THE CANONS OF THE EPISCOPAL DIOCESE OF FORT WORTH

Adopted in CONVENTIONS 1982-2006

CANON 1 - Members of the Convention CANON 23 - A Rector or Vicar
CANON 2 - Meetings of Convention CANON 24 - Assistant Clergy
CANON 3 - Order of Business CANON 25 - Wardens and Vestry of Parishes
CANON 4 - Secretary of the Diocese CANON 26 - Parish or Mission Meetings
CANON 5 - Treasurer of the Diocese CANON 27 - Annual Parochial Reports
CANON 6 - Chancellor of the Diocese CANON 28 - Parish Registers
CANON 7 - Registrar of the Diocese CANON 29 - Business Methods
CANON 8 - Historiographer of the Diocese CANON 30 - Use of Dedicated and Consecrated Churches
CANON 9 - The Standing Committee CANON 31 - Corporations
CANON 10 - The Executive Council CANON 32 - Controversy Between Rector and Vestry
CANON 11 - Deputies to the Provincial Synod CANON 33 - Vacant Parishes
CANON 12 - Trustees to the University of the South CANON 34 - Changes of Parishes or Missions
CANON 13 - Commission on Ministry CANON 35 - Deaneries
CANON 14 - Commission on Church Architecture and Allied Arts CANON 36 - Church Pension Fund
CANON 15 - Commission on Episcopal Schools CANON 37 - Diocesan Schools
CANON 16 - Assessment of Parishes and Missions CANON 38 - Proceedings in the Case of a Priest or Deacon Accused of an Offense
CANON 17 - Corporation of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth CANON 39 - Trial of a Priest or Deacon
CANON 18 - Title to Property CANON 40 - Election of a Bishop
CANON 19 - Diocesan Revolving Fund CANON 41 - Renunciation of the Ministry
CANON 20 - Diocesan Institution CANON 42 - Of Clergy and Their Duties
CANON 21 - Missions CANON 43 - Holy Matrimony
CANON 22 - Formation of New Parishes Geographic Description of The Diocese of Fort Worth
Recording Data Transferring Title to all Property to The Corporation of The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth

 

CANON 1

MEMBERS OF THE CONVENTION

Sec. 1.1 Every Parish and Mission in union with the Convention shall be entitled to Lay Delegates determined by the number of confirmed adult communicants in good standing reported in the Annual Parochial Report for the year ending December 31 next preceding the Diocesan Convention according to the following table:

100 or less 1 Delegate

101 through 200 2 Delegates

201 through 300 3 Delegates

301 through500 4 Delegates

501 through 750 5 Delegates

751 through 1,050 6 Delegates

1,051 through 1,400 7 Delegates

1,401 through 2,000 8 Delegates

2,001 through 2,750 9 Delegates

2,751 and over 10 Delegates

In no case shall a Parish have more than ten (10) Lay Delegates.

Sec. 1.2 The selection of the Lay Delegates shall be certified in writing by the Secretary or Clerk of the Vestry of the Parish or Mission; but, in the absence of the Secretary or Clerk, such certificates of election may be signed by one of the Wardens, or by the Rector or Vicar of such Parish or Mission. The "Certificate of Election of Lay Delegates" shall show upon its face that their election as Delegates has been made pursuant to this Canon.

Sec. 1.3 Each Parish and Mission shall elect Alternate Lay Delegates equal in number to the number of Lay Delegates to which entitled. In the absence of a Lay Delegate, an Alternate Lay Delegate from the same Parish or Mission shall have all rights and privileges of a Lay Delegate. The election of Alternate Lay Delegates shall be certified in the same manner as provided for Lay Delegates.

Sec. 1.4 The Rectors of Parishes and Vicars of Missions shall have authority to fill such vacancies as may occur in the list of Alternate Lay Delegates between the time of such election and any meetings of The Convention.

Sec. 1.5 Immediately before the meeting or each Convention, the Bishop, or in case of his death or inability to act, the Standing Committee, shall prepare a list of the Clergy canonically resident in the Diocese, excluding those who have been suspended from the Ministry. The list shall be filed with the Secretary of the Convention on the first day of its meeting, and shall be prefixed to the Journal.

Sec. 1.6 All priest certified under Sec. 1.5 are voting members of this Convention.

Sec. 1.7 All deacons shall be entitled to seat and voice but no vote.

Revised November, 1998

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CANON 2

MEETINGS OF CONVENTION

 

Sec. 2.1 The Convention of this Diocese shall meet as provided in Article 3 of the Constitution.

Sec. 2.2 Special meeting of the Convention may be called only as provided in Article 4 of the Constitution.

Sec. 2.3 Whenever a special meeting of the Convention is called, the Secretary of the Diocese shall transmit a written notice to the Clergy entitled to a seat in the Convention and to the Wardens of Parishes and Missions of the Diocese. The notice shall specify the business to be transacted and the time and place of the meeting.

Sec. 2.4 It is the duty of Clergy entitled to a seat in the Convention and of Lay Delegates duly elected to attend all its sessions. Clergy may be absent from meetings of the Convention only by permission of the Bishop.

Sec. 2.5 Not later than twenty (20) days before the opening day of each Convention, the Secretary of the Diocese shall send in some manner to the Clergy and Lay Delegates the agenda, nominations, resolutions, proposals, proposed budget, and other pertinent material.

Sec. 2.6 Except to the extent controlled by the Constitution or Canons of this Diocese or adopted "Rules of Procedure" the meetings of the Convention shall be conducted in accordance with the most recent edition of Robert's Rules of Order.

Sec. 2.7 Before the Convention convenes the Bishop shall appoint a qualified Parliamentarian to advise him on parliamentary questions arising during the Convention.

Revised October, 1994

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CANON 3

ORDER OF BUSINESS

 

Sec. 3.1 At the opening of any Convention, the President shall take the chair and shall declare as the first order of business the election of a Secretary of the Convention. A report shall follow by the Chairman of the Committee on Credentials as to the number of Clergy and Lay Delegates in attendance and whether or not there is a quorum. If there is a quorum, the Convention shall proceed to the transaction of business pursuant to the Order of Business recommended by the President and adopted by the Convention. If there is no quorum the Convention is adjourned until there is a quorum.

Revised October, 1989

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CANON 4

SECRETARY OF THE DIOCESE

 

Sec. 4.1 At each Convention a Secretary shall be nominated by the Bishop and elected by the Convention and shall continue in office until a successor is elected.

Sec. 4.2 The Secretary shall have the following duties:

a. Take the minutes of the proceedings of the Convention;

b. After review of the minutes of the Convention by the Bishop, place such minutes in THE JOURNAL OF THE EPISCOPAL DIOCESE OF FORT WORTH (the "Journal");

c. Preserve such documents and records as may be in possession of the Secretary and to deliver all such documents and records to the office of the Bishop for custody not later than four (4) months following adjournment of the Convention;

d. Send two (2) copies of the Journal to the secretary of the House of Deputies and one (1) copy of the Journal to the Archives of the Church;

e. Transmit to each General Convention a Certificate of the election of Clerical and Lay Deputies from this Diocese;

f. Within thirty (30) days after the adjournment of the Convention, furnish to the Treasurer of the Diocese a certified statement of the budget approved by the Convention for the ensuing year; and

g. Perform all such other duties as may be required by the Constitution and Canons of this Diocese or requested by the Bishop.

Sec. 4.3 Upon request of the Secretary, the Bishop may appoint one or more Assistant Secretaries, who shall serve until the next Convention under the direction of the Secretary and assist in the discharge of the duties of such office.

Sec. 4.4 In the event the Secretary is unwilling or unable to act or continue to act in the capacity of Secretary, the Bishop shall appoint a successor Secretary who shall continue in the office until the next Convention, when a successor shall be elected.

Revised October, 1990

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CANON 5

TREASURER OF THE DIOCESE

 

Sec. 5.1 At each Convention a Treasurer shall be nominated by the Bishop and elected by the Convention and shall continue in office until a successor is elected.

Sec. 5.2 The Treasurer shall have the following duties:

a. To receive and disburse all monies collected by or under the authority of the Convention, monies distributed by the Diocesan Corporation, and any special or designated monies;

b. Maintain appropriate accounts of all funds on a calendar year basis in books and records kept and maintained in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles;

c. Render to the Convention annually an accounting for all monies collected and disbursed for the calendar year ended prior to the date of the Convention, which accounting shall be subject to audit at the direction of the Executive Council;

d. Render to the Executive Council such reports as may be requested from time to time;

e. Preserve such accounting books and records as may be in the possession of the Treasurer and to deliver all prior year's books and records to the office of the Bishop for custody and deliver all current year books and records to any successor Treasurer following Convention each year;

f. Provide access to all books and records in the Treasurer's control to any auditor(s) as requested by the Executive Council, from time to time during any calendar year; and

g. Perform all such other duties as may be required by the Constitution and Canons of this Diocese or requested by the Bishop.

Sec. 5.3 Upon request of the Treasurer, the Bishop may appoint one or more Assistant Treasurers who shall serve until the next Convention under the direction of the Treasurer and assist in the discharge of the duties of such office.

Sec. 5.4 In the event the Treasurer is unwilling or unable to act or continue to act in the capacity of Treasurer, the Bishop shall appoint a successor Treasurer who shall continue in the office until the next Convention when a successor shall be elected.

Sec. 5.5 The Treasurer and any Assistant Treasurers appointed by the Bishop shall be bonded with such sureties and in such amounts as shall be determined by the Executive Council.

Revised October, 1990

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CANON 6

CHANCELLOR OF THE DIOCESE

 

Sec. 6.1 At each Convention, a Chancellor shall be nominated by the Bishop and elected by the Convention, who shall continue in office until a successor is elected.

Sec. 6.2 In order to be nominated by the Bishop, the Chancellor shall possess the following qualifications:

a. the Chancellor shall be an attorney duly licensed to practice law within the State of Texas;

b. the Chancellor shall be in good standing with the State Bar of Texas; and

c. the Chancellor shall be actively engaged in the practice of law at the time of nomination.

Sec. 6.3 The Chancellor shall have the following duties:

a. in general, to be the legal advisor to the Bishop, the Standing Committee, and the Corporation of the Diocese of Fort Worth; and

b. to answer and respond to all legal questions submitted by the Bishop, the Standing Committee, or the Corporation of the Diocese of Fort Worth, including without limitation, any questions concerning property of the Diocese of any of its committees or authorities, or any other matter submitted for opinion.

Sec. 6.4 Upon request of the Chancellor, the Bishop may appoint one or more Assistant Chancellors, who shall serve until the next Convention under the direction of the Chancellor and assist in the discharge of the duties of such office.

Revised October, 1989

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CANON 7

REGISTRAR OF THE DIOCESE

 

Sec. 7.1 At any Convention at which there is a vacancy in the office of Registrar or an election is necessary, a Registrar shall be nominated by the Bishop and elected by the Convention, who shall hold office for a period of four (4) years after election or until a successor is elected.

Sec. 7.2 The Registrar shall keep and maintain a separate book which shall be known as the "Register", which shall include:

a. the names and addresses of Clergy canonically resident in this Diocese;

b. the dates of ordination and reception of the Clergy canonically resident in this Diocese;

c. the dates of all dismissals, depositions or deaths of the Clergy occurring in this Diocese; and

d. the names and addresses of all Parishes and Missions connected with this Diocese, including:

1. the dates of organization, admission and succession of Clergy in charge of such Parishes and Missions, so far as it can be ascertained; and

2. such other particulars as may be necessary to indicate the status and history of such Parishes and Missions.

Sec. 7.3 In the event the Registrar is unwilling or unable to act or continue to act in such capacity, the Bishop shall appoint a successor Registrar who shall continue in such office until the next Convention when a successor shall be elected.

Revised October, 1990

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CANON 8

HISTORIOGRAPHER OF THE DIOCESE

 

Sec. 8.1 At any Convention at which there is a vacancy in the office of Historiographer or an election is necessary, an Historiographer shall be nominated by the Bishop and elected by the Convention, who shall hold office for a period of four (4) years after election or until a successor is elected.

Sec. 8.2 The Historiographer shall have the following duties:

a. receive, file, index, and preserve any books, papers, journals, reports, manuscripts, pamphlets, or other documents pertaining to the Church or its history, and shall from time to time endeavor to increase such collection;

b. encourage the appointment of historiographers in each Parish and Mission;

c. provide each Parish or Mission historiographer with literature to aid in collecting and preserving the books, papers, journals, reports, manuscripts, pamphlets, newspaper stories, or other documents which relate to the life and history of the congregation of the Parish or Mission and encourage the writing of parochial histories;

d. report to the Convention of the Diocese the official acts of the Historiographer and the status of all materials in custody or charge of the Historiographer, with suggestions as to the arrangement, increase or preservation of such materials; and

e. shall issue proper certificates of any fact contained in materials in the charge of the Historiographer, if requested by the Bishop.

Sec. 8.3 In the event the Historiographer is unwilling or unable to act or continue to act in such capacity, the Bishop shall appoint a successor Historiographer who shall continue in such office until the next Convention when a successor shall be elected.

Revised, October, 1990

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CANON 9

THE STANDING COMMITTEE

 

Sec. 9.1 The Standing Committee shall be elected, vacancies filled, and terms of office fixed, as provided in Article 10 of the Constitution of this Diocese.

Sec. 9.2 The Committee shall choose a President from among the Clerical members, and a Secretary who shall be a member of the Committee.

Sec. 9.3 Four (4) of its members shall constitute a quorum to transact business.

Sec. 9.4 The Committee shall perform all the duties incident to its office, as provided in the Constitution and Canons of the General Convention, and such other duties as are, or shall be, provided in the Constitution and Canons of this Diocese.

Sec. 9.5 The Committee shall not approve any loan which shall obligate the Diocese without the prior approval in writing of the Bishop and the Department of Finance of The Executive Council.

Sec. 9.6 The Committee shall monitor all loans that it approves.

Revised October, 1990

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CANON 10

THE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL

 

Sec. 10.1 The following shall have seat and vote in The Executive Council ("Council") for such time as they lawfully hold their Diocesan positions as:

a. The Bishop, who also shall serve as President;

b. The Bishop Coadjutor (1st Vice President);

c. The President of the Standing Committee (2nd Vice President);

d. The President of the Diocesan Corporation (3rd Vice President); and

e. One Clerical and two Lay Representatives for each Deanery elected as set forth in Canon 35.

The following shall have seat but no vote in the Council:

a. The Suffragan Bishop or Bishops;

b. The Assistant Bishop or Bishops;

c. The Treasurer of the Diocese; and

d. The Deans of the Deanery if the Dean is not a Clerical Representative.

No elected member who has served two (2) successive terms shall be eligible for re-election until the lapse of one (1) year after the expiration of his/her last period of service.

In the event a vacancy occurs among those elected by a Deanery, the Deanery shall elect a qualified person for the unexpired term of the seat vacated. Any person elected to an unexpired term is eligible for election for a full term if said unexpired term is for less than two years.

Sec. 10.2 In case of the Bishop's absence or disability for any reason, the senior Vice President present shall act for him. In case of a vacancy in the Episcopate, the senior Vice President shall succeed to President. The Council shall elect from among its members a Secretary and other officers to serve at the pleasure of the Council.

Sec. 10.3 The Council shall carry on the work of the Convention through such Departments and Committees as the Bishop with its consent may establish and continue, and shall define and supervise the work of such Departments and Committees.

The Chairmen, who must be members of Council, and members of the respective Departments and Committees, who need not be members of Council, shall be appointed by the Bishop and are subject to removal at his pleasure.

All Departments and Committees shall keep full records of their proceedings. Reports shall be made by the Chairmen as directed by the Council.

Sec. 10.4 The Executive Council shall meet each year in January, March, May, September and November, and it shall be the duty of every member of The Executive Council to attend meetings regularly. In case of the continued absence of a member from regular meetings of The Executive Council for a period of two (2) successive meetings without valid excuse, that member of The Executive Council may be removed by majority vote of The Executive Council members present and the vacancy shall be filled pursuant to Sec. 10.1.

Special meetings of the Council may be called for any purpose by the President or by the President of the Standing Committee and shall be called at the request of any five members of the Council.

Sec. 10.5 Each year following the Annual Convention the Bishop shall appoint one (1) member of The Executive Council from each Deanery, the president of the Board of Trustees, and the Treasurer of the Diocese to act as the Finance Committee of the Executive Council. The Assistant Treasurers, the Director of Administration/Finance, and the Diocesan Bookkeepers will have voice but no vote.

Sec. 10.6 On or before the September meeting of the Council in each year, the Department of Finance (as appointed by the Bishop under this Canon) shall submit to the Council the draft of an annual budget setting forth the opportunities and needs of the Diocese together with the proposed apportionment to the program of the national Church for the next fiscal year. The Council shall make such amendments and revisions as it deems necessary, and shall submit the proposed budget to the Annual Convention. A table setting forth the amounts to be assessed each Parish and Mission shall be presented to the Convention. As soon as possible after the September Council meeting and not less than twenty (20) days before Convention, the budget shall be sent to every Parish and Mission for distribution to its delegates. The Convention has the right to amend the proposed budget as it deems fit. Not less than twenty (20) days following the adjournment of the Annual Convention, the budget shall be sent to the Vestry or Bishop's Committee of every Parish or Mission.

The Council has the power for serious cause to adjust and alter the budget.

The Council shall report to the Convention concerning its work and expenditures during the previous and current fiscal years, and its budget and plans for the next year, and make such special reports as the Convention or the Bishop may request.

Revised November 1998

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CANON 11

DEPUTIES TO THE PROVINCIAL SYNOD

 

Sec. 11.1 The deputies and alternate deputies to the Provincial Synod shall be those elected as deputies or alternate deputies to the General Convention.

Revised October, 1989

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CANON 12

TRUSTEES OF THE UNIVERSITY OF THE SOUTH

 

Sec. 12.1 There shall be elected by the Diocesan Convention three (3) Trustees of the University of the South, consisting of one (1) Clerical and two (2) Lay persons.

Sec. 12.2 One (1) Trustee is to be elected each year for a three (3) year term.

Sec. 12.3 If a position becomes vacant for any reason it shall be filled by election for the unexpired term at the next Diocesan Convention.

Sec. 12.4 If a Trustee has served two (2) consecutive terms he may not serve again until at least one (1) year after the expiration of his period of service; provided, however, that a Trustee who serves a term of less than two (2) years to which he has been elected to fill a vacancy, shall be eligible for election to two (2) full terms.

Revised October, 1991

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CANON 13

COMMISSION ON MINISTRY

 

Sec. 13.1 There shall be a Commission on Ministry consisting not fewer than six (6) members of the Clergy and six (6) Lay Persons. At least two (2) Clergy and two (2) Lay Persons, shall be nominated by the Bishop at each Annual Convention and elected by Convention for a three (3) year term. Should vacancies occur in the Commission when Convention is not in session, the Bishop shall nominate to the Standing Committee, upon whose confirmation the nominee shall serve the balance of the term for which appointed. The Bishop shall appoint the Chairman from the Clergy members.

Sec. 13.2 The Commission may adopt rules for its work, subject to the approval of the Bishop; Provided, they are not inconsistent with the Constitution and Canons of this Church or of the Diocese. These rules may include provision for committees of the Commission to act on its behalf; however, ultimate responsibility shall remain with the Commission as a whole to report to the Bishop concerning an applicant's fitness and readiness for admission as a Postulant or Candidate, for ordination to the Diaconate and, if requested by the Bishop, to the Priesthood.

Sec. 13.3 The Commission on Ministry shall assist the Bishop in the following:

a. In determining present and future needs for ministry in the Diocese;

b. In recruiting and selecting persons for Holy Orders and in guiding and examining Postulants, Candidates, and Deacons in training for Priesthood;

c. In providing for the guidance and pastoral care of Clergy and Lay Persons who are in stipendiary and non-stipendiary positions accountable to the Bishop;

d. In promoting the continuing education of the Clergy and of Lay Professionals employed by the Church; and

e. In supporting the development, training, utilization, and affirmation of the ministry of the Laity in the world.

Sec. 13.4 The conduct and evaluation of examination of persons for Holy Orders shall be the responsibility of the Commission on Ministry and in no case shall the Commission recommend a Candidate to the Bishop or to the Standing Committee for ordination to the Diaconate or to the Priesthood until the required examinations have been satisfactorily completed.

Revised November, 1997

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CANON 14

COMMISSION ON CHURCH ARCHITECTURE AND ALLIED ARTS

 

Sec. 14.1 The Commission on Church Architecture and Allied Arts shall consist of the Bishop and three (3) Clergy and three (3) Lay Persons appointed annually by the Bishop. At least three (3) members shall be skilled in church architecture and ecclesiastical art.

Sec. 14.2 The duty of the Commission is to give counsel and advice on questions and plans of architecture and art submitted by any Parish, Mission or Diocesan Institution.

Sec. 14.3 Plans for the erection of church structures or major alterations to existing structures Shall be submitted to the Commission for approval.

Sec. 14.4 All Parishes, Missions and Diocesan Institutions receiving financial aid from the Diocese, including Assessment adjustments, or seeking approval to encumber Diocesan Corporation Property must comply with this Canon.

Revised October, 1990

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CANON 15

COMMISSION ON EPISCOPAL SCHOOLS

 

Sec. 15.1 There shall be a Commission on Episcopal Schools in the Diocese which shall consist of one representative from each certified school in the Diocese. Each representative shall be nominated by the Bishop and elected by the Convention. The representative shall be the Head of the certified school unless otherwise designated by the Bishop.

Sec. 15.2 The duty of the Commission of Episcopal Schools is to establish guidelines and standards for the establishment, recognition and certification of any and all Episcopal Schools now, or in the future, operating within the Diocese.

Sec. 15.3 The Commission shall report annually in writing to the Convention.

Revised October, 1989

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CANON 16

ASSESSMENT OF PARISHES AND MISSIONS

 

Sec. 16.1 The Executive Council shall assess all Parishes and Missions to support the budget as established by the Diocesan Convention.

Sec. 16.2 The Council may reduce the assessment of any Parish or Mission in case of undue financial hardship. Also, The Department of Finance shall meet with representatives of such Vestry or Mission to determine the existence and degree of such hardship and may make recommendation to the Council to reduce the assessment or take other action. The reduced assessment then becomes the full assessment of said Parish or Mission for that year only.

Sec. 16.3 Annual assessments of Parishes and Missions are to be paid in twelve (12) equal payments on or before the twentieth (20) day of each month.

Sec. 16.4 If any Parish or Mission becomes a total of two months in arrears in payment of the monthly installments on its annual assessment, the Rector, Wardens and Treasurer shall meet with the Finance Committee of the Executive Council at a time set by the Chairman of the Finance Committee in order to explain the cause of the arrearage and their plan for bringing the monthly installments current.

Sec. 16.5 If any Parish or Mission becomes three months in arrears in payment of the monthly installments on its annual assessment, the Bishop and Finance Committee may recommend to the Executive Council a means of dealing with the problem commensurate in their judgment with its cause. The Executive Council may consider such recommendation at its next regular meeting or at a meeting called for the purpose of considering such recommendation upon seven days’ notice given to all members of the Executive Council stating the purpose of the meeting. The Rector, Treasurer, and Vestry shall be sent a copy of the recommendation of the Bishop and Finance Committee and be invited to appear and speak at such meeting. The Executive Council may then take such action as it deems appropriate including recommending that the next following convention of the Diocese, act by a concurrent majority of both orders, to change that Parish to Mission status.

Sec. 16.6 Calculation of arrearage shall be the total amount of assessment unpaid within the prior four (4) years and the current calendar year.

Sec. 16.7 The Finance Committee shall report to Convention the names of all Parishes and Missions whose annual assessments are more than three (3) months in arrears as of thirty (30) days preceding the Convention. Such Parishes and Missions may be seated but shall have neither voice nor vote at such Convention, unless the Convention grants either or both such right (s) by a concurrent majority of both orders.

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CANON 17

CORPORATION OF THE EPISCOPAL DIOCESE OF FORT WORTH

Sec. 17.1 Corporation of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth is a non-profit and charitable organization organized under Texas laws, also known as the "Diocesan Corporation". In addition to its regular powers, it may receive, hold, manage and administer funds and properties acquired by gift or by will or otherwise for the use and benefit of the Diocese and any Diocesan Institutions.

Sec. 17.2 The management of its affairs shall be conducted and administered by a Board of Trustees of five (5) elected members, all of whom are either Lay Communicants in good standing of a Parish or Mission in the Diocese or members of the Clergy canonically resident in the Diocese in addition to the Bishop of the Diocese who shall serve as Chairman of the Board or may designate the President or other officer of the Corporation to serve as such. The Board of Trustees shall have the power and authority to conduct the affairs of said Corporation in accordance with its charter and by-laws and in accordance with the Constitution and Canons of the Diocese from time-to-time adopted.

Sec. 17.3 One member of the Board of Trustees shall be elected at each Annual Convention and each member shall serve a term of five (5) years. The terms of members shall be so arranged that the term of only one (1) member shall expire annually. The Board of Trustees shall fill any vacancy which occurs on the Board until the annual election. The Bishop shall nominate the members of the Board of Trustees.

Sec. 17.4 The Board of Trustees shall adopt its own by-laws and shall elect such officers as its by-laws may require.

Sec. 17.5 The Board of Trustees shall submit a report at each Annual Convention covering its operations for the preceding fiscal year and showing its financial condition. If and when required by the Standing Committee of the Diocese, the Board of Trustees shall make such additional reports and furnish such additional information as may be requested. The books and records of the Board of Trustees shall at all times be open for inspection and examination by the Standing Committee of the Diocese or its representatives.

Revised October, 1989

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CANON 18

TITLE TO PROPERTY

 

Sec. 18.1 The Title to all property now owned and hereafter acquired by the Diocesan Corporation for its use and benefit and for the use and benefit of Parishes, Missions and Diocesan Institutions shall be held in the name of said Corporation and may only be conveyed or encumbered with the approval of the Board of Trustees and in accordance with the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth. All of the assets and properties of the Corporation and accumulations thereof shall be held and administered to effectuate its purpose. In case of the liquidation, dissolution or winding up of the Corporation, whether voluntary or involuntary, or by operation of law, the property held by the Corporation in trust for the use of a particular Parish, Mission or Diocesan School shall be conveyed to the governing body of such Parish, Mission or School. In case of the liquidation, dissolution or winding up of the Corporation, whether voluntary or involuntary, or by operation of law, the other assets or properties of the Corporation shall be distributed in such manner as the Board of Trustees of the Corporation shall direct, provided, however, that any such distribution shall be such as is calculated to be exclusively to carry out the purposes for which the Corporation is formed or for one or more other exempt purposes within the meaning of the applicable provisions of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, as amended, or any similar federal statute then in effect and rules and regulations pursuant thereto. "The liquidation, dissolution or winding up of the Corporation", within the meaning of this Canon and of the Constitution of the Diocese, shall refer to the actual cessation of operation of the Corporation and not to the merger or subdivision of the Corporation or the Diocese.

Sec. 18.2 Real property acquired by the Corporation for the use of a particular Parish, Mission or Diocesan School shall be held by the Corporation in trust for the use and benefit of such Parish, Mission or Diocesan School. It is immaterial whether said acquisition is by conveyance to the Corporation by a Parish, Mission or Diocesan School now holding title, by the Bishop now holding title as a corporate sole, by a declaratory judgment upon division from the Diocese of Dallas, or by subsequent conveyance to the Corporation, so long as such property was initially acquired by a Parish, Mission or Diocesan School by purchase, gift or devise to it, as a Parish, Mission or Diocesan School. Such Parish, Mission or Diocesan School shall be entitled to all income from property held for it in trust by the Corporation and will be responsible for the direct expenses attributable to such property, but not for any administrative expenses of the Corporation. Property held in trust by the Corporation for a particular Parish, Mission or Diocesan School may not be conveyed, leased or encumbered in any way by the Corporation without the written consent of the Rector, Wardens and Vestry of the Parish, of the Standing Committee in the case of a Mission, or of the Board of Trustees of the Diocesan School for which such property is held in trust. Upon dissolution of a Parish, Mission or Diocesan School, such property held in trust for it shall revert to the Corporation for the use and benefit of the Diocese. "Dissolution" of a Parish, Mission or Diocesan School, within the meaning of this Canon and of the Constitution of the Diocese, shall refer to the actual cessation of operation of a Parish, Mission or Diocesan School and not to its merger, reorganization, change of location or attachment to a different Diocese.

Sec. 18.3 Real property held or acquired by a Parish, Mission or Diocesan School by purchase, gift or devise shall be conveyed by it to the Corporation if an ad valorem tax exemption based on religious or educational use is claimed. Real property held or acquired by a Parish, Mission or Diocesan School need not be conveyed by it to the Corporation if such property is held for investment or income-producing purposes and no ad valorem tax exemption is claimed.

Sec. 18.4 Property held by the Corporation for the use of a Parish, Mission or Diocesan School belongs beneficially to such Parish, Mission or Diocesan School only. No adverse claim to such beneficial interest by the Corporation, by the Diocese, or by The Episcopal Church of the United States of America is acknowledged, but rather is expressly denied. All other property of the Corporation held for the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth for those exempt religious purposes within the meaning of the Internal Revenue Code, as herein above described. Such exempt religious purposes shall be those determined by the Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth and the appropriate officers elected by it. No adverse claim to such beneficial interest by The Episcopal Church of the United States of America is acknowledged, but rather is expressly denied.

Sec. 18.5 If it becomes necessary to sell or lease the property or otherwise dispose of it, the Corporation known as "Corporation of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth" with the advice and consent of the Standing Committee is hereby authorized to execute such legal instruments as may be necessary to convey, lease or effect such other disposition as is herein authorized.

Revised October, 1989

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CANON 19

DIOCESAN REVOLVING FUND

 

Sec. 19.1 There shall be a Revolving Fund which shall consist of all funds which have been or may be donated to the Diocese for the purpose of purchasing land or improved real estate for the use of Missions of the Diocese already created or to be created at some future date or for loans to Parishes and Missions of the Diocese.

Sec. 19.2 The Trustees of the Corporation of the Diocese of Fort Worth shall administer the Fund.

Sec. 19.3 All requests for use of the Fund will originate in the Executive Council of the Diocese, which shall set rules and/or restrictions for the use of the Fund as well as the process for making such requests, and set the terms of each loan.

Sec. 19.4 Each grant from the Fund for whatever purpose recommended by the Executive Council must be approved by both the Standing Committee and the Bishop.

Revised October, 1990

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CANON 20

DIOCESAN INSTITUTION

 

Sec. 20.1 Diocesan Institutions may be established by resolution and approval of the Annual Convention, which also shall have the authority to direct, control, alter or dissolve any such institution.

Sec. 20.2 The application for recognition of a Diocesan Institution, or any action to amend a charter, or direct, control, alter or dissolve an existing Diocesan Institution shall be accomplished in accordance with the procedure used for the amendment of a Canon.

Sec. 20.3 No less than sixty (60) days prior to the Annual Convention, copies of the application for recognition of a new Diocesan Institution or any change to an existing Institution contemplated by the previous section, along with copies of its Charter and/or other implementing documents shall be submitted to the Chancellor, Standing Committee, and Executive Council for written comments to be appended to the Application for presentment to the Committee on Constitution and Canons.

Revised October, 1989

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CANON 21

MISSIONS

Sec. 21.1 The power to establish a Mission is hereby vested in the Bishop of the Diocese. A Vicar may at any time be placed or removed by the authority of the Bishop. A mission shall not be established until application shall have been made by fifty (50) or more baptized persons at least eighteen (18) years of age whom a majority shall be confirmed persons, and all of whom shall be charter members. In special cases, the Bishop may, at his discretion, reduce the required number of petitioners. The following declaration shall be signed by the aforementioned petitioners.

Sec. 21.2 "Reverend Father in God:

"We, the undersigned residents of _________________________, Diocese of Fort Worth, being desirous of obtaining the services of the Episcopal Church, and being ready, according to our ability, to sustain the same, do hereby request you to inquire into our estate, and provide for us as you may deem proper and expedient. We do hereby declare ourselves individually and collectively ready to do what in us lies to establish and sustain the regular worship of the said Church, and promote its influence in our neighborhood; and we do promise conformity to its doctrines, discipline, liturgy, rites, and usages. We put ourselves under your charge, and will reverently obey your authority. We promise to abide by and to conform to the Constitution and Canons of the General Convention, and of the Diocese of Fort Worth, and the rules and regulations of its Convention. In accordance with these obligations and rules, we now ask the privilege of being organized as a Mission under the name of __________________________________________."

Sec. 21.3 Annual and special meetings of a Mission may be called and held in the manner for Parishes by Canon 26.

Sec. 21.4 There shall be elected each year at the Annual Meeting in every Mission not less than six (6) nor more than nine (9) adult members who, with the Vicar, shall constitute the Bishop's Committee, and whose duty it shall be to promote the temporal and spiritual interest of the Mission. Any Mission may adopt the rotation method of choosing its Bishop's Committee members following the same procedure as provided by the Canons for Parishes inaugurating the rotation system. Members of the Bishop's Committee serve at the Bishop's pleasure.

Sec. 21.5 The Bishop shall appoint from the Bishop's Committee two Wardens, who shall serve for one year, and the Bishop's Committee shall elect a Secretary and a Treasurer, who need not be members of the Bishop's Committee.

Sec. 21.6 Every Mission shall be required to remain as such for at least one year before applying to the Convention for Parish status.

Sec. 21.7 Mission Stations may be established by the Bishop in any place in the Diocese where there are less than the requisite number of persons for the establishment of a Mission. Provisions for the maintenance of Mission Stations shall be made as the Bishop deems advisable. A report shall be made to each Annual meeting of the Convention stating the number of Mission Stations existing, their location, the means provided for their maintenance and their condition. No Mission Station shall be entitled to a Lay Delegate at any meeting of the Convention.

Revised October, 1991

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CANON 22

FORMATION OF NEW PARISHES

 

Sec. 22.1 For the formation of a new Parish, the written consent of the Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese must first be obtained; but should consent be refused, an application for permission to form such Parish may be made to the next Annual Convention.

Sec. 22.2 For the organization of a Parish, the following Article of Conformity must be signed by not less than fifty (50) baptized persons, the majority being confirmed members of this church at least eighteen (18) years of age, who intend to be members and supporters of the proposed Parish.

"Reverend Father in God:

"We, the undersigned, do associate ourselves together for the purpose of maintaining the worship of God and the preaching of the Gospel, according to the doctrine, discipline and worship of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America, in the town of _________________________, in the State of Texas, and do promise to abide by and conform to the Constitution and Canons of the General Convention and of the Diocese of Fort Worth."

Sec. 22.3 After each Article of Conformity has been signed by at least fifty (50) persons, a meeting of the same shall be called on ten (10) days' written notice to all who have signed said Article. At this meeting, members of the Vestry shall be elected, the name of the Parish adopted, and such other steps taken as may be necessary to such organization. The minutes of the meeting shall be recorded in a book to be kept as a record of the proceedings of this meeting and at future meetings of the Vestry of the Parish.

Sec. 22.4 The Article of Conformity and the minutes of the meeting for organizing the Parish shall be sent to the Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese, together with a notice that the Parish will apply for admission to union with the Convention. At a subsequent Convention, this application shall be made and for this purpose a certified copy of the aforesaid papers shall be presented.

Revised October, 1990

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CANON 23

A RECTOR OR VICAR

 

Sec. 23.1 The Rector of a Parish is ex-officio President of the Vestry and of the Congregation and has the casting vote, in case of a tie, on all questions brought before it.

Sec. 23.2 The Vicar of a Mission is ex-officio President of the Bishop's Committee and of the Congregation and has the casting vote, in case of a tie, on all questions brought before it.

Sec. 23.3 The Rector or Vicar has the spiritual oversight of the Parish or Mission, and he shall, at all times, be entitled to the use and control of the Church and Parish or Mission buildings with the appurtenances and furniture thereof.

Sec. 23.4 The Rector or Vicar shall be ex-officio chairman of all committees, guilds and societies. All guilds and societies shall exist at his pleasure and their work shall be under his direction and advice.

Revised October, 1991

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CANON 24

ASSISTANT CLERGY

 

Sec. 24.1 If the Vestry of a Parish gives its approval for the position, a Curate may be called by the Rector.

Sec. 24.2 A Curate shall not be called until the name of the Deacon or Priest whom it is proposed to call has been made known to the Bishop, if there be one, or to the Ecclesiastical Authority, who shall have thirty (30) days to determine whether the Curate proposed be duly qualified. If the Bishop or Ecclesiastical Authority determines that the proposed Curate is duly qualified, a call may be made.

Sec. 24.3 A Curate is directly under the supervision of the Rector and serves at his pleasure. Any Curate selected shall serve at the discretion of the Rector but may not serve beyond the period of service of the Rector except that, pending a call of a new Rector, the Curate may continue in the service of the Parish if requested to do so by the Vestry of the Parish and under such conditions as the Bishop and Vestry shall determine.

Sec. 24.4 If a Rector wishes to dismiss a Curate, the Rector must present the matter to the Bishop before the dismissal takes place.

Sec. 24.5 A Curate, for purposes of this Canon, includes any Assistant Clergy.

Revised October, 1992

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CANON 25

WARDENS AND VESTRY OF PARISHES

 

Sec. 25.1 Vestries shall consist of not less than six (6) and not more than fifteen (15) members who shall be Confirmed Communicants in Good Standing of at least eighteen (18) years of age, canonically resident in the Parish, and who were financial contributors to the Parish in the preceding year as shown on the records of the Treasurer.

Sec. 25.2 The members of the Vestry shall be elected at the annual Parish Meeting by a majority vote of the qualified voters present and voting. Except as herein otherwise provided, their term of office shall be for three (3) years succeeding their election, and one-third (1/3) of the Vestry shall be elected annually.

Sec. 25.3 The Vestry shall have the power to fill any vacancy in their number, and members of the Vestry shall continue in office until their successors are elected. The term of office of the replacement so elected shall be the unexpired balance of the vacated three-year term.

Sec. 25.4 No person having served a full term in office or at least two (2) years of an unexpired term shall be eligible for election to the Vestry until a full year has elapsed.

Sec. 25.5 The Rector shall name one of the Vestry members to be the Senior Warden. At the first meeting of the newly constituted Vestry following the Parish Meeting the Vestry shall elect one of its members Junior Warden. At the same meeting the Vestry shall elect a Clerk (or Secretary) and a Treasurer, but these officers need not be members of the Vestry. All officers serve for one (1) year or until their successors are selected.

Sec. 25.6 The Vestry shall meet at least bimonthly, and it shall be the duty of every member of the Vestry to attend meetings regularly. In case of the continued absence of a member from regular meetings of the Vestry for a period of three (3) successive meetings without valid excuse, that member of the Vestry may be removed by majority vote of the Vestry members present and the remaining members shall fill the vacancy.

Sec. 25.7 Special meetings may be called by the Rector. At the written request of three members of the Vestry, including one (1) Warden, or a majority of the Vestry, the Rector shall call a special meeting. Notice of called meetings shall be given in writing to all members of the Vestry not later than twenty-four (24) hours prior to the time of the meeting; provided, however, that the Vestry may meet at any time without notice with the consent of the Rector and the presence of all members of the Vestry.

Sec. 25.8 There shall be no meeting of the Vestry without the presence of the Rector, if there be one, and a majority of the members of the Vestry; provided however, that if the Rector be absent, and when duly notified of a meeting shall decline or neglect to be present, the Vestry shall be competent to transact business if a majority of its members, including one (1) Warden, be present.

Sec. 25.9 The Vestry shall have charge of the property, endowments and all temporal concerns of the Parish, shall provide and keep in good order a suitable place of worship and the furnishings and appointments appropriate thereto, and shall provide for the payment of all Parish obligations and assessments. The Vestry shall be the legal representatives of the Parish in all matters concerning its corporate property and the relations of the Parish to its clergy.

Sec. 25.10 Missions, to the extent appropriate, and not in conflict with Canon 21, shall also be governed by this Canon.

Revised October 1993

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CANON 26

PARISH OR MISSION MEETINGS

 

Sec. 26.1 The Annual Meeting of each Parish or Mission of this Diocese shall be held in the month of January. Due notice of said meeting, including its time and place, shall be given by the Rector or Vicar, or if there is no Rector or Vicar, by the Wardens.

Sec. 26.2 Qualified voters at Parish Meetings shall be confirmed communicants in good standing of the Parish or Mission, sixteen (16) years of age or older. The presence of at least ten percent (10%) of the qualified voters of the Parish or Mission shall constitute a quorum.

Sec. 26.3 A special meeting of the Parish or Mission may be called by the Rector or Vicar (if there be one) and Wardens by giving notice at least one week in advance of its time and place. Such notice shall set forth the business for which the meeting has been called, and no other business shall be in order except by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of those present.

Sec. 26.4 At the Annual Meeting of the Parish or Mission, the Rector or Vicar and the Senior Warden, or in case of his inability to act, the Junior Warden, shall present a full and faithful account of the condition of the Parish or Mission as of December 31 of the preceding year.

a. The report of the Rector or Vicar for the previous year shall include (1) number of persons baptized and confirmed, (2) the number of baptized members, confirmed communicants in good standing and households, specifying the number of removals and additions, (3) the number of marriages and burials, (4) the number of services conducted and the total attendance and communions, (5) the number of teachers and students in the Sunday Church School, and (6) the total amount of the Discretionary Fund received with such statement of expenditure as he may deem proper.

b. The report of the Senior Warden (which includes reports of the Junior Warden and Treasurer) shall include, (1) what money, lands or other property have been received during the preceding year, from what source and the value of the same, (2) all offerings, separately stating the purposes for which they have been made, (3) all expenditures and the purposes for which they have been expended, (4) what property has been purchased, exchanged, mortgaged, sold, or otherwise alienated or encumbered, and for what purpose, (5) what debts have been contracted and what debts previously contracted are owing, and (6) what improvements have been made, with the cost thereof.

c. Following the meeting these statements shall be delivered to the new Vestry, to be examined by them and entered into the permanent records of the Parish or Mission.

 

Revised October, 1992

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CANON 27

ANNUAL PAROCHIAL REPORTS

 

Sec. 27.1 A report from every Parish and Mission shall be prepared annually for the year ending December 31 preceding, upon the form provided by The Executive Council of The Episcopal Church in the United States of America. This report shall be sent in duplicate to the Bishop not later than February 1.

Sec. 27.2 The Bishop or the Secretary of the Diocese shall send copies of the reports to The Executive Council of The Episcopal Church not later than March 1.

Sec. 27.3 Copies and tabulations of the reports shall be filed in the Diocesan office for the use of commissions and committees. These reports, or such parts of them as the Bishop may deem proper, shall be published in the Journal of the Convention.

Revised October, 1992

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CANON 28

PARISH REGISTERS

 

Sec. 28.1 It shall be the duty of every Minister within the Diocese to record in a Parish Register all baptisms, confirmations, marriages, and burials and the names of all Communicants within his cure.

Sec. 28.2 The Register shall specify the name and the date of birth of each person baptized, with names of the parents, and the names of the sponsors or witnesses; the names of the persons confirmed and the date of the service, together with the name of the member of Clergy who presents the class and the name of the Bishop confirming the same; the names of the parties married, and two or more special witnesses of the same, and the date and place where the marriage was solemnized; the names of the persons buried, the place of interment, and also the date of the service; and a list of the communicants. This Register shall be kept by the Minister, or, in case of a vacancy, by the Senior or Junior Warden, and shall be a part of the records of the Parish or Mission.

Sec. 28.3 It shall be the duty of every member of the Clergy not regularly settled in any Parish to record such occasional services as he may perform in the Register of the Parish or Mission in which such service was held. In case there be no Register in that place, he shall report such services to the Bishop, and these reports, or such parts of them as the Bishop shall think fit, may be entered in the Journal of the Convention.

Sec. 28.4 The word communicant as used here, and elsewhere, in these Canons, means one who has been confirmed, and has not been suspended from the right of partaking of the Holy Communion; provided that, no parish shall be required to continue as a communicant anyone (a) who has been absent from the Parish for two full years, and whose residence, after diligent search, has not been discovered, or (b) one who has abandoned the Communion of this Church by and open-renunciation of its doctrine, discipline and worship, or by a formal admission into a religious body not in communion with this Church.

Revised October, 1991

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CANON 29

BUSINESS METHODS

Sec. 29.1 In every congregation of this Diocese the following standard business methods shall be observed:

a. Trust and permanent funds and all securities of whatever kind shall be deposited with a federal or state bank or other agency approved in writing by the Department of Finance of the Diocese under either a deed of trust or an agency agreement, excepting such funds and securities as may be refused by such depositories as being too small for acceptance. There shall be at least two (2) authorized signatures on any order of withdrawal of such funds or securities.

b. Treasurers and custodians, other than banking institutions, shall be adequately bonded.

c. Such books of accounts shall be kept as shall make them available for satisfactory accounting, and such books and accounts shall conform to THE MANUAL OF BUSINESS METHODS IN CHURCH AFFAIRS of The Episcopal Church in the United States of America.

d. All accounts of the Diocese shall be audited annually by an independent Certified Public Accountant. All accounts of Parishes, Missions or other institutions shall be audited annually by an Certified Public Accountant or independent Licensed Accountant or such audit committee as shall be authorized by the Department of Finance, and copies of such audit shall be filed with the Bishop or Ecclesiastical Authority not later than thirty (30) days following date of such report, and in no event, not later than September 1 of each year, covering the financial reports of the previous calendar year.

e. All buildings and their contents shall be kept adequately insured.

f. The fiscal year shall begin January 1.

Sec. 29.2 Annual reports of all Diocesan accounts shall be made to Convention, which reports shall be referred to and reported on by the Department of Finance.

Revised November, 1995

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CANON 30

USE OF DEDICATED AND CONSECRATED CHURCHES

 

Sec. 30.1 The dedicated and consecrated Churches and Chapels of the several Parishes and Missions of the Diocese may be opened only for the services, rites and ceremonies, or other purposes, either authorized or approved by this Church, and for no other use.

Revised October, 1991

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CANON 31

CORPORATIONS

 

Sec. 31.1 Any Parish, Mission or Diocesan Institution which desires to organize a corporation to use in connection with the administration of its affairs may do so upon compliance with the following requirements.

a. If organized by a Parish or Mission, any such corporation shall be merely an adjunct or instrumentality of such Parish or Mission; the Parish or Mission itself, being the body in union with Convention, shall not be incorporated.

b. The articles of incorporation must expressly provide that such corporation is subject to, and its powers and rights shall be exercised in accordance with, the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America and the Constitution and Canons of this Diocese.

c. Such corporation shall not hold title to real estate acquired for the use of the Church in the Diocese, which title must be vested and dealt with in accordance with the provisions of Article 13 of the Constitution of the Diocese.

d. The proposed articles of incorporation and bylaws of such corporation, and any amendments thereof, shall, prior to filing or adoption, be submitted to the Chancellor of the Diocese for his approval as being in conformity with these provisions.

Sec. 31.2 Those in charge of the affairs of any corporation, organized by any Parish, Mission or Diocesan Institution, shall review its articles of incorporation and bylaws and bring them into conformity with provisions of this Canon, if inconsistent therewith.

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CANON 32

CONTROVERSY BETWEEN RECTOR AND VESTRY

 

Sec. 32.1 Once settled in a Parish the Rector shall not be dismissed without the consent of the Bishop of the Diocese. In case of controversy between Rector and Vestry which cannot be settled by the parties themselves, the parties, or either of them, may appeal to the Bishop. The Bishop shall seek to bring the parties to an amicable conclusion. In such case, the agreement between them, signed by them and attested to by the Bishop, shall have the same force as an order made under Section 32.3 of this Canon.

Sec. 32.2 If the matter shall not be amicably settled within a reasonable time, not to exceed six (6) months, the Bishop shall convene the members of the Standing Committee, and shall give notice to the parties to appear before him and them and present their facts and arguments at such time and place as he may appoint. He may adjourn and continue the hearing at his discretion.

Sec. 32.3 When the hearing is concluded and after consultation with the Standing Committee, the Bishop shall make such an order as he may think just and in the best interest of the Church. It shall be the duty of the Rector and the Vestry to submit to and abide by such order as the final and conclusive determination of all matters of controversy between them.

Revised October, 1991

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CANON 33

VACANT PARISHES

 

Sec. 33.1 Upon the organization of a new Parish or in the event of a vacancy in the Rectorship of an existing Parish, the Wardens shall give notice within three (3) days to the Bishop of the Diocese of such vacancy. It shall be the duty of the Bishop or his deputy to meet with the Vestry of the vacant Parish before the Vestry takes whatever measures may be necessary to continue regular services. If the Vestry of the Parish shall for 30 days have failed to make provision for the services it shall be the duty of the Bishop to take whatever measures may be necessary to continue regular services.

Sec. 33.2 In the case of a vacancy in the Rectorship of a Parish the Bishop or his deputy shall meet with the Vestry of a vacant Parish to discuss the calling process. The Bishop shall suggest the names of one (1) or more priests to fill the vacancy. The Vestry shall, in the calling process, inform the Bishop of other priests that it would like to consider for the vacant post.

Sec. 33.3 Following notice that the Bishop has no objection or if after thirty (30) days the Bishop has made no objection to any Vestry nominee(s), the Vestry may proceed, either from the Bishop's suggestions or from the list submitted to the Bishop.

Sec. 33.4 If the Bishop objects to any priest nominated by the Vestry, he must do so in writing within 30 days, giving his reasons therefor. Before proceeding to an election, the Vestry shall consider such objection at a meeting called and held for that purpose.

Sec. 33.5 A Vestry, having decided upon the person whom they wish to call as Rector of the Parish, sends the name of that person to the Bishop, who is given not more than thirty (30) days in which to communicate with the Vestry in the matter. At the end of thirty (30) days, or as soon as a communication has been received from the Bishop, the Vestry may proceed to an election. Written notice of such election shall then be sent to the Bishop, signed by the Wardens confirming a majority of the entire Vestry. If the Bishop be satisfied that the person so elected is a duly qualified Priest, the Vestry may then, but not until then, proceed to issue a call to such Priest to become Rector of the Parish.

Sec. 33.6 Once the Priest has accepted the call, the Bishop shall notify the Secretary of the Diocesan Convention and the Registrar of the Diocese both of whom shall record it. Such record shall be sufficient evidence of the relation between the new Rector and his Parish.

Revised October, 1991

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CANON 34

CHANGES OF PARISHES OR MISSIONS

 

Sec. 34.1 In circumstances other than non-payment of assessment and the consequences thereof described in Canon 16, whenever it shall appear to the Bishop that the conditions render it advisable to dissolve a Parish or Mission or to change a Parish to a Mission status, he shall submit the matter in writing to the next Annual Convention. The matter shall then be referred to the appropriate Committee on the first day of the Convention where it shall lay until the following day. The Committee shall then report its recommendation in writing to the Convention. In order to declare the Parish or Mission dissolved or changed, a two-thirds (2/3) vote by orders shall be required.

Sec. 34.2 The property rights of every kind and character of a dissolved Parish or Mission shall vest in the Corporation of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth. No disposal thereof may be made without consent of the Standing Committee.

Sec. 34.3 In the event it becomes necessary for a Parish to apply to the Dioceses for a grant to enable it to meet its operating budget and maintain its Rector, such Parish upon application to the Bishop may be changed by him to the status of a Mission, subject to provisions for Missions as established by the Constitution and Canons of the Diocese.

Sec. 34.4 No Parish or Mission shall be relocated within the Diocese of Fort Worth without the approval and consent of the Bishop and the Standing Committee.

Revised October, 1993

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CANON 35

DEANERIES

 

Sec. 35.1 The Diocese shall be divided into six (6 ) Deaneries. The Bishop may, from time to time, change the Deanery areas with the concurrence of the Convention.

Sec. 35.2 The Bishop shall appoint a Dean to serve at the Bishop's pleasure. The Dean must be a member of the Clergy entitled to a vote in the Convention and residing in the Deanery.

Sec. 35.3 Each Deanery shall have a Council made up of all members of the Clergy residing in the Deanery who are entitled to a vote in the Convention, all the elected Convention Delegates for the Parishes and Missions of the Deanery, and the Lay Deanery Representative to the Executive Council.

Sec. 35.4 The Council of each Deanery shall meet annually prior to the Convention of the Diocese to elect on a rotating basis for three (3) years one (1) member of the Clergy or one (1) of the two Lay Representatives to the Executive Council by a concurrent vote of a majority of each order from the following:

a. The Clerical Representative must be a member of the Clergy entitled to a vote in the Convention and residing in the Deanery; and

b. The Lay Representative must be a Confirmed adult Communicant in good standing in one of the Parishes or Missions of the Deanery, but not of the same Parish or Mission.

The Council shall also meet in February, April, August, Pre-Convention and December.

Sec. 35.5 The term of office of Clerical and Lay Representative to the Executive Council of the Diocese shall be three (3) years on a rotating basis. No Clerical or Lay Representative shall be eligible for re-election until the lapse of one (1) year after the expiration of his/her period of service. The three (3) year rotation means one (1) representative elected to a full term each year.

Sec. 35.6 A Lay Person from each Deanery Council is elected for a one (1) year term to serve as Sub-Dean. This person assists the Dean with agenda, business, secretarial and financial concerns of the Deanery and presides at Meetings in the absence of the Dean. The Deanery Council may conduct other business as from time to time seems necessary for the furtherance of the Mission of the Church in the Deanery or as the Bishop or Executive Council of the Diocese may require.

Revised November 1996

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CANON 36

THE CHURCH PENSION FUND

 

Sec. 36.1 In conformity with the legislation adopted by the General Convention of 1913, pursuant to which The Church Pension Fund was duly incorporated, and in conformity with the Canon of the General Convention, "Of The Church Pension Fund", as heretofore amended and as may hereafter be amended, the Diocese of Fort Worth hereby accepts and acknowledges The Church Pension Fund ("Fund"), a corporation created by Chapter 97 of the Laws of 1914 of the State of New York as subsequently amended, as the authorized and approved pension system for the Clergy of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America and for their dependents, and declares its intention of supporting the Fund in accordance with its Rules.

Sec. 36.2 It shall be the duty of the Diocese and of the Parishes, Organized Missions, and other Ecclesiastical Organizations therein, each through its Treasurer and other proper official, to inform the Fund of salaries and other compensation paid to Members of the Clergy by said Diocese, Parishes, Missions, and other Ecclesiastical Organizations for services rendered currently or in the past prior to their becoming beneficiaries of the Fund and changes in such salaries and other compensation as they occur, and to pay promptly to the Fund any Pension assessment required thereon under the Canon of the General Convention and in accordance with the Rules of the Fund.

Sec. 36.3 It shall be the duty of every Member of the Clergy canonically resident in or serving in the Diocese to inform the Fund promptly of such facts as dates of birth, ordination or reception, marriage, births of children, deaths, and changes in cures or salaries as may be necessary for the Fund's proper administration and to cooperate with the Fund in such other ways as may be necessary in order that the Fund may discharge its obligations in accordance with the intention of the General Convention in respect thereto.

Revised October, 1992

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CANON 37

DIOCESAN SCHOOLS

 

Sec. 37.1 Diocesan Schools may be established as Diocesan Institutions as set forth in Canon 20.

Sec. 37.2 A separate Board of Trustees ("Board") shall manage each school. An initial board of twelve (12) trustees shall be appointed by the Bishop and confirmed by the Convention. At each subsequent Convention the Bishop shall appoint, subject to confirmation by the Convention, four (4) trustees who shall serve for three (3) years. At all times, at least three-fourths (3/4) of the trustees shall be adult confirmed communicants in good standing in the Diocese, certified annually.

Sec. 37.3 The Bishop shall have the right of visitation and be ex-officio member of the Board

Sec. 37.4 A report from the Board of each school shall be prepared annually for the year ending June 30 preceding. This report shall be sent in duplicate not later than September 1 to the Secretary of the Convention. The report shall include the events of the year involving the operation of the school, and all financial accounting. The annual report shall be presented to the next Convention.

Sec. 37.5 The books and records shall be open at all times to inspection by the Bishop or his designee. All accounts shall be audited annually by a Certified Public Accountant or by such an accounting agency as shall be approved by the Department of Finance of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth.

Sec. 37.6 Diocesan Schools shall follow the educational and operational guidelines set forth by the Commission on Episcopal Schools, the Southwestern Association of Episcopal Schools, and the State of Texas.

Sec. 37.7 Upon dissolution of the corporation, all property, real or personal, remaining after payment of all debts, shall vest in the Corporation of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth.

Revised October, 1992

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CANON 38

PROCEEDINGS IN THE CASE OF A PRIEST

OR DEACON ACCUSED OF AN OFFENSE

 

Sec. 38.1 Any member of this Church may give information in writing to the Standing Committee against any Priest or Deacon for conduct subjecting him to liability for trial under The Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church.

The Standing Committee shall thereupon proceed to a private investigation of the case and, in its discretion, make a formal presentation of the offense to the Bishop. Such presentment shall be made in writing, addressed to the Bishop, stating the charges made against the accused, by whom made and with specifications as to the time, place and circumstances. Any of the specifications in said presentment may be amended or restated by the Chancellor and after approval by the Standing Committee, shall be presented to the Bishop. In case there shall be no Bishop or should the Bishop be accused in the matter or be related to the accused by consanguinity of affinity, the Standing Committee shall then request the Bishop of another Diocese to receive the presentment. Upon the application of the Standing Committee he may proceed in the case and exercise the same powers as belong to or are granted to the Bishop of the Diocese.

Sec. 38.2 Any Priest or Deacon of the Diocese accused, by public rumor or otherwise, of an offense or offenses for which he may be tried as aforesaid may request the Standing Committee to institute such inquiry respecting the truth of the rumors against him. It shall be the duty of the Standing Committee to proceed as is provided in this Canon.

Sec. 38.3 Should the accused be a member of the Standing Committee, the several Clerical members of the Executive Council, elected by Convention, together with the remaining Clerical member or members of the Standing Committee, if there be any, shall proceed as provided in this Canon.

Revised October, 1993

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CANON 39

TRIAL OF A PRIEST OR DEACON

 

Sec. 39.1 The Ecclesiastical Trial court shall consist of three (3) Priests entitled to seat in the Diocesan convention and two (2) Members of the Laity who shall be Confirmed Communicants in good standing in this diocese at least eighteen (18) years of age.

Sec 39.2 The Court shall be elected by ballot by a concurrent majority of each order at Annual Convention.

Sec 39.3 The term of office shall be three (3) years or until a successor is elected a rotating basis in such a manner that no more than one (1) Priest and one (1) Member of the Laity shall be elected at each Annual convention except for the first set of elections.

Sec 39.4 Vacancies occurring prior to the expiration of a term of any member of the Court shall be filled by the vote of a majority of The Standing Committee. The person so elected shall fill out the unexpired term, constituting a first term of office if said unexpired term is for two or more years.

39.5 No member shall serve more than two (2) consecutive terms.

39.6 Annually, the Court shall elect from the members a Presiding Judge within two (2) months following Annual convention and shall make provision for a Church Attorney who may not be the Chancellor or Vice Chancellor.

39.7 All proceedings shall be in accordance with Title IV of the constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church.

Revised November 1996

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CANON 40

ELECTION OF A BISHOP

 

Sec. 40.1 When the Ecclesiastical Authority of this Diocese shall call for the election of a Bishop, Bishop Coadjutor, or Suffragan Bishop, a Nominating Committee shall be elected as follows:

a. four (4) Priests or Deacons, four (4) Lay members, and a chairman (1) elected by majority vote of the Standing Committee;

b. four (4) Priests or Deacons and four (4) Lay members elected by a majority vote of the Executive Council; and

c. one (1) Priest or Deacon and one (1) Lay member elected by each Deanery Council by a concurrent majority of both orders.

These members shall be elected at least four (4) months prior to the date set for the Convention at which such election is to be held.

Sec. 40.2 The Nominating Committee may at any time fill any vacancies in its membership; provided that, clergy shall replace clergy and laity shall replace laity.

Sec. 40.3 The Nominating Committee shall continue to act until the close of Convention called for the election. If at such convention no election occurs, a new Nominating Committee shall be elected as provided in Section 40.1 above.

Sec. 40.4 The Nominating Committee shall elect a secretary from among its members and shall have power to adopt rules and regulations consistent with this Canon governing its procedures.

Sec. 40.5 The Nominating Committee shall call for, receive, and may itself propose names for consideration for nomination to the Episcopal office. The Nominating Committee may not accept names for consideration within thirty (30) days of the Convention. Any member of the Nominating Committee whose name shall be proposed for consideration for nomination must either withdraw his name or resign from the Nominating Committee.

Sec. 40.6 The Nominating Committee shall educate itself about each proposed nominee whom it deems qualified for the Episcopal office. The names of at least three (3) shall be selected as nominees. Biographical and other information and photographs of those selected shall be reported to the Secretary of the Diocese at least fifteen (15) days before the opening day of the Convention. The Secretary of the Diocese shall send this report to the Clergy and Lay Delegates at least ten (10) days before the opening day of the Convention.

Sec. 40.7 The report of the Nominating Committee shall constitute a nomination of each of the candidates named therein. Nominations may be made from the floor of convention at any time after the report has been presented until an election shall have taken place. No nominations may be made while a vote is being taken, and counted, and announced. A nomination from the floor of the Convention shall be accompanied by the same written information and photograph required of Committee nominees in sufficient number for each Delegate to have a copy. This information requirement may be waived by unanimous consent of the Convention.

Sec. 40.8 Upon conclusion of all preliminary business and nominations, the Convention shall recess for a celebration of the Holy Eucharist. After the Eucharist the Convention shall reconvene and proceed to an election in accordance with Article 17 of the Constitution. Each ballot shall be preceded by a period of silent prayer.

Revised October, 1990

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CANON 41

RENUNCIATION OF THE MINISTRY

 

Sec. 41.1 If any Member of the Clergy not under presentment shall declare, in writing, to the Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese a renunciation of the Ministry of this Church, and a desire to be removed therefrom, it shall be the duty of the Ecclesiastical Authority to record the declaration and request so made. The Bishop, being satisfied that the person so declaring is not amenable for any canonical offense, and that the renunciation of the Ministry is not occasioned by foregoing misconduct or irregularity, but is voluntary and for causes assigned or known, which do not affect that Member of the Clergy’s moral character, shall lay the matter before the clerical members of the Standing Committee, and with their advice and consent the Bishop may pronounce that such renunciation is accepted, and that the Member of the Clergy is released from the obligations of the Ministry and is deprived of the right to exercise the gifts and spiritual authority as a Minister of God's Word and Sacraments conferred in Ordination. The Bishop shall also declare in pronouncing and recording such action that it was for causes which do not affect the person's moral character, and shall, if desired, give a certificate to this effect to the person so removed from the Ministry.

Sec. 41.2 In all other cases of renunciation of the Ministry, where there may be a question of foregoing misconduct or irregularity, the Bishop shall not pronounce sentence of deposition save with the consent of the Standing Committee of the Diocese.

Sec. 41.3 The Bishop shall give due notice in writing of every such removal or deposition from the Ministry, in the form in which the same is recorded, to the House of Bishops, the Secretary of the House of Deputies, and The Church Pension Fund.

Sec. 41.4 This canon shall be effective until the General Convention of the Episcopal Church amends the Canons of The Episcopal Church to provide a canon for the voluntary renunciation of the ministry by a member of the clergy not under presentment, upon the effective date of which this canon shall be repealed and of no further force or effect.

Revised November, 1995

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CANON 42

OF CLERGY AND THEIR DUTIES

 

All Members of the clergy, having subscribed to the Declaration required by Article VIII of the Constitution of the Episcopal Church, shall be under the obligation to model in their own lives the received teaching of the Church that all its members are to abstain from sexual relations outside Holy Matrimony.

Adopted November 1996

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GEOGRAPHIC DESCRIPTION OF THE DIOCESE OF FORT WORTH

The Diocese of Fort Worth shall consist of those Clergy and Laity of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America resident in that portion of the State of Texas including the twenty-three (23) Counties of Archer, Bosque, Brown, Clay, Comanche, Cooke, Dallas (only that portion of the County that includes the City of Grand Prairie), Eastland, Erath, Hamilton, Hill, Hood, Jack, Johnson, Mills, Montague, Palo Pinto, Parker, Somervell, Stephens, Tarrant, Wichita, Wise, and Young.

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RECORDING DATA

TRANSFERRING TITLE TO ALL PROPERTY TO

THE CORPORATION OF THE EPISCOPAL DIOCESE OF FORT WORTH

 

In the case of the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas, et al v. Jim Mattox, Cause No. 84-8573, the 95th District Court of Dallas County, Texas, entered a judgment in which title of all property standing in the name of the Bishops of the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas and located within the present boundaries of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth were vested in the name of the Corporation of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth. Said judgment has been recorded in the County Clerk's office in each County within the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth and the recording data for each county is as follows:

COUNTY

DATE
VOLUME
PAGE

Archer

9-05-84
436
473
Bosque
9-06-84
288
638
Brown
9-06-84
865
787
Clay
9-05-84
356
313
Comanche
9-06-84
8
369
Cooke
9-10-84
706
599
Dallas
9-05-84
84172
3771
Eastland
9-10-84
864
730
Erath
9-19-84
643
346
Hamilton
9-24-84
260
114
Hill
9-18-84
650
101
Hood
9-20-84
1071
711
Jack
9-18-84
484
905
Johnson
9-20-84
1048
526
Mills
9-21-84
176
636
Montague
9-24-84
830
219
Palo Pinto
9-21-84
632
28
Parker
9-25-84
1260
458
Somervell
9-25-84
86
146
Stephens
9-27-84
555
711
Tarrant
9-06-84
7941
2214
Wichita
10-01-84
1389
566
Wise
10-03-84
84
214
Young
10-02-84
649
22

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