Amendments to the Constitution and Canons

Strikethough words are sections to be omitted. Bold words are sections to be added.

C-1: Amend Article I of the Constitution as follows (Second Reading):

Order, Government and Discipline.

The order, government and discipline of the Diocese of Virginia, formerly and otherwise known as the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Virginia, shall be vested in the Bishop, and in the Convention of the Diocese, constituted as provided in Article III hereof, which shall have power to adopt Canons, and take any other action for the conduct of its affairs not in conflict with this Constitution.

Submitted by:
J.P. Causey Jr., Chancellor

Rationale: This amendment effectively conforms the name of the Diocese of Virginia to the name of The Episcopal Church and the terminology of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer. Debate at General Convention about expunging the word “Protestant” from the name of The Episcopal Church had persisted for 90 years before the 1967 General Convention amended the preamble to the Constitution to say that the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America is “… otherwise known as The Episcopal Church (which name is hereby recognized as also designating the Church)…”  (White & Dykman’s Annotated Constitution and Canons notes that this issue “had a longer life in [General] Convention discussions than any other in the history of the Church.”) Similar changes were also made in the 1979 Book of Prayer and the Declaration of Conformity.

This amendment also conforms Article I to the Preamble of the Constitution which refers to the Diocese of Virginia. The supplemental reference in the proposed amendment to the “Protestant Episcopal Church” is retained to reference the continuity of the organization.  

C-2: Amend Section 2 of Canon 13 as follows:

CANON 13. Business Methods in Church Affairs.

Section 2. All trust, endowment and other permanent funds and all securities of whatsoever kind for which a Treasurer is responsible represented by physical evidence of ownership or indebtedness shall be deposited or invested with due regard for the social responsibility of the church and the social implications of the Christian faith. These funds shall be (i) deposited in one or more accounts properly earmarked, with one or more national or state banks or trust companies, or one or more savings and loan associations, the accounts of which are insured by an instrumentality of the United States, or with a Diocesan Corporation; or (ii) invested in such a manner as is permitted by Title 26 64.2, Subtitle III, Chapter 3 7, (Sections 26-45.3 64.2-780 through 26-45.14 64.2-791) of the Code of Virginia (1950) as it may be amended from time to time; or (iii) invested in such manner as approved by the Finance Committee of the Diocese. Such accounts shall be approved in writing by the Vestry or its governing body. This section shall not be deemed to prohibit investments in securities issued in book entry form or other manner that dispenses with delivery of a certificate evidencing the ownership of the securities or the indebtedness of the issuer

Submitted by:
J.P. Causey Jr., Chancellor

Rationale: This amendment updates the reference to sections of the Code of Virginia as to the investment of funds. Although the canon provides that the Code section applies “as it may be amended from time to time,” the Code was amended by rescinding the Title 26 sections and adopting the Uniform Prudent Investor Act, with the new relevant provisions moved to a different title and sections of the Code.