Episcopal Diocese of Upper South Carolina

Committee on Constitution and Canons Proposes Revision at the 95th Diocesan Convention in November

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Click on Diocesan Seal for Canons Online Forum

The Episcopal Diocese of Upper South Carolina Committee on Constitution and Canons has worked for the last two and one-half years to reorganize and clarify our Canons. The member of the Committee are as follows:

Mr. Thomas L. Stepp, Chair
Secretary Emeritus, University of South Carolina 

Mrs. Suzanne Hulst Clawson
Attorney, Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, P. A.

Professor Martin C. McWilliams, Jr.
Professor of Law, University of South Carolina

The Rev. J. Edward Morris
Rector, The Episcopal Church of the Advent, Spartanburg

Mr. Robert G. Tunell
Member, St. Michael and All Angels, Columbia

The Rev. d'Rue Hazel
Diocesan Canon Staff Liaison to the Committee

The basis of the current Canons is the work of a Select Commission on Constitution and Canons was adopted by the 76th Convention of the Diocese. The work of the current Committee has maintained continuity with the prior Select Commission, particularly through Professor Martin McWilliams who was Special Counsel to the Select Commission. He has worked tirelessly and intimately as a member of the current Committee. We have also benefited from the review of our current work by Mr. Robert Clawson, the Chair of the former Select Commission, and a distinguished attorney continually active in the life of the Diocese.

The proposal before you to renew the clarity, unity, consistency and ease of use of the Canons does not vary from the substance of the prior canons. The current review was undertaken with the understanding that periodic consideration of foundational documents is good business for operational consistency across the full scope of governance.

The current review was undertaken with the understanding that periodic consideration of foundational documents is good business for operational consistency across the full scope of governance. This points out an important understanding of the ongoing work of the Committee on Constitution and Canons. It is a permanent Committee of the Diocese. It is not a Special, Select, or one-time Committee or Commission. It is responsible for keeping the Constitution and Canons current with those of The Episcopal Church and proposes modifications to the Canons that are typically designed to improve clarity and consistency throughout the document and to align governance processes with current practice.

Through the years, foundational documents are typically amended and the impact of a very specific item is sometimes not pursued throughout all titles of all appropriate documents and thus inconsistencies, lack of definition and stylistic anomalies creep in to governance documents and practices that should be kept both easy to understand and legally sufficient in every way.
The proposed Canons - the Committee's Report - will be on the agenda for approval at the 95th Diocesan Convention on Saturday, November 4, 2017. There are no proposed amends to the Constitution.

The Committee is publishing its work four weeks before Convention so that there can be as much discussion of the proposals as needed. To foster this discussion, the Committee has posted an online forum. Please visit that page to view the following and submit questions to the Committee:

• The complete text of the revised Canons as proposed
• An Executive Summary of noteworthy amendments for your convenient review
• A redline comparison of the proposed Canons to the current Canons, including the numerous small changes that create the diacritical clarity of the new text
• A Question Box – most importantly a box that you can simply check "comment" and then type in an email question. The Committee will answer questions within a few days of receipt.

Also, Tom Stepp and Suzi Clawson will host two workshop sessions at Leadership Day, the day before Convention and will be available to every delegate for questions and conversation.

Respectfully submitted,
The Committee on Constitution and Canons

  • Bishop Waldo Calls to Order
  • Bishop Greg Rickel on Stewardship
  • Leadership Day
  • Dean Timothy Jones of Trinity Cathedral
  • The Rev. Dr. James Farwell
  • Ms. Terri Mathes
  • Closing Plenary Before Evensong
  • Bill Hunter of the Advent Shoppe
  • Christ Church Before Evensong
  • Gravatt Booth
  • Thompson Booth
  • Canterbury Booth
  • Sewanee Booth
  • Business Day
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