar deems proper. The Rector or Vicar shall have authority to call meetings of the

Vestry or congregation, and when present, to preside at the same and, in case of a tie, to cast the deciding vote. The Bishop is the Rector of each Aided Parish. The Minister in charge of any Aided Parish is the Vicar of the Bishop and ministers under the direction of the Bishop, performing the functions of a Rector in the absence of the Bishop. Vicars are appointed by the Bishop.

(d). Should a vacancy occur in the Rectorship of a Parish, the Wardens and Vestry shall at once notify the Bishop thereof and ask advice and assistance in the selection of a successor, submitting information as to the state and requirements of the Parish.

(e). Every cleric hereafter called to any full-time position in the Diocese of Atlanta shall be compensated at or above the financial package for transitional deacons as established annually by the Commission on Ministry.

Section 2. Temporary Absence of a Rector: Every cleric temporarily vacating a Parish shall arrange in advance with the Vestry for the supply of service and care of the Parish during such absence.

Section 3. Dissolution of the Relationship not Occasioned by Disability: The Rector canonically elected and in charge may not resign the Parish without the consent of the Vestry thereof; nor may such Rector be removed except as provided by the Canons of the General Convention.

Section 4. Dissolution Occasioned by Disability.

(a). Proceedings for the Dissolution of the Pastoral Relationship of the Rector of a Parish, occasioned by the long-term medical disability rendering the person incapable of exercising his/her ministry, may be begun in either of one of the following modes:

(1). By resolution of the affected Vestry setting forth in writing and with reasonable certainty the facts relied upon and a request that the Pastoral Relationship be dissolved; or

(2). The Bishop, from personal knowledge.

In any such case the Bishop may present such facts, together with any other facts known to the Bishop, to the Standing Committee for its investigation.

(b). Upon receipt of such request, the Standing Committee shall proceed without avoidable delay to investigate the facts. If requested by the Standing Committee, the Bishop shall see that a confirmed communicant of the Church, learned in the law and who shall not be the Chancellor, be appointed to advise the Standing Committee in its investigation. If requested by the Rector, or any interested person on behalf of the Rector, the Bishop shall see that a confirmed communicant of the church, learned in the law and who shall not be the Chancellor, be appointed to advise the affected Rector in the investigation.

(c). After appropriate investigation, which shall include appropriate consultation with medical and legal professionals, the Standing Committee shall make its report to the Bishop as to whether or not the affected Rector is so disabled as to warrant the dissolution of the Pastoral Relationship.

(d). Upon receipt of the recommendation of the Standing Committee, the Bishop, as final arbiter and judge, shall render a godly judgment as to whether or not the Pastoral Relationship should be dissolved; and

(1). If the Pastoral Relationship is to be continued, the Bishop shall define the responsibility to and accountability of the Rector; or

(2). If the Pastoral Relationship is to be dissolved, the Bishop shall set forth such terms and conditions, including financial settlements, as shall seem to be Bishop to be just, proper, and compassionate.

Section 5. Clergy Liable to Missionary Duty: Every cleric of the Diocese receiving aid from the missionary funds shall perform from time to time such missionary duties within the Diocese and outside of such cleric’s cure as may be prescribed by the Bishop, and the amount of compensation for each such service so performed shall be fixed by the Department of Congregation Development.

Section 6. Of Instruction: Every Rector or Vicar shall:

(a). have direction and control of the Church School and classes for religious instructions;

(b). ensure that children, youth and adults receive instruction in the Holy Scriptures, in the subjects contained in An Outline of the Faith, commonly called the Catechism, and in the Doctrine, Discipline and Worship of this Church, and in the exercise of their ministry as baptized persons;

(c). appoint the superintendent, teachers and other officers;

(d). authorize the books and system of instruction and the library, in accordance with the authority and teachings of the Church;

(e). prepare persons for baptism and, before baptizing infants or children, instruct both the parents and godparents concerning the significance of Holy Baptism and their responsibilities for the Christian training of the baptized child and how these obligations may be properly discharged;

(f). seek out for systematic instruction all who are ready to make a mature public affirmation of their faith and commitment to the responsibilities of baptism and to receive the laying on of hands by the Bishop;

(g). give instruction both publicly and privately on the nature and responsibilities of Holy Matrimony; and

(h). instruct all persons in their charge concerning Christian stewardship, including the Biblical standard of the tithe for financial stewardship, reverence for the creation and the right use of God’s gifts, generous and consistent offering of time, talent and treasure for the mission and ministry of the Church at home and abroad, and the responsibility of all persons to make a will, not neglecting to leave bequests for the use of the Church if they are able.

Section 7. Of Church Music: It shall be the duty of every Rector to see that music is used as an offering for the glory of God and as a help to the people in their worship in accordance with the Book of Common Prayer and as authorized by the rubrics or by the General Convention of this Church. To this end, the Rector shall have final authority in the administration of matters pertaining to music. In fulfilling this responsibility, the Rector shall seek assistance from persons skilled in music. Together they shall see that music is appropriate to the context in which it is used.

Section 8. Of Continuing Education of Clergy: As to the Continuing Education of Clergy of this Diocese:

(a). In case of a clergy vacancy, every employer of clergy in this Diocese, by whatever name, shall consult with the Bishop of the Diocese or the designated authority prior to any call to develop a definite proposal for continuing education for whomever is to be called.

(b). The "conference" referred to in Canon 35, Section 1 (a) shall include consideration of continuing education for whomever shall be called as Rector.

(c). Every cleric hereafter called to any full-time position in a Parish, Aided Parish, or any other ministry within this Diocese shall have a definite agreement with the employer concerning continuing education. This agreement shall be deposited in writing with the Bishop of the Diocese.

(d). Every cleric and employer, by whatever name, shall review together annually the above described agreement to update it and assure that it meets current needs of the cleric. Terms of this updated agreement shall be sent to the Bishop within thirty (30) days after being officially arrived at and recorded in the employer’s minutes.

(e). Nothing in this Canon shall be construed to establish minimum standards of Continuing Education of a cleric as a prerequisite for continued employment or for the future employment of a cleric.


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All Canons and resolutions of the Diocese of Atlanta in conflict with the foregoing Canons are hereby repealed.