Showing 326 results

Authority record

Education for Mission and Ministry Unit

  • Corporate body
  • 1979-1992

The educational agency of the Executive Council has had a variety of titles and roles within the organizational structure of the Church over the years. From 1947 to 1968, it was known as the Department of Christian Education. In 1968, major elements of Council’s educational program were combined with divisions of the Home Department and other bodies as the “Services to Dioceses section” of Council; in subsequent years it seems to have been renamed the “Program Group on Education,” until about 1975, when it became the Office of Religious Education.

An Education Officer, David Perry, was appointed in 1973. Other aspects of the Church’s educational program were handled by ad hoc committees during this period, such as the Program Advisory Committee on Higher Education. Another major restructuring in 1976 eliminated ad hoc committees in favor of a system of standing committees and subcommittees. In 1979, a further wave of consolidation brought the staff and work together under the cluster title of Education for Mission and Ministry.

The Education for Mission and Ministry Unit was listed in The Church Annual up until 1991, with David Perry as its Executive Director. In 1992,the name was changed to Education, Evangelism, and Ministry Development, with David Perry still listed as Executive Director. It is unclear how and why the named changed and if the program functions also changed.

Home Department

  • Corporate body
  • 1942-1968

In October of 1942, National Council created the Home Department, which inherited the work of the pre-existing Department of Domestic Missions and combined that work with four other pre-existing divisions of the National Council: Christian Social Relations, Christian Education, College Work, and the Youth Division. In December of 1945 the Army and Navy Division was added, and in December of 1948 the Town and Country Work Division was created.

Because it oversaw the entire domestic missionary program of the Church, the work of the Home Department was wide-ranging. Ethnic ministries were led by secretaries for Native American, African American, and Japanese mission work. It also focused on providing financial support and competent clergy for African American and Native American parishes, which were often neglected or underfunded by their dioceses.

Rural work was carried out by the Town and Country Division until 1962, when the work was returned to the oversight of the newly-formed Division of Domestic Mission. The Army and Navy Division (later renamed the Armed Forces Division) primarily supported chaplains in the Armed Forces. Other domestic work included Braille books for the blind and support for clergy serving deaf Episcopalians. The Home Department also sent women workers out into the field in various capacities. In the 1960s, most of the department’s resources was directed towards urban ministries.

In 1968, a complete restructuring of Executive Council dissolved the Home Department. The work formerly grouped under the Home Department umbrella evolved into a series of “Program” groupings, under the direction of the Deputy for Program and the Presiding Bishop.

Forward Movement

  • Corporate body
  • 1934-

In the midst of the Great Depression, the Joint Commission on the Forward Movement was established in 1934 by General Convention with the charge to point the Church “forward.” The Movement sponsored conferences, meetings, and training programs for leaders along with Bible study and prayer groups under the leadership of the Rt. Rev. Henry Wise Hobson. Forward Movement’s first publications appeared in 1935, including the first issues of Forward Day by Day, a daily devotional guide. In 1940, the General Convention adopted the program elements of Forward Movement as its unifying theme under the slogan of “Forward in Service.” The Joint Commission ceased to exist in 1940, although the publications effort continued in Cincinnati under Bishop Hobson and an Executive Committee.

Although Forward Movement Publications is authorized each triennium by the General Convention with the Presiding Bishop as its chair, the agency is self-funded and does not draw on the budget of The Episcopal Church. Forward Movement specializes in the publication of devotional tracts and spiritual guides, although its range of materials expanded after 1986 with the closing of Seabury Press, which was the national Church’s publishing house. Forward Movement has also published key ecumenical documents affecting The Episcopal Church as well as other works of historical and biographical importance.

Executive Council

  • Corporate body
  • 1964-

Organized in 1964, the Executive Council is the chief oversight body for implementing the programs and corporate business of The Episcopal Church in matters affecting its domestic and foreign mission, its ecumenical relationships, and its place in civil society. The Executive Council is the direct successor body to the National Council (1919-1963) and inherits the role held by the Board of Missions of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society (1835-1918). The Executive Council marks the consolidation of authority for the implementation of national and international work of the Council under the single executive office of the Presiding Bishop. Membership is composed of individuals elected by General Convention, Provincial Synods, and ex-offico members.

Brooks, Robert J.

  • Person
  • 1947-2020

Robert Brooks was born on March 25, 1947, in Austin, Texas. He received a Bachelor of Arts from St. Edward's University, Austin, in 1970 and a Master of Divinity from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, California, in 1973. On June 22, 1974, he was ordained into the priesthood.

Brooks began his career as a parish priest at All Saints’ Church in Baytown, Texas, serving from 1973 to 1983, during which time he also earned a Master of Arts from the University of Notre Dame (1980). In the following decades, he championed the church’s sacramental rights and texts, participated in multiple liturgical organizations; advocated for human rights in South America and Africa; and represented The Episcopal Church as Director of Government Relations during the tenure of Presiding Bishop Edmond Browning. He became the rector of St. Paul’s Church in Willimantic, Connecticut in 2001. Even after his retirement in 2004, he continued to advocate for issues of social justice, serving as president of the Episcopal Urban Caucus until just prior to his death.

Canon Brooks died on February 29, 2020.

Allin, John Maury

  • Person
  • 1921-1998

John Maury Allin was born April 22, 1921 in Helena, Arkansas. He attended college and seminary at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in History in 1943 and a Master of Divinity in 1945. He was ordained to the diaconate in 1944 and to the priesthood in 1945.

Allin began his career at St. Peter’s Episcopal Mission in Conway, Arkansas, eventually moving to Louisiana where he spent 8 years serving in various pastoral roles, beginning with a curacy at St. Andrew’s Church in New Orleans. In 1952, he was called to serve as rector of Grace Episcopal Church in Monroe, Louisiana and then, in 1958, agreed to serve as president and headmaster of All Saints College in Vicksburg, Mississippi.

In 1961, Allin was elected as Bishop Coadjutor of the Diocese of Mississippi, which began his progression within the leadership of The Episcopal Church. On the retirement of Bishop Duncan Gray in 1966, he became the Sixth Bishop of the Diocese of Mississippi, a position in which he served until 1974. During this time he helped found the Committee of Concern, an ecumenical and civic alliance organized to raise funds for the rebuilding of over 100 African American churches that had been burned by white racist groups.

In 1973, at the 64th General Convention in Louisville, Kentucky, the House of Bishops elected Allin the 23rd Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church. He was installed on June 11, 1974. Allin’s tenure commenced at a time of considerable turbulence and change in The Episcopal Church, which he approached with a talent for compromise and a resolve to promote reconciliation. During this time, the Church approved the ordination of women (1976), an issue to which Allin was firmly opposed; began the Venture in Mission (VIM) campaign, a major fundraising effort for special mission and ministry (1976); adopted a new Book of Common Prayer (1979); and established the Office of Black Ministries.

Allin retired as Presiding Bishop in 1985, but remained active in the Church until his death in Jackson, Mississippi on March 6, 1998.

Torok, John

  • Person
  • 1890-1955

John Torok, born in Hungary in 1890 to a Jewish father and a Christian mother, arrived in the United States in 1920 and received into the Episcopal priesthood by Diocese of Maryland Bishop Murray on June 9, 1921.

In 1923, a group of Uniate churches in Pittsburgh elected Torok as their bishop, with the idea that he would lead them out of the Roman Catholic communion and into The Episcopal Church. Torok was consecrated on October 19, 1924 at the Serbian Legation Chapel in Vienna by Bishop Gorazd and Bishop Dositej, both Orthodox bishops. Upon Torok’s return, he found that due to other plans regarding intercommunion being carried out at the same time, any exercise of his episcopal privilege would likely result in a split in the Church.

To mitigate potential discord, Torok retired to secular life. However, several years later a renewal of interest in intercommunion brought him back to Church life. After much canvassing on his behalf by Bishop Frank Wilson of Eau Claire, Torok was elected Suffragan Bishop of that diocese in May of 1934. His primary focus was foreign language work among the Uniate peoples in Pennsylvania, New York and Maryland, but Bishop Wilson could get neither firm approval nor firm disapproval for this work from the rest of the Church. Furthermore, General Convention declined to confirm Torok’s consecration.

Torok returned to secular employment until 1946, when he took up parish work, first in Mexico and later in Puerto Rico. From 1947 to 1950 he served Grace Church in Brooklyn.

John Torok died in 1955.

Advisory Commission on Ecclesiastical Relations

  • Corporate body
  • 1931-1939

The Advisory Commission on Ecclesiastical Relations was created by the authority of the General Convention in 1931 in its revision of Canon 59(v)(v). The National Council subsequently added the Advisory Commission to its bylaws to replace the earlier Committee on Ecclesiastical Relations, that had been set up in 1927 to consider matters of expanding ecumenical relationships.

By 1935, reduced budgets made it necessary to discontinue the salaried officer. A 1937 revision to Canon 59 dropped the Commission and left oversight of this work to the Presiding Bishop and Council. The Commission and an unsalaried officer were continued with a small budget allocation. The broader ecumenical purview of the Commission was extended by Bishop Tucker in 1939, who renamed the body as the Advisory Council on Ecclesiastical Relations.

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