Canons of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Louisiana

 

At the Primary Convention of the Episcopal Church in the Western Diocese of Louisiana held at St. James' Episcopal Church, Alexandria, Louisiana, on October 11 and 12, 1979, the following Canons were unanimously adopted:


Canon 1. THE CONVENTION

SECTION 1. Either preceding or during every annual or special meeting of the Convention of this Diocese there shall be a Celebration of the Holy Eucharist.

SECTION 2. Not later than the fifth (5) day immediately preceding the meeting of the Convention, the Ecclesiastical Authority shall furnish the Secretary of the Diocese with a complete list of the clergy 11canonically and physically resident in the Diocese, setting forth those who are entitled to membership, seats and votes in the Convention, and giving their respective cures, Parishes, Missions or places of residence.

SECTION 3.12 Not later than the sixtieth (60th) day immediately preceding the meeting of the Convention, each Ecclesiastical Parish and Mission in union with the Diocese shall furnish the Secretary of the Diocese with a certificate showing the names of its Lay Delegates and Alternates and the fact that they are persons qualified to be such Delegates and Alternates. The Secretary of the Diocese shall at once prepare a list of such Delegates and Alternates, which shall be used as the roll of the Lay Delegates.

SECTION 4. At the time appointed for the meeting of the Convention, the Convention having been called to order, the incumbent Secretary of the Diocese shall determine which clergy and lay delegates are present. If there is a quorum of each order, the Convention shall proceed to elect a Secretary of the Diocese for the ensuing Convention year, after which the chair shall declare the Convention duly organized.

SECTION 5. At each meeting of the Convention, Rules of Order and an Order of Business shall be adopted for the government of that meeting. But the Rules of Order and Order of Business adopted at the previous Annual Meeting, if no action is taken to the contrary, shall be in force for the succeeding Convention year, with such alterations or amendments as may be made thereto by the Convention.

If at any time after the organization of the Convention, the right of any member to sit in the Convention be called in question, the point shall be determined by a majority vote of the Convention, and this whether the person has been admitted already to a seat or not.

SECTION 6. The Secretary of the Diocese, the Treasurer of the Diocese, the Chancellor and the Vice-Chancellor of the Diocese, the Registrar of the Diocese, and the President of the Board of Trustees of the Diocese, (if not members of the Convention by virtue of being either a Clergyperson entitled to membership, or a Lay Delegate representing a Parish or Mission of the Diocese) shall be admitted, ex-officio, to seats in the Convention, with all privileges of membership except the right of vote.

SECTION 7. All elections shall be by written ballot; provided that, except in the case of the election of a Bishop, the necessity for written ballot may be dispensed with by unanimous vote of the Convention.

SECTION 8. The Convention shall meet annually on a date to be designated by the Bishop, and the place of such annual meeting shall be fixed by any preceding Convention. If the Convention fails to fix the place of the annual meeting to be held two years thereafter, the Ecclesiastical Authority shall do so. If by July 1 of any year the Bishop shall have failed to fix the date of the next annual meeting of the Convention, the Standing Committee shall fix a date for same.

SECTION 9. At least sixty (60) days before each annual and special meeting of the Convention, the Secretary of the Diocese shall send a notice of the time and place of such meeting to every Clergyperson canonically resident in the Diocese and, through the Wardens, to the vestrypersons and congregation of each Ecclesiastical Parish, and through the Mission Wardens, to the congregation of every organized Mission in the Diocese. If the meeting be a special meeting, the notice shall specify the business to be laid before the Convention.

The provisions of this canon shall not affect the requirements of the Constitution as to meetings at which the election of a Bishop is to be held.

SECTION 10. Wherever used herein, the word "year" refers to the period between the adjournment of the annual meetings of the Convention, rather than calendar years, unless expressly stated otherwise. Wherever a term of office is established, whether elective or appointive, the word "year" shall mean the period between the adjournment of the annual meeting of the Convention, and the adjournment of the following regular annual meeting of the Convention, unless expressly stated otherwise.


Canon 2. LAY DELEGATES

SECTION 1.13 It shall be the duty of the Vestry of each of the Parishes, the Mission Council of each of the Missions and of the Advisory Committee of each of the College or University Centers entitled to Lay representation in the Convention to provide for the election of the number of Lay Delegates and Alternates to which each is respectively entitled under the Constitutions and Canons, each of whom shall be a qualified voter in said congregation. 14Said election shall take place at the annual meeting of the parish or mission.

SECTION 2. The evidence of election or appointment of a Lay Delegate or an Alternate shall be a certificate. In the case of a Parish the certificate shall be signed by the Rector or by the Secretary of the Vestry or by one of the Wardens. In the case of a Mission the certificate shall be signed by the Missionary or by the Secretary of the Mission or by the Warden or by the Bishop, if in the last instance the Bishop is the appointing authority. In the case of a College or University Center, the certificate shall be signed by the Chaplain or by the Secretary or by the Warden. In each case the certificate shall set forth the names of all Lay Delegates and Alternates and the fact of the qualification of each to serve. It shall be the duty of the person who signs the said certificate to send the same to the Secretary of the Diocese to reach him or her not later than thirty (30) days prior to the assembling of the Convention, and such certificate shall be prima facie evidence of such election or appointment and of the qualification of the persons named therein.

SECTION 3. The Lay Delegates duly elected or appointed to serve at any annual meeting of the Convention, shall be the Delegates to any other meeting of the Convention prior to the succeeding annual meeting. Vacancies occasioned by death, removal, resignation, disqualification or incapacity to serve, shall be filled in the same manner as the original election or appointment.

SECTION 4. In case any Parish, Mission or College or University Center shall fail to elect or appoint one or more Lay Delegates to which it is entitled, or in case any of the delegates or alternates from any Parish, Mission, or College or University Center shall fail to attend the Convention, the Rector, or Missionary, or Chaplain, as the case may be, may appoint a qualified lay person to each such vacancy.


Canon 3. THE OFFICERS

SECTION 1. The Officers of this Diocese shall be a President and Chief Executive Officer as set forth in the Constitution, a Treasurer, a Secretary, a Chancellor and a Vice-Chancellor.

SECTION 2.15 The term of the Treasurer shall be for a period of one (1) year. The Bishop, subject to approval by the Convention, shall appoint the Treasurer.

SECTION 3. The term of the Secretary shall be for a period of one (1) year, commencing at the convening of the regular annual meeting of the Convention and terminating when his or her successor is elected at the next succeeding regular annual meeting.

SECTION 4. The Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor shall be appointed by the Bishop, subject to approval by the Convention, for three (3) year terms.


Canon 4. THE SECRETARY

SECTION 1. The Secretary shall be Secretary of the Diocese as well as Secretary of the Convention. It shall be his or her duty to supervise the recording of the proceedings of the Convention and to appoint a Recorder for the Convention who does not need to be a member of the Convention, to prepare the list of lay members of the Convention, to give timely notices of the time and place of all annual and special meetings of the Convention, to preserve its journals and records, with the assistance of a Registrar to be appointed by the Bishop to serve at the pleasure of the Bishop, to attest, as occasion may require, its public proceedings, and faithfully to deliver into the hands of his or her successor all books and papers in his or her possession relative to the concerns of the Diocese and of the Convention.

The Secretary shall be charged with the publication and distribution of the Convention Journal under such instructions as he or she may receive from the Diocesan Council.

SECTION 2. The Secretary shall have the authority to appoint an Assistant Secretary; and in case the office of Secretary shall become vacant, the duties thereof shall devolve upon the Assistant Secretary, or, if there be no Assistant, the Bishop shall appoint a Secretary pro tempore.

SECTION 3. All expenses incurred by compliance with the first section of this Canon shall be paid by the Treasurer of the Diocese.

SECTION 4. The Registrar shall collect and preserve such papers, journals, records and other documents relating to the history and the property of the Church and the Diocese as are now or hereafter may become the property of the Diocese and to keep the same in a safe and convenient place under the supervision of the Secretary and subject to the inspection of the Bishop or the Convention at any time. He or she shall make a report of his official acts at each annual meeting of the Convention.

SECTION 5. The Registrar, with the approval of the Secretary, shall have the authority to make such exchange of journals and other documents with the officers of other Dioceses as he or she may think necessary or expedient to render the Archives of this Diocese as complete as possible. This expense is to be paid by the Treasurer of the Diocese.


Canon 5. THE TREASURER

SECTION 1.16 The Treasurer shall be responsible for receiving and disbursing the funds of the Diocese and all sums raised for the purpose of covering the expenses and obligations of the Convention as provided in the Budget and shall render annually an account thereof.

SECTION 2. The Treasurer shall make an annual report to the Convention of all sums received and disbursed during the preceding year under each budget, and shall include in such report a statement of the condition of the account of each Parish and Mission with regard to their pledge. Said report shall be published in the Journal of the Convention.

SECTION 3. The Treasurer is authorized and empowered, with the approval of the Bishop, to appoint such assistants as may be necessary for the orderly and convenient discharge of the duties of his office. He is authorized to employ all necessary help. Provision shall be made in the budget of the Convention for the reasonable and necessary expenses of his office.

SECTION 4. The Treasurer of the Diocese shall likewise perform all of the duties assigned to him by these Canons.


Canon 6. THE CHANCELLOR AND THE VICE-CHANCELLOR

SECTION 1. The Chancellor shall be learned in the law, and shall be the advisor of the Bishop, of the Convention, of the Diocesan Council, of the Standing Committee and of all other departments and committees of the Diocese upon all legal matters touching the interests of his or her Diocese. He or she shall be the custodian of all documents or records that may affect in any way the title to real property held by or for the Diocese.

SECTION 2. The Vice-Chancellor shall be learned in the law, and shall assist the Chancellor as requested by the Chancellor and shall perform all the duties of the Chancellor, whenever the Chancellor, for any reason, cannot act.


Canon 7. THE STANDING COMMITTEE 17

SECTION 1. The Standing Committee of this Diocese shall consist of six (6) members elected from the lay and clerical orders, who shall be Priests entitled to vote in the Convention and Lay Persons having the qualifications of Lay Delegates to the Convention, no one of which members shall suffer the disabilities of minority under the civil law. The Committee shall organize by choosing from its own body a President and a Secretary. The President shall be a Priest. He or she may call a meeting at his or her discretion and shall do so on the request of two or more members. The Bishop may summon a meeting of the Committee. The Secretary shall preserve a record of all the proceedings of the Committee and an abstract of same shall be presented on behalf of the Committee to each annual meeting of the Convention.

SECTION 2. The initial Diocesan Convention shall elect members of the Standing Committee as follows:

(a) A lay person from the Acadiana Convocation and a Priest from the Lake Charles Convocation for a term of one (1) year;

(b) A priest from the Monroe Convocation and a lay person from the Shreveport Convocation for a term of two (2) years;

(c) A Priest from the Alexandria Convocation for a term of three (3) years.

At each annual meeting of the Convention thereafter, each retiring member of the Committee shall be succeeded for a three (3) year term by a new member to be elected from the opposite order, but who shall be domiciled in the same Convocation as the retiring member.

SECTION 2(a). The Diocesan Convention of 1984 shall elect a Priest at large to the Standing Committee to serve for a term of two (2) years, commencing at the adjournment of the 1984 Annual Convention. Thereafter, the retiring at large member shall be succeeded for a three (3) year term by a new member to be elected at large by the Annual Convention from the opposite order.

SECTION 3. Four (4) members shall constitute a quorum provided two (2) members of each order be present. The Standing Committee shall have power to fill vacancies in its own body, occasioned by death, resignation or otherwise, provided that any vacancy shall be filled for the remainder of the term thereof and only by a member of the same order and from the same Convocation as the member duly elected to that office prior to its becoming vacant, except that the at large member must be filled by a member of the same order but from any Convocation. All proper expenses of the Standing Committee shall be paid by the Treasurer of the Diocese.


Canon 8. DEPUTIES TO THE GENERAL CONVENTION AND TO THE PROVINCIAL SYNOD

SECTION 1. The Convention shall elect in conformity with the Constitution and Canons for the Government of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, so many Deputies as permitted and a like number of Alternate Deputies to represent this Diocese in the General Convention. Deputies shall be elected first by a majority vote, after which nominations shall then be open for Alternate Deputies, who shall likewise be elected by majority vote. The Alternates shall be ranked as first, second, third and fourth Alternate, in accordance with the relative number of votes received by each.

SECTION 2. The Deputies and the Alternate Deputies to the General Convention shall hold office until their successors are elected and shall have qualified.

SECTION 3. It shall be the duty of the Deputies-Elect to the General Convention to inform the Bishop, 30 days before the meeting of the General Convention, whether or not they intend to be present to perform the duty assigned them. If they, or any of them, shall decline or fail to attend the sessions, the Bishop shall call upon the Alternate Deputies in the order of their election. In the event of a failure to secure a complete deputation from the persons elected Deputies and Alternate Deputies, the Bishop may, at his discretion, appoint a sufficient number of Provisional Deputies in either order to complete the deputation; such Provisional Deputies to serve only during the particular session of the General Convention for which they are appointed.

SECTION 4.18 Preceding any meeting of the Synod of Province Seven, the Bishop shall appoint to represent this Diocese in the Synod clerical and lay deputies in such number as the Provincial Synod by ordinance, or otherwise, should provide.

SECTION 5. (a) The Diocese shall pay the expenses of the Deputies and the First Alternate Deputies to the General Convention.

(b) The Diocese shall pay the expenses of the Deputies to the Meeting of the Synod of the Seventh Province.

SECTION 6.19 The Bishop shall designate the Chairperson of the delegation to the General Convention.


Canon 9. THE DIOCESAN COUNCIL

SECTION 1. The Diocesan Council as established by Article X of the Constitution, hereinafter sometimes referred to as "Council", shall have charge of the development and extension of the work of the Church, the care of vacant property, the acquisition and disposition of Diocesan property as set forth in Canons 12 and 13, subject, however, to the provisions of the Constitution and Canons of the Diocese, and to the direction of the Convention. The Bishop shall be President and Executive Officer and shall preside over the meetings of the Diocesan Council.

SECTION 2A. At the time of the Primary Convention of the Diocese, all elected members of Bishop and Council of the Diocese of Louisiana representing convocations of this Diocese shall become members of the Diocesan Council, to serve until the adjournment of the first regular annual meeting of the Convention.

SECTION 2B. At the first regular annual meeting of each Convocation, the following members of the Diocesan Council shall be elected:

(a) A Priest from the Acadiana and Shreveport Convocations, a layman from the Alexandria Convocation, and a lay woman from the Lake Charles and Monroe Convocations for a one (1) year term.

(b) A priest from the Lake Charles and Monroe Convocations, a layman from the Acadiana and Shreveport Convocations, and a lay woman from the Alexandria Convocation for a two (2) year term.

(c) A Priest from the Alexandria Convocation, a layman from the Lake Charles Convocation and Monroe Convocation, and a lay woman from the Acadiana and Shreveport Convocations for a three (3) year term.

Prior to the 1981 meeting of the Convention and each annual meeting of the Convention thereafter, each Convocation shall elect one member from the same category to succeed the retiring member from that Convocation, for a three (3) year term.

SECTION 2C. After serving one (1) full term, no elected members of the Committee shall be eligible for election until the annual Convention next following the expiration of their term.

SECTION 3. The Diocesan Council shall fill any vacancy in such elective membership from the same category and same Convocation, each member so elected to serve until the expiration of the term for which his predecessor in office had been elected. The Bishop shall fill any vacancy occurring among Council members appointed to serve until the expiration of the term for which his predecessor in office had been appointed.

SECTION 4. The Council shall meet not less than twice each year and at such other times as necessity shall require. The President or Vice-President of the Council shall have authority to call Special Meetings thereof. Nine (9) members shall constitute a quorum.

SECTION 5. The Council shall provide for such departments of the Diocese as from time to time may be considered by them to be expedient. The Council shall determine the scope of the work of each department and provide the manner and means by which the same shall be conducted. The Bishop shall be ex-officio a member of each Department, and shall appoint the Chairman thereof who need not be a member of the Diocesan Council Each Department Chairman shall have the power to appoint, subject to confirmation by the Council, additional members of the Department. Each Department shall elect a Secretary, who shall keep a record of its proceedings and acts, and shall report in writing to each stated meeting of the Council the work done under its direction.

SECTION 6. The Council shall elect annually, not necessarily from its membership, a Secretary. It shall be the duty of the Secretary to give timely notice of all meetings of the Council, to provide for the recordation of its proceedings, to provide for the preservation of its journals and records, to attest with the seal of the Diocese, as the occasion may require, its public records and proceedings, and faithfully to deliver into the hands of his or her successor all books and papers in his or her possession or under his or her control, relative to the concerns of the Council.

SECTION 7. The Council shall submit to each Annual Meeting of the Convention a report of the work done under its supervision for the preceding year.

SECTION 8.(a) It shall be the duty of the Council to promote a sound Christian Stewardship within this Diocese, such that the primary Mission of the Church shall constantly be brought before the members of the Church herein residing.

(b) The Council is authorized to secure from each congregation an annual pledge of its financial commitment to the Diocese for the work of the Church.

(c) 19 20 Each Congregation will notify the Diocesan office of the amount of its pledge by November 30th of each year.

(d) The Council shall then prepare a proposed budget which shall be submitted to each congregation not less than two (2) weeks prior to the annual Convention.

(e) Each congregation shall pay its annual pledge in equal monthly installments to the Diocesan office.

(f) 21 The Council shall have power to expend all monies provided in the Budget.

SECTION 9. The Council shall have power to ask for such reports and statements from every Parish, Mission, School, Home and Institution, which is under control of the Diocese, as it may deem necessary, and such reports and statement shall be furnished when asked for by the Council.

SECTION 10. The Council shall make and preserve a full record of all its acts, and shall have the right to adopt bylaws, rules and regulations for its government and the government of its officers, agents and departments; and shall have power to fix the time and place of its stated meetings provided they are not in conflict with the Constitutions and Canons of this Diocese and of the laws of Louisiana.

SECTION 11. All Mission Clergy, Chaplains and Archdeacons, if there be such, shall be appointed by the Bishop, but their Diocesan stipends shall be fixed by the Council.

SECTION 12. No Mission Clergy, Institutional Chaplains or Archdeacons or any other person whose salary or stipend is fixed by the Council, or who is employed by the Council, shall incur any pecuniary obligation whatsoever in carrying on his or her work which shall be a charge against the Diocese or the Council or the property of any Mission, School, Home or Institution, save and except upon written authority of the Council.

SECTION 13. The Council shall meet and organize within ten (10) days after each annual meeting of the Convention, and immediately shall enter upon the duties imposed upon it by the Constitution, Canons or by the Convention.


Canon 10. THE COMMISSION ON MINISTRY

The Commission on Ministry of this Diocese shall consist of no fewer than three (3) nor more than five (5) lay persons together with no fewer than six (6) nor more than ten (10) clergypersons, all of whom shall be appointed by the Bishop. Each member shall serve a term of four (4) years, or until his successor is appointed, provided no member shall be eligible to succeed himself for a period of one (1) year after the termination of his term.

The Commission on Ministry shall function as provided in the Canons of the General Convention.

All proper expenses of the Commission shall be paid by the Treasurer of the Diocese.


Canon 11. THE COMMITTEE ON CANONS

SECTION 1. There shall be a Committee on Canons composed of clergy22 and lay persons which shall be a standing committee with the power to sit between sessions of the Convention. The Committee shall be appointed by the Bishop at Convention in such number as he or she from time to time may designate. Each appointed member shall serve for a three (3) year term. The Committee on Canons shall consider and report upon all proposed amendments and additions to the Constitution and Canons of this Diocese. As soon as possible after the adjournment of any session of the General Convention, the Committee on Canons shall ascertain what changes have been made in the Canons of the General Convention and shall report to the next succeeding Diocesan Convention whether any amendments to the Diocesan Constitution and Canons may be required to conform to the Canons of the General Convention, as altered.

SECTION 2. The Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor shall be ex-officio members of the Committee with voice and vote.

SECTION 3. All necessary expenses incurred by the Committee on Canons in the performance of its duties shall be paid by the Treasurer of the Diocese.


Canon 12. THE ACQUISITION AND DISPOSITION OF DIOCESAN PROPERTY

SECTION 1. (a) The Diocesan Council may authorize the acquisition in the name of the Diocese of any real property, movable property, including stocks, bonds, securities and other choses in action, but not limited thereto, by purchase, donation, exchange, lease or otherwise.

(b)23 The Diocesan Council, with the consent of the Ecclesiastical Authority, may authorize the sale, transfer, exchange, mortgage, lease, pledge or any other disposition of any real property, moveable property, including stocks, bonds, securities and other choses in action, but not limited thereto, where title is vested in the Diocese or intended to be so vested, provided said property is not in the custody and control of the Board of Trustees of the Diocese as established by these Canons.

(c) The resolutions authorizing actions under sub-sections (a) and (b) of SECTION 1 shall designate the person or party by name or office who shall represent the Diocese in said transactions.

SECTION 2. The Diocesan Council shall report annually to the Convention all actions taken under provisions of this Canon during the preceding year.


Canon 13 CARE OF VACANT PROPERTY IN THE DIOCESE OTHER THAN DIOCESAN PROPERTY

The Diocesan Council shall have the care of Church property not occupied or used by a Parish or Mission, and shall protect the same from loss or damage, for the benefit of the Church in this Diocese; and shall keep a record of such properties and of the Corporations and Institutions of the Church in this Diocese holding property, the title to which is not vested in the Diocese. The Annual report of the Diocesan Council shall contain a statement showing the property in its charge.


Canon 14. PENSION FUND

SECTION 1. It shall be the duty of the Standing Committee to do all things that may be required or that it may deem proper to conform to and carry out the Church Pension Fund System as established by the Church, and provided for by the General Canons.

SECTION 2. Any Congregation which has not paid the full amount of its annual premium due the Church Pension Fund for the preceding year shall be deprived of its right to representation in the Convention, which right shall not be restored until the said premiums have been paid in full.


Canon 15. DIOCESAN CATHEDRAL CHURCH

The Bishop shall have the authority to designate a Parish Church as the "Diocesan Cathedral Church", but only with the consent of the Parish so designated, and of the Convention.

The Cathedral shall be at the disposal of the Bishop for all Diocesan and missionary purposes of his or her appointment therein; and for such preaching, administering of the Sacraments, or other spiritual offices as the Bishop may desire to perform in the Cathedral. The Rector of the Diocesan Cathedral Church shall have the status and title of Dean, and the Vestry in electing a Dean or any assistant minister, shall not proceed to an election without first receiving the Bishop's approval of their proposed choice. The Bishop shall be responsible for the ceremonial of the Cathedral.


Canon 16. THE CONVOCATIONS

SECTION 1. For convenience in its missionary operations, this Diocese shall be divided in five (5) Convocations, as follows:

(a)24 The Civil Parishes of Caddo, Bossier, Webster, Claiborne, DeSoto, Red River, Bienville and Sabine; to be known as the CONVOCATION OF SHREVEPORT.

(b) The Civil Parishes of Union, Morehouse, West Carroll, East Carroll, Concordia, Lincoln, Ouachita, Richland, Madison, Jackson, Caldwell, Franklin, and Tensas; to be known as the CONVOCATION OF MONROE.

(c)25 The Civil Parishes of Vernon, Natchitoches, Winn, Grant, LaSalle, Catahoula, Allen, Rapides, and Avoyelles; to be known as the CONVOCATION OF ALEXANDRIA.

(d) 26 The Civil Parishes of Evangeline, Calcasieu, Cameron and Beauregard; to be known as the CONVOCATION OF LAKE CHARLES.

(e) 27The Civil Parishes of St. Landry, Lafayette, Vermilion, Iberia, Acadia, Jefferson Davis and that portion of St. Martin Civil Parish situated within the boundary limits of the Diocese; to be known as the CONVOCATION OF ACADIANA.

SECTION 2.(a) Every Convocation under the supervision of the Diocesan Council shall have as its purpose the consideration of and the promotion of the Mission and Extension of the Church in its Convocation.

(b) Each Convocation shall have a Dean, who shall be a Priest, actually and canonically resident in that Convocation, and who shall be appointed by the Bishop for a term of three (3) years.

(c) 28 The Deans of Convocations shall be responsible for calling and presiding over pre-Convention Convocation meetings, other Convocation meetings as deemed necessary, and the regularly scheduling of Clericus gatherings. Additionally, the Deans of Convocations shall assist the Bishop with pastoral care to the clergy and their families.

(d) 29 At every meeting of a Convocation, each congregation therein, whether parish, mission, or college center having its own communicant register, shall be entitled to six voting delegates to be chosen in such manner as their congregation may desire. A college center not having a communicant register, but being attached to a local congregation, shall be entitled to 2 representatives. Each Clergyperson, canonically and actually resident in the Convocation, shall be entitled to vote.


Canon 17. MISSIONS

SECTION 1. The primary organization of a congregation shall be called a Mission. It shall be lawful for any number of persons, no fewer than twenty-five (25) communicants of this Church in good standing, resident in this Diocese, to be organized as a Mission in the following manner.

The following application of the minimum number of persons aforesaid shall be made to the Bishop, duly signed in duplicate, in ink by all of them, namely:

APPLICATION TO THE BISHOP TO ORGANIZE A MISSION

Right Reverend Father in God:

We, the undersigned residents of ________________, The Diocese, being desirous of obtaining the services of the Church, and ready, according to our ability, to sustain the same, do hereby request that you provide for us as you deem proper. We hereby declare ourselves, individually and collectively, ready to do whatever may be necessary to establish and sustain the regular worship of the Church. We hereby promise conformity to the Doctrine, Discipline and Worship of the Episcopal Church; and, further, we promise to obey the Constitution and Canons, both of the General Convention and of the Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Western Louisiana.

We, therefore, ask to be organized as a Mission under the name of _________________ Mission. We agree to raise annually among us the sum of _______ Dollars toward the support of our stated Minister, together with the Church Pension Fund premiums thereon; and at least $250.00 annually for the support of the Diocese.

We remain obediently yours,

Dated at ________________________, Louisiana,

this _______ day of , 20____ .

(Signed) __________________________________

Approved:___________________________ 20_____

__________________________________________
Bishop of the Diocese

 

If the Bishop approves the organization of the Mission, he or she shall proceed to appoint the Minister. He or she shall also appoint the following officers of the Mission for the first year, viz: a Warden, a Treasurer and a Secretary. Thereafter, these officers shall be elected annually by the Communicants of the Mission, on the second Tuesday after the first Monday in January, or as soon thereafter as may be; provided, however, that if a Mission Council, with the consent of the Bishop, has been elected, the Communicants by majority vote may authorize the said Council to select said officers from among their number.

The Communicants signing the Application to the Bishop, upon approval thereof by the Bishop, shall become Communicants of the said Mission, and shall be enrolled as such, and the Minister of the Mission shall thereupon notify their former Minister of the fact of their enrollment.

The Mission, thus organized, with the permission of the Convention, shall be in union with the Convention and entitled to representation therein as a Mission of this Diocese as provided in these Canons.

SECTION 2.(a) It shall be the duty of the Warden, under the direction of the Minister, to provide for the well-ordered worship of Almighty God, and to endeavor to develop the spiritual life of the Mission. He or she shall see that the Church is kept in condition for its proper uses, and that all buildings and grounds of the Mission receive proper care.

(b) It shall be the duty of the treasurer to receive all monies contributed by the Mission, for or to the Mission, and to disburse the same in accordance with the order of the Warden and Secretary, both approving all bills paid by the Treasurer. The Treasurer shall keep proper books of account and shall make an annual report to the Mission Congregation at the time of the annual meeting thereof.

(c) It shall be the duty of the Secretary to keep a record of all meetings of the Mission congregation. The Secretary shall have the custody of the Mission Register of Communicants, Baptisms, Confirmations, Marriages and Burials, in case the Minister be non-resident; but shall not make entries therein unless the Minister so requests. The Secretary shall attend to the necessary correspondence required by or for the Mission.

The Minister shall appoint the sexton, the organist, the choir, the Church School Superintendent, and any other helpers he may deem necessary; but, in case there be no Minister in charge, such appointments shall be made by the three officers above named until a Minister takes charge.

SECTION 3. In any Mission, with the consent of the Bishop, there may be formed a Mission Council, consisting of the Minister in charge who shall preside, the Warden, the Treasurer, the Secretary, and not more than nine additional members, who shall be communicants in good standing of the Mission who shall have attained the age of eighteen years. The numbers of the Mission Council shall be chosen in the same manner as provided herein before for the Warden, Treasurer and Secretary. The Mission Council shall have the powers to perform the duties assigned by Canon to Parish Vestries, except the election and calling of the Minister, and except as may be otherwise provided by Canon. A majority of the members of the Mission Council shall constitute a quorum. The Mission Council may adopt rules of procedure for its meetings. With the consent of the Bishop a Mission Council may fill any vacancy in its membership.

SECTION 4. There shall be an annual meeting of the Mission Congregation on the second Tuesday after the first Monday in January, or as soon thereafter as may be, for the election of the officers of the Mission, and, wherever the Bishop has given his permission, for the election of the Mission Council. At this meeting, the Minister shall preside, or, in his absence, the Warden or Treasurer, in the order named. In the absence of these officers, the meeting shall elect its Chairperson. At this meeting there shall be presented the report of the Treasurer, and the report of the Minister, which reports shall reflect an accurate statement of the condition of the Mission for the year being reported upon.

Qualified voters at such election shall be all communicants in good standing of such Mission who shall have attained the age of 16 years and who shall have been contributors of record toward the support of said Mission during the period of one year next preceding such election, of which the Treasurer's books shall be the only competent evidence.

Voting by proxy shall not be allowed at any meeting of the Mission or of the Mission Council. The Mission may adopt rules for the conduct of its meeting.

SECTION 5. Not later than February 1st, in each year, the Minister, or if there be none, the Secretary of the Mission, shall make the Canonical Report to the Ecclesiastical Authority as required in these Canons.

SECTION 6. It shall not be lawful for any Mission of this Diocese to organize itself as a Civil Corporation.

SECTION 7. It shall not be lawful for any Mission of this Diocese to take title to any real estate.

Title to real estate held for the account of any Mission shall be taken in the name of the Diocese.

SECTION 8. It shall be the object of every Mission in this Diocese to gain complete self-support as speedily as may be.

SECTION 9. Any place where there is a group of members of this Church, not yet constituted into a Mission, and where services are held not less than four times each year, shall be known as a Mission Station and so reported in the Journal of the Convention. Mission Stations shall not be entitled to representation in the Convention.


Canon 18. PARISHES

SECTION 1. Every parish in union with the Convention of the Diocese shall be self-supporting, which term shall include the support of a Rector by the regular payment to him or her of stipend, unless he or she be canonically non stipendiary, as may be agreed upon between the Rector and the Vestry, together with the Church Pension Fund premiums thereon.

SECTION 2. Any number of adult persons, no fewer than seventy-five (75) communicants in good standing of this Church in the Diocese, may form a Parish.

SECTION 3. The persons desiring to form a new Parish shall present a petition to that effect to the Bishop to which shall be attached a form of Articles of Incorporation, or Charter, together with appropriate representations satisfactory to the Bishop of their ability to function as a self-supporting Parish. When said application for a Charter shall have received the approval of the Bishop and Chancellor, it shall be proper for said applicants so to incorporate, and to make application to the Convention for admission into union with the Convention. Pending admission into union, no such proposed Parish shall take title to any real estate directly or indirectly, except in the name of the Diocese.

SECTION 4. Every Parish shall be incorporated under the Civil Law of Louisiana and every such act of incorporation or charter shall contain: (a) the name of the corporation; (b) the domicile of the corporation; (c) the objects of the Corporation; (d) the duration of the charter of the Corporation, which shall be for a period not less than ninety-nine (99) years; (e) the person to whom process shall be served; (f) the number of its vestrypersons and wardens; (g) a stipulation that in the event of dissolution of the Corporation or the lapse of its charter, all of its property shall pass to the Diocese; (h) an obligation of conformity to the Constitution and Canons of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America and of the Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Western Louisiana.

SECTION 5. The Bishop of the Diocese, the Chancellor of the Diocese and the President of the Standing Committee of the Diocese shall be ex-officio members of all parish corporations with all corporate membership rights.


Canon 19. PARISH VESTRIES AND PARISH OFFICERS

SECTION 1. (a) Every Parish, on the second Tuesday after the first Monday in January of each year, or as soon thereafter as may be convenient or as existing Parish charter provisions may require, shall hold a Meeting of the Congregation, at which meeting the Congregation shall elect30 Vestrypersons. The Wardens are to be selected in accordance with existing Parish charter provisions.

(b) Notice of the time and place of this meeting shall be given at a public service of the Congregation at least two (2) weeks prior to the date of such meeting, and in addition thereto, a written notice of the time and place of such meeting shall be given to each member of the corporation entitled to vote at such meeting, addressed to each member at his or her last known address, as shown by the Books of the Corporation, and placed in the United States Mail, postage prepaid, not less than fifteen (15) days prior to the date of such meeting.

SECTION 2.31 Qualified voters at such election shall be all communicants in good standing of such parish, who shall have attained the age of 16 years and who shall have been contributors of record toward the support of said Parish during the period of one year next preceding such election, of which the Treasurer's books shall be the only competent evidence.

SECTION 3.32 The Vestry of every Parish shall consist of the Rector, when there is one, two Wardens, and Vestrypersons. The number of Vestrypersons, which shall not be less than five (5) no more than twenty-five (25), shall be fixed by each Parish in its charter. Vestrypersons and Wardens shall be communicants in good standing of the Parish who shall have attained the age of 16 years and have been members of the Parish for at least six (6) months, and who are entitled to suffrage at its annual meeting at which they are elected.

Vestrypersons and Wardens shall be elected for such terms and on such conditions (consistent herewith) as may be provided in the Charter of the respective Parishes, and shall hold office until their successors are elected and shall have qualified. Vestries shall have power to fill all vacancies in their membership.

A quorum of the Vestry shall consist of not less than one-third (1/3rd) of all its members, provided that the Vestry shall not have power to elect a Rector or to mortgage or sell real property of the corporation unless there be present and voting in favor thereof a majority of all such Vestry.

SECTION 4. The Rector or Senior Warden, or, in the absence of both, the Junior Warden, may call a meeting of the Vestry; a meeting shall be called on the request of three members of the Vestry. The Rector, or in his absence the Senior Warden or Junior Warden, shall give timely notice of the annual Parish meeting at which Vestrypersons are elected as provided in these Canons; and Special Parish Meetings may be called by the Rector or Wardens at any time, and shall be called upon the written request of not less than twenty-five (25) communicants in good standing of the Parish.

SECTION 5. The Vestry shall administer the temporal affairs of the Parish; shall elect and call the Rector; and the Wardens shall provide for the regular and well-ordered worship of Almighty God, and shall cooperate with the Rector in all efforts to develop and set forward the spiritual life of the Parish.

The Vestry shall keep the Church, at all times, in proper condition for its uses, and shall give proper care to all buildings and grounds belonging to the Parish.

SECTION 6. Voting by proxy shall not be allowed at any Parish Meeting or at any meeting of the Vestry.

SECTION 7. The Rector of a Parish shall have the charge of all things affecting the spiritual interest of the Parish, subject only to the Bishop. It shall be his or her duty to regulate the worship of the Church, together with all that appertains thereunto. He or she may designate, from time to time, subject to the approval of the Bishop when necessary, fit persons to assist him or her in all duties which may be performed lawfully by Lay Persons. He or she shall be entitled, at all times, to access to the Church and other parish buildings, to open the same for public worship, for religious instruction, for the administration of the Sacraments and for the conduct of all Offices authorized by this Church. He or she shall have the spiritual direction and control of all Church Schools, Guilds, Auxiliaries, Societies and other associations connected with the parish. The Rector, when present, shall preside at all Parish and Vestry meetings.


Canon 20. VACANT PARISHES

SECTION 1. Whenever a Parish shall become vacant, it shall be the duty of the Wardens to give immediate notice thereto to the Bishop in accordance with the provisions of the Canons of the General Convention; and the Bishop shall afford the Vestry such assistance as may be in his or her power in filling the vacancy.

SECTION 2. In case the Vestry of a vacant Parish fails to make arrangements for maintaining the services of the Church during the vacancy, the Bishop may send such Clergy as may be at his disposal for that purpose; and, in all such cases, the Clergy so sent shall have access to the Church.

SECTION 3. No clergyperson shall enter upon any ecclesiastical position within the Diocese until he shall have obtained the written permission of the "Ecclesiastical Authority" as defined in the Constitution.


Canon 21. UNION WITH THE CONVENTION

SECTION 1. All Congregations in the territorial jurisdiction of this Diocese which were in union with the Convention of the parent Diocese as of the date of the formation of this Diocese, shall be in union with the Convention of the Diocese. Every Parish and every Mission, in order to be entitled to representation in the Convention, must be in union therewith, by which is meant that the Convention recognizes them as such Parish or Mission.

SECTION 2. Whenever a Parish has not, for the space of two (2) years, complied with the conditions of self-support required for its organization as a Parish as provided by these Canons, this fact shall be reported to the Bishop, Standing Committee and the Convention, and such Parish shall thereupon become a Mission in union with the Convention, unless the Bishop and a majority of the Standing Committee, after a meeting with the representative of the Parish, shall determine otherwise. The actions of the Bishop and Standing Committee shall be reported to the next Annual Convention. This status shall be reviewed every two (2) years in the same manner until the Parish has complied with the conditions of self-support required for the organization as a Parish as provided by these Canons.

SECTION 3. Whenever a Mission has not, for the space of two (2) years, complied with the conditions specified in the application to organize as a Mission as provided by these Canons, this fact shall be reported to the Bishop, Standing Committee, and the Convention, and such Mission shall thereupon become a Mission Station, unless the Bishop and a majority of the Standing Committee, after a meeting with the representative of the Mission, shall determine otherwise. The action of the Bishop and Standing Committee shall be reported to the next Annual Convention. This status shall be reviewed every two (2) years in the same manner until the Mission has complied with the conditions required for the organization as a Mission as provided by these Canons.

SECTION 4. (a) Whenever a Mission Station has not, for the space of two (2) years complied with the conditions required for its organization as a Mission Station as provided by these Canons, this fact shall be reported to the Bishop, Standing Committee and the Convention, and such Mission Station shall become extinct, unless the Bishop and a majority of the Standing Committee, after a meeting with the representative of the Mission Station, shall determine otherwise. The actions of the Bishop and Standing Committee shall be reported to the next Annual Convention. This status shall be reviewed every two (2) years in the same manner until the Mission Station has complied with the conditions required for the organization as a Mission Station as provided by these Canons.

(b) The properties of an extinct Mission Station, if any, shall become the property of the Diocese.

SECTION 5. Any Parish theretofore admitted into union with the Convention which shall have been changed to the status of a Mission as provided in these Canons, and which shall have regained its ability to function as a Parish, with prospect satisfactory to the Convention of continuance thereof, and any Parish or Mission which has been suspended from union with the Convention, or any Mission which has been changed to the status of a Mission Station, may be restored to its former status by a majority vote of the Convention, if such restoration be approved by the Bishop.


Canon 22. PAROCHIAL REGISTERS AND REPORTS

SECTION 1. In every Parish, the Wardens shall provide a Parish Register, securely bound, in which the Rector or Minister in charge (or, if the Parish be vacant, one of the Wardens) shall record the followingdata: (a) The names of all Communicants in the Parish; (b) The names of all persons Baptized, showingthedate and place of birth, the date and place of baptism, the names of the parents, the names of the sponsorsor witnesses; and the Minister baptizing shall sign the record; (c) The names of all persons Confirmed, showing the date and place of birth, the date and place of Baptism, the date and place of confirmation; and the Minister presenting and the Bishop confirming shall sign the record; (d) The names of all persons Married, showing the date and place of the marriage, the names of both parities to the marriage and of their parents, their ages, their marital status, their residence, their Church status; and the parties, the witnesses and the Minister officiating shall sign the record; (e) The names of all persons Buried, showing the date and place of death, the date and place of burial, the age of the deceased, the cause of death, the last residence of the deceased; and the Minister officiating shall sign the record. (f) The names of all persons who have received Holy Baptism and Confirmation.

SECTION 2. In every Mission, the Warden shall provide a like Register, and like entries shall be made, and signed by the Minister officiating.

SECTION 3. Every person charged with the responsibility of making entries in the Parish Register, shall do so immediately following the performance of the official act to be recorded and with all possible accuracy.

SECTION 4. In every Parish and Mission, the Parish Register shall be kept in a fireproof safe while not in use.

SECTION 5. Parish registers shall be open to the inspection of the Bishop, and he or she may call for any information which they contain at any time. And it shall be the duty of the Bishop to see the Parish Registers, throughout the Diocese, are regularly, carefully and accurately kept and preserved.

SECTION 6. On or before the 1st day of February of each year, the Minister of every Parish and Mission (or, in the case the same is vacant, one of the Wardens) shall make an accurate report to the Ecclesiastical Authority. 33Before filing thereof, this report shall be approved by the Vestry or bishop's committee or mission council. This report shall include the following information: (1) the number of baptisms, confirmations, marriages and burials during the year; the total number of baptized persons and the total number of confirmed persons at the time of the report; the total number of active Communicants at the time of the report, by which is meant those confirmed persons listed on the Register of the reporting Parish or Mission who shall have within the pervious three years made their Communion within the reporting Parish or Mission; (2) a summary of all receipts and expenditures from whatever source derived and for whatever purpose used; and (3) a statement of the property held, whether real or personal, with an appraisal of its value, together with a statement of indebtedness, and the amount of insurance carried. And every Minister not in charge of any Parish, Mission or Congregation shall also report his or her occasional services and if there have been none, the causes or reasons which have prevented the same. This report shall be made complete in every detail and shall be signed by the officers making the same. It shall be made to include all items from January 1 through December 31 of the year preceding; and such parts thereof as the Ecclesiastical Authority may direct shall be published in the Journal of the Convention.


Canon 23. BUSINESS METHODS IN CHURCH AFFAIRS

SECTION 1. In every Parish, Mission, School, Home, Corporation and Institution connected with the Episcopal Church in the Episcopal Diocese of Western Louisiana, the following standard business methods shall be observed:

(a) Trust, endowment and permanent funds all securities of whatsoever kind belonging or appertaining to every Mission, School, Home, Corporation and Institution, other than a Parish, connected with the Diocese shall be held, controlled, invested and reinvested for its benefit by the Board of Trustees of the Diocese as instituted by these Canons.

(b) Treasurers and custodians, other than banking institutions, shall be adequately bonded, except treasurers of funds that do not exceed five hundred ($500.00) dollars at any one time during the fiscal year.

(c) Books of account shall be so kept as to provide the basis for satisfactory accounting.

(d) All accounts shall be audited annually by a Certified Public Accountant, or by an Auditing Committee appointed by the Vestry or Mission Council.

(e) Annual reports of all accounts shall be made to the Convention and may be by it referred to the Department of Finance.

(f) All buildings and their contents shall be kept insured adequately.

SECTION 2.34 No Vestry, Trustee, or other body, authorized by Civil or Canon Law to hold, manage or administer real property for any Parish, Mission, Congregation, or Institution, except the Diocese, shall encumber or alienate the same or any part thereof without the written consent of the Ecclesiastical Authority and the Standing Committee of the Diocese.

SECTION 3. It shall be the duty of the Treasurer of this Diocese to see that the foregoing standard business methods are observed.


Canon 24. THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE DIOCESE

SECTION 1.35 There shall be a Board of Trustees of the Diocese which shall be composed of the Bishop of the Diocese and the Treasurer of the Diocese and seven (7) other members who shall be Communicants in good standing residing in this Diocese, and who shall be nominated by the Bishop and the Standing Committee, subject to confirmation by the Convention as follows:

(a) Immediately upon the adoption of this Canon, said four members shall be nominated and confirmed; one for a term of four years, one for a term of three years; one for a term of two years; and one for a term of one year.

(b) Annually thereafter, one member of said Board shall be nominated and confirmed for a term of four years.

SECTION 2.(a) The said Board of Trustees shall have the custody and control of, and be charged with the securities, all endowment funds and securities, and all permanent funds and securities, of whatsoever kind, belonging or appertaining to the Diocese and to each and every Mission, School, Home, Corporation and Institution, other than a Parish, connected with the Diocese.

(b) When any funds or securities shall be placed under the custody and control of the Board of Trustees of the Diocese, on the written approval of the Bishop and the Standing Committee of the Diocese, no owner or beneficiary of such funds or securities shall have any right or power to question such custody by the Board of Trustees.

(c) Any funds, securities or other property or part thereof under the custody and control of the Board of Trustees of the Diocese may be withdrawn from such custody or control on the written request of the owner and/or beneficiary of such property, upon proper resolution of its governing authority, (in the case of the Diocese, its Convention or its Diocesan Council) and provided the Bishop and the Standing Committee of the Diocese also consent thereto in writing. The release of any such property by the Board of Trustees of the Diocese shall never be construed to permit the use of such property by such owner and/or beneficiary otherwise than in strict accordance with any trust, devise, deed, donation or agreement affecting such property.

SECTION 3. The custody, control and investment and reinvestment of funds and securities provided for herein shall always be for the sole and exclusive use and benefit of the Diocese, or of the Mission, School, Home, Corporation or Institution to which respectively such funds and securities appertain or belong: all in strict accordance with the conditions and stipulations under which the Diocese, and any Mission, School, Home, Corporation or Institution respectively acquired and holds such funds and securities.

SECTION 4. The said board of Trustees shall deposit all of such funds and securities coming under its control with a federally insured bank or a federally insured savings and loan association domiciled in Louisiana, under appropriate agency agreements, provided that no such agreement shall authorize or permit such depository to invest or reinvest funds or securities except by specific direction of said Board of Trustees.

SECTION 5. All accounts under control of the Board of Trustees shall keep their respective integrity; however, for greater benefits of investment management they may be combined or pooled. All revenues accruing from each and every fund, less necessary and proper expenses, shall be promptly and regularly remitted and paid over to the beneficiary of said fund.

SECTION 6. Any withdrawal payment shall be computed on the basis of the valuation set forth in the last preceding report of the Board's investment advisors. Any participating interest administered by the Trustees shall be computed by using the valuation as set forth in the last preceding report of the Board's investment advisors.

SECTION 7. So long as such is deemed to be in the best interest of the Diocese, as determined by the Bishop and Diocesan Council, the Board of Trustees may pool its investments and fund management activities with those of the Board of Trustees of the Diocese of the Episcopal Church of Louisiana and operate the same as a single pool.

SECTION 8. The said Board of Trustees shall submit an annual report to the Convention, showing the status of all property entrusted to it, and a financial statement of receipts and disbursement of all funds.

SECTION 9. All proper expenses of the Board of Trustees shall be paid by the Treasurer of the Diocese. The Board shall be specifically authorized to retain the services of such professional advisors as may be deemed necessary to carry out its function of fund management and investment.


Canon 25. COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY CENTERS AND CHAPLAINS

SECTION 1. The Diocese may establish a University Chapel at any institution of higher learning in The Diocese, and The Bishop shall appoint Chaplains and may appoint lay workers thereto. The establishment of a University Chapel shall be made by vote of The Convention acting upon the recommendation of The Bishop and the Diocesan Council.

SECTION 2. For the benefit of University Chapels and the care of the properties erected and used for their activities, or for consultation with an appointed Chaplain, there shall be an Advisory Committee composed of no more than ten members chosen in a manner agreeable to The Bishop and the Chaplain. Representation on the Committee shall include full-time students of the University or College and members of the faculty and staff of the institution, non-student Communicants of the Chapel and may include representatives from the local congregations.

SECTION 3. Each Advisory Committee shall elect from its membership one or two Wardens, who shall be confirmed Communicants in good standing and shall be eighteen years of age or older, and such other officers as it deems necessary. The duties of the officers of the Advisory Committee shall be those assigned to officers of Mission Councils by these Canons.

SECTION 4. It shall be the duty of such Advisory Committees to work with the Chaplain in planning and effecting the mission and ministry of the Church within the College or University to care for the properties of the Church, if there are any, and to inform the Diocesan Council of needed major repairs and improvement; to ascertain that the work of the Church within the College or University and the use of properties conform to such regulation as the local institution may require. The Chaplain, or in his absence a Warden, shall preside at meetings of the Advisory Committee.

SECTION 5. Salaries of Chaplains, together with the premiums due thereon to the Church Pension Fund, and other expenses shall be provided by the Diocesan Budget as well as funds rained by the Chapel membership. Each Advisory Committee shall submit a proposed annual budget to the Diocesan Council, indicating its request for Diocesan funds necessary to carry out a proper and effective ministry at the College or University.

SECTION 6. Each Chaplain shall record in a standard register all official acts performed at the Chapel, as provided in these Canons. Communicants enrolled upon Chapel Registers should be those persons and their families actually connected with the institution of higher learning as students, faculty, or staff members. Communicants may be transferred to or received from another congregation the manner prescribed by Canon for Communicants moving from one congregation to another. Each Chaplain shall see to transfer any Communicant permanently departing from the College or University community.

SECTION 7. Chaplains and Advisory Committees shall make Annual Reports to The Convention.


Canon 26.36 INVESTIGATION OF A MEMBER OF THE CLERGY NOT A BISHOP

SECTION 1. Title IV of General Canons. Those provisions of Tile IV of the General Canons which are applicable to the Diocese are hereby incorporated as part of this Title. To the extent, if any, that any of the provisions of this Title are in conflict or inconsistent with the provisions of Title IV, the provisions of Title IV shall govern.

SECTION 2. Intake and Referral of Information Regarding Offenses.

SECTION 2.01. Canon 6. Canon 6 of Title IV of the General Canons is incorporated herein in extenso.

CANON 6. Of Intake and Referral of Information Concerning Offenses.

Section 1. Each Diocese shall provide for and publicize methods and means of reporting information concerning Offenses.

Section 2. Information concerning Offenses may be submitted to the Intake Officer in any manner and in any form.

Section 3. Any person other than the Intake Officer who receives information regarding an Offense shall promptly forward the information to the Intake Officer. A Bishop Diocesan may forward information to the Intake Officer whenever the Bishop Diocesan believes that the information may indicate conduct constituting one or more Offenses.

Section 4. Upon receipt of such information, the Intake Officer may make such preliminary investigation as he or she deems necessary, and shall incorporate the information into a written intake report, including as much specificity as possible. The Intake Officer shall provide copies of the intake report to the other members of the Reference Panel and to the Church Attorney.


Section 5. If the Intake Officer determines that the information, if true, would not constitute an Offense, the Intake Officer shall inform the Bishop Diocesan of an intention to dismiss the matter. If the Bishop Diocesan does not object, the Intake Officer shall dismiss the matter. The Intake Officer shall provide written notice to the Complainant and the Bishop Diocesan of the decision of dismissal, the reasons therefor, and the Complainant's right to appeal the decision within thirty days of the date of the notice and shall send a copy of that notice and the written intake report to the president of the Disciplinary Board. If the Complainant wishes to appeal the dismissal, the Intake Officer shall assist the Complainant in preparing and signing a written statement of the acts complained of, which statement shall be sent to the president of the Disciplinary Board along with a statement that the Complainant appeals the dismissal. The intake report and any related information, in the case of a dismissal, may be retained by the Intake Officer and considered in connection with any additional information that may come to the Intake Officer thereafter concerning the subject Member of the Clergy.

Section 6. In the event of an appeal of a dismissal, the president of the Disciplinary Board shall, within thirty days of the receipt of the appeal, review the intake report and either affirm or overrule the dismissal. The president shall promptly notify the Complainant, the Intake Officer, and the Bishop Diocesan of the decision. If the decision is to overrule the dismissal, the president shall refer the intake report to the Reference Panel.

Section 7. If the Intake Officer determines that the information, if true, would constitute an Offense, the Intake Officer shall promptly forward the intake report to the Reference Panel. The president shall promptly select from the Disciplinary Board, by lot or by other random means, a Conference Panel and a Hearing Panel, and shall designate a president of each Panel. A Conference Panel may consist of one or more persons. A Hearing Panel shall consist of not less than three persons and shall include both clergy and lay members. The president shall be ineligible to serve on either Panel.

Section 8. The Reference Panel shall meet as soon as possible after receiving the intake report to determine how to refer the report. Referral options are

(a) no action required other than appropriate pastoral response pursuant to Canon IV.8;

(b) conciliation pursuant to Canon IV.10;

(c) investigation pursuant to Canon IV.11 or


(d) referral for possible agreement with the Bishop Diocesan regarding terms of discipline pursuant to Canon IV.9.

Referral decisions shall require the approval of a majority of the Reference Panel.

Section 9. If the determination of the Reference Panel is to take no action other than an appropriate pastoral response, the Panel shall notify the Complainant and the subject Member of the Clergy of the determination and the basis for the determination to take no action other than an appropriate pastoral response. If the referral is to conciliation, the provisions of Canon IV.10 shall apply. If the referral is to investigation, the provisions of Canon IV.11 shall apply.

Section 10. All communications and deliberations during the intake and referral stages shall be confidential except as the Bishop Diocesan deems to be pastorally appropriate or as required by law.


Canon 27.37 ECCLESIASTICAL DISCIPLINE OF A MEMBER OF THE CLERGY

SECTION 1. Title IV of General Canons. Those provisions of Title IV of the General Canons which are applicable to the Diocese are hereby incorporated as part of this Title. To the extent, if any, that any of the provisions of Title IV, the provisions of Title IV shall govern.

SECTION 2. Discipline Structure.

SECTION 2.01 Disciplinary Board. The Board shall consist of not less than seven persons, three of whom are members of the Clergy and three of whom are Laity and one of whom who may be either.

SECTION 2.02 Clergy Members. The Clergy members of the Board must be canonically and geographically resident within the Diocese.

SECTION 2.03 Lay Members. The lay members of the Board shall be Adult Communicants in Good Standing, and geographically resident in the Diocese.

SECTION 2.04 Election. The members of the Board shall be elected by the Convention. Each member shall be elected for a three (3)-year term, except, if a member is elected to fill a vacancy, the term of such member shall be the unexpired term of the member being replaced. The term of the member shall commence on the first (1st) day of the year following election. The terms of office of the Board shall be staggered and arranged into three classes. The Bishop shall appoint the initial board after this canon takes effect, and shall appoint the members for 1, 2, and 3 year terms, with the elections under this section to take place at the next Diocesan Convention.

SECTION 2.05 Vacancies. Vacancies on the Board shall be filled as follows:

(a) Upon the determination that a vacancy exists, the President of the Board shall notify the Bishop of the vacancy and request appointment of a
replacement member of the same order as the member to be replaced.

(b) The Bishop shall appoint a replacement Board member [may add "in consultation with the Standing Committee/Diocesan Council"; or "with the advice and consent of the Standing Committee/Diocesan Council"].

(c) Persons appointed to fill vacancies on the Board shall meet the same eligibility requirements as apply to elected Board members.

(d) With respect to a vacancy created for any reason other than pursuant to a challenge as provided below, the term of any person selected as a replacement Board member shall be until the next annual Convention. With respect to a vacancy resulting from a challenge, the replacement Board
member shall serve only for the proceedings for which the elected Board member is not serving as a result of the challenge.

SECTION 2.06 Preserving Impartiality. In any proceeding under this Title, if any member of a Conference Panel or Hearing Panel of the Board shall become aware of a personal conflict of interest or undue bias, that member shall immediately notify the President of the Board and request a replacement member of the Panel. Respondent's Counsel and the Church Attorney shall have the right to challenge any member of a Panel for conflict of interest or undue bias by motion to the Panel for disqualification of the challenged member. The members of the Panel not the subjects of the challenge shall promptly consider the motion and determine whether the challenged Panel member shall be disqualified from participating in that proceeding.

SECTION 2.07 President. Within sixty (60) days following the annual Convention, the Board shall convene to elect a President to serve for the following calendar year.

SECTION 2.08 Intake Officer. The Intake Officer shall be appointed from time to time by the Bishop after consultation with the Board. The Bishop may appoint one or more Intake Officers according to the needs of the Diocese. The Bishop shall publish the name(s) and contact information of the Intake Officer(s) throughout the Diocese.

SECTION 2.09 Investigator. The Bishop shall appoint an Investigator in consultation with the President of the Board. The Investigator may, but need not, be a Member of the Church.

SECTION 2.10 Church Attorney. Within sixty (60) days following each annual Convention, the Standing Committee [or Bishop in consultation with the Standing Committee or Disciplinary Board] shall appoint an attorney to serve as Church Attorney to serve for the following calendar year. The person so selected must be a Member of the Church and a duly licensed attorney, but need not reside within the Diocese.

SECTION 2.11 Pastoral Response Coordinator. The Bishop may appoint a Pastoral Response Coordinator, to serve at the will of the Bishop in coordinating the delivery of appropriate pastoral responses provided for in Title IV.8 of the General Canons and this Title. The Pastoral Response Coordinator may be the Intake Officer, but shall not be a person serving in any other appointed or elected capacity under this Title.

SECTION 2.12 Advisors. In each proceeding under this Title, the Bishop shall appoint an Advisor for the Complainant and an Advisor for the Respondent. Persons serving as Advisors shall hold no other appointed or elected position provided for under this Title, and shall not include chancellors or vice chancellors of this Diocese or any person likely to be called as a witness in the proceeding.

SECTION 2.13 Clerk. The Board shall appoint a Board Clerk to assist the Board with records management and administrative support. The Clerk may be a member of the Board.

SECTION 3 Costs and Expenses.

SECTION 3.01 Costs Incurred by the Church. The reasonable costs and expenses of the Board, the Intake Officer, the Investigator, the Church Attorney, the Board Clerk and the Pastoral Response Coordinator shall be the obligation of the [respective] Diocese [or joint budget for discipline of the participating dioceses], subject to budgetary constraints as may be established by [named budget authorities].

SECTION 3.02 Costs Incurred by the Respondent. In the event of a final Order dismissing the complaint, or by provisions of a Covenant approved by the Bishop, the reasonable defense fees and costs incurred by the Respondent may be paid or reimbursed by the [respective] Diocese, subject to budgetary constraints as may be established by [named budget authority].

SECTION 4 Records.

SECTION 4.01 Records of Proceedings. Records of active proceedings before the Board, including the period of any pending appeal, shall be preserved and maintained in the custody of the Clerk, if there be one, otherwise by the Diocesan offices [of the originating Diocese].

SECTION 4.02 Permanent Records. The Bishop shall make provisions for the permanent storage of records of all proceedings under this Title at the [respective] Diocese and the Archives of The Episcopal Church, as prescribed in Title IV of the General Canons.


Canon 28. CAMP HARDTNER

Camp Hardtner, the camp, conference and retreat center of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Louisiana, shall be under the management and direction of the Diocesan Council.

Canon 29. DIOCESAN SCHOOLS

SECTION 1. Diocesan Schools may be established in any community in this Diocese by vote of the Convention, acting upon the recommendation of the Diocesan Council. The title to all real property of such schools shall be vested in the Diocese.

SECTION 2.38 The Board of Trustees of each such Diocesan School shall be made up of persons residing in the community where the school is located, at least two-thirds of whom shall be members in good standing of the Church in this Diocese who shall be elected by the Convention on the nomination of the Bishop. Provided, however, that the Board of Trustees (Directors) of the Episcopal School of Acadiana shall be made up of persons residing in the community where the school is located, at least a majority (in lieu of two-thirds) of whom shall be members in good standing of the Church in this Diocese who shall be elected by the Diocesan Council on the nomination of the Bishop.

SECTION 3. The Board of such Diocesan Schools shall make annual reports to the Diocesan Council.

SECTION 4. Schools owned and operated by individual parishes shall not come under the terms of this Canon.

SECTION 5. Each member school shall set forth its aims and purposes in the clearly defined educational policy statement.


Canon 30.39 UNIVERSITY OF THE SOUTH AND SEMINARY OF THE SOUTHWEST

SECTION 1. The University of the South and Seminary of the Southwest are declared to be institutions of higher learning of this Diocese.

SECTION 2. There shall be elected by the Diocesan Convention one presbyter and two lay communicants to serve for a term of three (3) years as Trustees of the University of the South, which terms shall be staggered Trustees shall demonstrate his or her personal commitment to the University by, among other things, attending the Board of Trustee=s annual May meeting, such other special meetings as may be called, and one orientation session for new Trustees, which sessions are held immediately prior to each annual meeting. Trustees shall also familiarize themselves with the Trustee Handbook and the University=s governing documents, including its Charter, as amended, Constitution and Ordinances.

Trustees shall serve as direct communicators between the University and the Diocese from which the Trustee as elected, and shall timely inform that Diocese of the actions of the Boards of Trustees and Regents and the University administration.

Trustees shall provide a meaningful level of annual financial support to the University as a symbol of their commitment to its mission and financial well-being.

In the event a Trustee becomes unwilling or unable to serve, the Bishop of this Diocese shall nominate a qualified communicant to complete the remainder of the term.

SECTION 3. In conformity with the ETSS by-laws, as amended, the following persons shall be elected to the Board of Trustees of the Seminary in the following manner: five Bishops and six other members of the clerical order, one from each Diocese in Province VII exclusive of the Diocese of Texas, shall be nominated by the ETSS Committee on Trustees in consultation with the Provincial Bishops; one confirmed lay communicant from each Diocese in Province VII, exclusive of the Diocese of Texas, shall be nominated by the Committee on Trustees in consultation with the respective dioceses. Said nominees shall be elected by vote of the ETSS Board of Trustees. The Bishop of the Diocese of Texas, three other members of the clerical order, and six confirmed lay communicants from said diocese shall serve as members of the ETSS Board of Trustees. Seven at-large members shall serve as trustees, five of whom shall be nominated by the Committee on Trustees and elected by the Board, and two of whom shall be appointed by the Chair of the Board. Two clergy representatives from the associated alumni shall serve as trustees. All of the foregoing trustees shall have seat, voice, and vote at all meetings of the Board. Four non-voting members shall serve as trustees, including two representatives from the ETSS faculty and two representatives from the student body.

Trustees shall be elected for a term of four years, with the possibility of being re-elected for one additional four year term. Where applicable, vacancies shall be filled for any unexpired term by appointment of the particular Diocesan Bishop in consultation with the ETSS Committee on Trustees and Chair of the Board.

It shall be the duty of the Trustees of the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest to:

(a) Share in the Vision Statement of the Seminary, and be willing to make service as a trustee a high priority by consistent attendance at board meetings, supporting the Seminary as an informed advocate and with personal financial resources as able, and by participating in all fund-raising efforts when requested.

(b) Recruit potential trustees who can serve the identified needs of the Seminary congruent with its Vision Statement.

(c) Promote church support of and student enrollment in the Seminary.

SECTION 4. The Trustees of the University of the South and Seminary of the Southwest shall annually report to the Diocesan Convention.

SECTION 5. Reasonable travel and other expenses of the Trustees shall be paid by the Diocese.


Canon 31. ALL SAINTS' EPISCOPAL SCHOOL

SECTION 1. All Saints' Episcopal School, Vicksburg, Mississippi, is declared to be an institution of this Diocese.

SECTION 2. The Bishop shall appoint three (3) Trustees for All Saints' Episcopal School, duly qualified to serve as such, consisting of one (1) Clerical and two (2) Lay Trustees, whose term of office shall be three (3) years, and until their successors are appointed. The tenure of office of those initially appointed shall be as follows: one (1) to hold office for one (1) year, one (1) for two (2) years, and one (1) for three (3) years; so that thereafter the Bishop shall appoint annually a person to succeed him or her whose term shall have expired at the said date and who, when so appointed, shall serve the full term of three (3) years and until his or her successor be appointed.

SECTION 3. The Trustees shall annually report to the Diocesan Convention.


Canon 32. EFFECTIVE DATE OF THESE CANONS

These Canons shall become operative immediately upon their adoption, after which time all other Canons of this Diocese are hereby, and shall be held to be, repealed.


Canon 33. MINISTERIAL STIPEND

SECTION 1. The stipend of a minister who holds a full-time stipendiary cure in the Diocese shall not be less than the minimum pension base (i.e., salary + housing + utilities, as defined by the Church Pension Fund) which may be adopted by Diocesan Convention annually, together with the payment of medical and life insurance premiums, and such other emoluments pertaining to the office as may be prescribed by the Convention.

SECTION 2. The Bishop shall appoint a Committee which shall have responsibility to recommend to the Convention each year a minimum pension base and other emoluments for Clergy of the Diocese holding full-time stipendiary cures.


Canon 34. AMENDMENT, ADDITION TO OR REPEAL OF CANONS

SECTION 1. The Canons of this Diocese may be amended, repealed or added to by the majority vote of the Convention at any annual meeting or special meeting called for that purpose. All proposed amendments, repeals or additions shall be referred by the Secretary to the Committee on Canons twenty (20) days prior to the convening of the Convention, and said Committee shall file a report thereon with the Convention.

SECTION 2. Unless otherwise provided by the Convention, all amendments, repeals or additions to these Canons shall become effective upon the adjournment of that meeting of the Convention at which action thereon was taken.

SECTION 3. Whenever a Canon shall be adopted which contains a clause repealing any other Canon, Canons or parts thereof, and the said Canon shall itself thereafter be repealed, such repeal shall not operate as, or have the effect of, a revival of any repealed Canon.

1 As amended 1984
2 As amended 1988
3 As amended 1983
4 As amended 1983, 1992 and 2005
5 As amended 1984
6 As amended 2005
7 As amended 1992
8 As amended 1988
9 As amended 2005
10 As amended 1988
11 As amended 2004
12 As amended 1991
13 As amended 1992
14 As amended 2006
15 As amended 2000
16 As amended 2000
17 As amended 1984
18 As amended 1983
19 As amended 1984
20 As amended 1991 and 1997
21 As amended 2000
22 As amended 2001
23 As amended 1984
24 As amended 1991 and 1997
25 As amended 1991 and 1997
26 As amended 1984, 1991 and 1997
27 As amended 1984 and 1997
28 As amended 2006
29 As amended 2003
30 As amended 1983
31 As amended 1985 and 1991
32 As amended 2003
33 As amended 1985 and 1991
34 As amended 1984
35 As amended 2000
36 As amended 1995
37 As amended 1995 and 2010
38 As amended 1990 and 2000
39 As amended 1983 and 2000

*25th Diocesan Convention held at St. Mark's Cathedral, Shreveport, Louisiana on October 22-23, 2004 approved the change of all gender related references in the Canons of the diocese.

*27th and 28th Diocesan Convention held at Holiday Inn Convention Centre, Alexandria, Louisiana on October 13-14, 2006 and October 12-13, 2007 approved the change of Diocesan Executive Committee to Diocesan Council in all references in the Constitution and Canons of the diocese.

 


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