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PREAMBLE AND ORDINANCES OF THE THIRD PROVINCE
(May 8, 2018)
In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen
The Synod of the THIRD Province, in pursuance of authority granted by the Constitutions and Canons for the government of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America, sets forth the following Ordinances for its regulation and government in carrying out the following functions:
The THIRD Province exists to further the mission of the Episcopal Church in the THIRD Province by coordinating the interdependent ministries of its thirteen dioceses in a spirit of mutual responsibility. Those thirteen Dioceses are: Bethlehem, Central Pennsylvania, Delaware, Easton, Maryland, Northwestern Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh, Southern Virginia, Southwestern Virginia, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia.
The THIRD Province has as its goals:
to create and support a forum for the sharing of programs and ministries by the people of parishes and interest groups of the 13 Dioceses in such a way as to develop effective strategies for coordinating the use of regional and national resources for the increase of such programs and ministries.
to provide opportunities for the Province, dioceses and other groups and networks within the Province to influence those people involved in decision-making at all levels of this Church, particularly the General Convention and the Executive Council.
Of the Name
This Province shall be known as the THIRD Province. The Synod of this Province shall be known as the Synod of the THIRD Province.
Composition of Synod
Section 1. Every Bishop Diocesan of this Church, having jurisdiction within the Province, every Bishop Coadjutor, Bishop Provisional, Bishop Suffragan and Assistant Bishop, shall have a seat and vote in the House of Bishops of the Province.
Section 2. House of Bishops. The bishop who is President or Vice President of the Province shall chair the House of Bishops and shall preside over its deliberations when meeting separately. In his or her absence the senior active bishop in years of consecration present shall preside. The House of Bishops shall elect one of its members to act as its Secretary.
Section 3. House of Deputies. One clerical deputy and two lay deputies from each diocese within the Province shall have a seat and vote in the House of Deputies. The cleric or lay person who is President or Vice President of the Province shall chair the House of Deputies and shall preside over its deliberations when meeting separately. In his or her absence the deputies present shall elect a chair. The House of Deputies shall elect one of its members to act as Secretary. All Deputies shall be encouraged to complete anti-racism training within one year of being elected.
Section 4. Each person holding office or appointment under the Synod shall have a seat and voice in the Synod, but shall not have the right to vote unless such person be a deputy or bishop.
Officers of the Province
Section 1. The officers of the THIRD Province shall be a President, a Vice President, a Secretary and a Treasurer. They shall be elected at Provincial Synod in the year of General Convention for a three-year term and take office October 1 of the same year. All officers shall have completed or shall complete anti-racism training within one year of being elected.
Section 2. The President shall be one of the bishops, presbyters, deacons or lay persons of the THIRD Province, elected by the Synod, and shall hold office as specified in Section 1, or until a successor is chosen. The President shall chair the Provincial Council and, ex-officio, be a member of all Standing Committees and Departments. In the case of vacancy caused by death, resignation or otherwise, the Vice President shall assume the responsibilities of the President until a new President is elected at the next meeting of the Synod. No individual shall serve more than two consecutive terms as President.
Section 3. The Vice President shall be one of the bishops, presbyters, deacons or lay persons of the THIRD Province, elected by the Synod, and shall hold office as specified in Section 1, or until a successor is chosen. A vacancy in the office of Vice President shall be filled by appointment of the President until the next meeting of the Synod. The person elected to fill a vacancy shall hold office until the end of the term specified in Section 1. No individual shall serve more than two consecutive terms as Vice President.
Section 4. When the person elected President is not a bishop, a Vice President shall be elected who shall be a bishop of the THIRD Province. When the person elected President is a Bishop, a Vice President shall be elected who shall be a presbyter, deacon, or lay person of the THIRD Province.
Section 5. The Secretary shall be one of the bishops, presbyters, deacons or lay persons of the THIRD Province, elected by the Synod, and shall hold office as specified in Section 1, or until a successor is chosen. A vacancy in the office of Secretary shall be filled by appointment of the President until the next meeting of the Synod. The person elected to fill a vacancy shall hold office until the end of the term specified in Section 1. The Secretary shall perform such duties as shall be assigned by the President of the Province. No individual shall serve more than two consecutive terms as Secretary.
Section 6. The Treasurer shall be one of the bishops, presbyters, deacons or lay persons of the THIRD Province, elected by the Synod, and shall hold office as specified in Section 1, or until a successor is chosen. A vacancy in the office of Treasurer shall be filled by appointment of the President until the next meeting of the Synod. The person elected to fill a vacancy shall hold office until the end of the term specified in Section 1. It shall be the duty of the Treasurer to receive and disburse all monies under the authority of the Synod. Accounts shall be rendered to each stated meeting of the Synod and Synod Council, and shall be audited annually under the authority of the Synod Council. No individual shall serve more than two consecutive terms as Treasurer.
Meetings of Provincial Synod
Section 1. The regular session of the Synod shall be held each year. Special meetings shall be called by the President on the request, in writing, of ten deputies with the consent of the majority of the active bishops of the Province, or by action and authority of the Provincial Council. Bishops, clerical deputies and lay deputies shall meet in one body. During the regular or special meeting of the Synod, the three orders of bishops, clergy and laity may sit and deliberate in council, separately, upon notification to the other orders.
Section 2. (a) On all matters the Synod shall vote as one body and on any question a vote of the majority of the deputies and active bishops present shall suffice, unless otherwise noted by these ordinances.
Section 2. (b) A vote by orders shall be taken on any question when it shall be required by the request of any two Bishops or any four deputies.
Section 3. To constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, there shall be present at least three bishops and one clerical deputy and one lay deputy from a majority of the dioceses, but a lesser number may adjourn.
Section 4. Every debatable resolution considered by the Synod shall have been submitted in writing to the Secretary no less than 45 days before the date of the Synod, unless otherwise admitted by two-thirds of those present and eligible to vote. The Secretary shall distribute the resolutions received to the deputies and bishops at least twenty (20) days prior to the meeting of the Synod either by regular mail or electronically.
Section 5. The clerical deputy from each diocese shall send to the Secretary the names and addresses of provincial deputies and General Convention deputies within two weeks of their election in his or her diocese.
Of the Representatives on the Executive Council
Section 1. The Synod at a regular meeting shall elect one representative to the Executive Council to serve a term twice the interval between General Conventions. Election shall alternate between the clerical and lay orders, so that the Province is always represented by two people, one clergy person and one lay person. Nominations shall be made by the nominating committee appointed by the President, provided that additional nominations from the floor of the Synod may be made prior to the closure of nominations and voting. The Secretary shall certify such election to the proper authorities. Terms of office shall commence upon the adjournment of the first regular meeting of the General Convention following election. In case of vacancy, the Provincial Council shall elect a person of the same order to fill such vacancy for the unexpired term. Persons elected to the Executive Council may not succeed themselves. Persons elected to Executive Council shall have completed or complete anti-racism training within one year of being elected.
Section 2. The representatives on the Executive Council shall make a report at each regular meeting of the Synod.
Section 1. There shall be a Provincial Council which shall consist of the four Officers of the Synod, one person elected by the delegation from each Diocese (Bishop(s), one clerical Deputy, and two lay Deputies) who is a member of said delegation, and such other persons elected by the Synod or appointed by the President. following the election of its officers, so that the members of Provincial Council shall consist of no less than three bishops, two presbyters, and two lay persons. The Provincial President may make additional appointments to Council to assure representation from each of the dioceses. The two representatives elected by the Synod as representatives to the Executive Council shall have seat, voice, and vote at meetings of the Provincial Council. An Officer may be elected as his/her Diocesan representative. The size of the Provincial Council shall be no less than nine (9) seventeen (17), no more than nineteen (19) twenty-one (21) persons.
Section 2. (a) The Provincial Council shall meet at such times and places (or via electronic means) as may be designated by the President or by concurrent action of the other three officers. A member may participate in, and vote at, Council meetings by means of technology where all participants may hear one another simultaneously.
Section 2. (b) The Provincial Council shall have all the powers of the Synod in the period between meetings of the Synod, subject to the Canons of the Church and the directives of the Synod. The Provincial Council may also add such advisory members to its membership as it may deem necessary.
Section 3. A quorum shall be a majority of the total of all the four officers plus the Diocesan representatives plus those appointed or designated as members of the Provincial Council.
Section 4. The President of the Synod shall preside at meetings of the Provincial Council. In the absence of the President, the Vice President, Secretary, or Treasurer (in that order) shall preside. In the absence of all four Officers, those present shall elect a person to preside.
Of a Court of Review
Section 1. There shall be a Court of Review of the trial of a presbyter or deacon which shall be comprised of (i) a one bishop of the Province, two presbyters Priests, or one Priest and one Deacon canonically resident within the Province, and two lay communicants, and (ii) one Bishop, one Priest or Deacon, and one lay person to serve as alternates as hereinafter provided. Each Priest or Deacon, whether a member or alternate, shall be canonically resident in a Diocese of the Province different from any other Priest or Deacon, and each lay person, whether a member or alternate, shall reside in a Diocese of the Province different from any other lay person. The Priests, Deacons and lay persons shall be members of the Disciplinary Boards of their respective Dioceses.
Section 2. The members and alternates of the Provincial Court of Review shall be appointed annually by the president of the Province. The Provincial Court of Review shall select a president from among its members. The persons appointed to the Provincial Court of Review shall continue to serve until their respective successors have been appointed, except in case of death, resignation or declination to serve.
Section 3. No member of the Provincial Court of Review may serve in any matter originating from the Diocese in which such member serves on the Disciplinary Board. In such event, the alternate shall serve.
Section 4. In the event that any member of the Provincial Court of Review is excused pursuant to the provisions of National Canon IV.5.3(c), or, upon objection made by either party to the appeal is deemed by the other members of the Provincial Court of Review to be disqualified, such member’s alternate shall serve.
Section 5. In the event of any Provincial Court of Review member’s death, resignation or declination to serve, or disability rendering the member unable to act or is ineligible to serve under National Canons IV.5.4(d) or (e), and in the further event that there is no alternate available to serve, the president of the Provincial Court of Review shall declare a vacancy on the Provincial Court of Review. Notices of resignation or declination to serve shall be communicated in writing to the president of the Provincial Court of Review.
Section 6. Vacancies on the Provincial Court of Review shall be filled by appointment by the president of the Province of persons qualified as provided in National Canon IV.5.4(a).
Section 7. The Provincial Court of Review shall appoint a clerk who may be a member of the Court, who shall be custodian of all records and files of the Provincial Court of Review, and who shall provide administrative services as needed for the functioning of the Court.
Section 8. The rules of procedure for appeals to the Provincial Court of Review are as provided in National Canon IV.15, but the Provincial Court of Review may adopt, alter or rescind supplemental rules of procedure not inconsistent with the Constitution and Canons of the Church.
Section 9. The Court of Review is vested with jurisdiction to hear and determine appeals from decisions of Trial Courts in dioceses within the Province on the trial of a presbyter or deacon, in conformity with the provisions of the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church.
Of the Bishops of the Province
The Bishops of the Province, under the leadership of the President or Vice President of the Province, are authorized to advise the Presiding Bishop and Executive Council in the name of this Province when the occasion demands, and to act on behalf of this Province so far as the General Canons and the Ordinances permit, in all matters pertaining to the mission of the Church in the dioceses of this Province and in other dioceses and missionary districts at home and abroad.
Process of Amendment
These Ordinances may be amended at any session of the Synod by a concurrent vote of the bishops, clergy and laity and by a majority vote of those present in each order. In case of conflict between these Ordinances and any Canon of The Episcopal Church, the Canon of the Episcopal Church shall take precedence. In the case of such conflict, these Ordinances shall be amended at the next meeting of the Synod to resolve any such conflict.