The Episcopal Church in Minnesota is governed by our Constitutions and Canons. The Bishop works with the Elected Bodies and ad hoc committees to manage the operations of the Diocese. At the annual Diocesan Convention, clergy and lay delegates gather to consider resolutions, elect members to governing bodies, and approve the financial statement of mission.
The Episcopal Church governs itself by a General Convention, which meets every three years and is structured like our US Congress, with two houses: the House of Deputies and the House of Bishops. The House of Deputies is made up of a deputation of four lay people and four clergy elected from each diocese within the Episcopal Church.
Constitutions and Canons
The Constitution and Canons provide overarching frameworks for the governance and structure of ECMN.
Each year, lay and clergy delegates, as well as other participants, meet for our annual diocesan Convention. Part family reunion, part worship service, and part business meeting, Convention is our annual opportunity to celebrate the year that has past and listen for the Spirit's call to what comes next. We affirm that call by hearing the Bishop's Address, elected new members to governing bodies, considering resolutions, passing the financial statement of mission, and praying and playing together.
ECMN convention 2021 took place November 5-6, entirely online.
ECMN Convention 2022 will take place October 27-29 in Rochester.
There are four canonically-mandated committees within the Episcopal Church in Minnesota that make up the Elected Bodies. The Elected Bodies speak and make decisions on behalf of the people of the diocese, and influence everything from the financial statement of mission to the ordination of new clergy to the work of diocesan formation.
Commission on Ministry
The Commission on Ministry (COM) helps discern present and future needs for ministry in ECMN. The COM guides and examines postulants and candidates for the diaconate and priesthood in their journey towards ordination, and works to provide continuing education for clergy and lay professionals employed in the church.
To contact the Commission on Ministry, please email the chair, the Rev. Anna Doherty.
Council acts as the governing board of convention throughout the year, providing oversight for the organization, assisting in the development and approval of the financial statement of mission and helping to set and align the vision for ECMN.
To contact Council, please email vice-chair Brian Ostenso.
The Standing Committee is a Counsel of Advice to the Bishop; considers consents for a parish, mission, or ECMN entity to acquire, dispose of, or encumber the real property; approve candidates for ordination to the diaconate or priesthood; and consent to the elections and proposed consecrations of bishops in The Episcopal Church. In the event that there is no Bishop, the Standing Committee acts as the Ecclesiastical Authority until a Bishop can be elected.
To contact the Standing Committee, please email the president, the Rev. Christine Fair Beebe.
The Trustees are responsible for the financial assets—including real estate, investments, loan funds, and planned giving—of ECMN and its faith communities. The Trustees also hold title to all real and personal property for mission faith communities in ECMN. The Trustees ensure that all property and assets of the church are used and remain available for the use of all Episcopalians engaged in God’s mission.
To contact the Trustees, please email the vice president, Barbara Swan.
Committees of Elected Bodies
Joint Finance and Audit Committee
The Joint Finance and Audit Committee is a joint committee of Council and the Trustees, providing Council with assurance that the financial policy, financial audit, and financial affairs of ECMN are appropriately developed, implemented, and managed. JFAC also makes specific policy and operational recommendations to Council. Find out more about JFAC here, and email Jennifer Gamberg, Missioner for Finance, with questions.
The Personnel Committee is a committee of Council intended to provide Council with all appropriate personnel policies and guidelines to be implemented for employees of the Episcopal Church in Minnesota, and to provide support and expertise to ECMN faith communities. Find out more about the Personnel Committee here. To contact the Personnel Committee, please email the Chair, the Rev. Molly Weiss.
When there is a question about whether a member of the clergy has been involved in misconduct, the Disciplinary Board, as described in Title IV of the Canons of the Episcopal Church, has the responsibility to investigate the matter, consider and decide whether a violation of the Canons has taken place, and discern what must be done to bring healing, reconciliation, and justice for all involved. Members of the Disciplinary Board are appointed by the Bishop and approved at ECMN Convention. Find out more about the Disciplinary Board here. To contact the disciplinary board with any questions or concerns, please email Chancellor Doug Franzen and Intake Office Rebecca Bernhard.