1968 – Report on Restucturing the Diocese

In 1968, the 146th Annual Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia meeting at St. Paul’s Church in Albany, Georgia on February 2-3, heard a report from a 2-year long study considering how best to reorganize the Diocese. The bulk of that report follows.

The full text including associated charts is found here in a PDF file: Report of Committee on Structure and Organization: Diocese of Georgia


The studies of this Committee over a two year period show beyond doubt that the Church in Georgia is at present unorganized for maximum functional efficiency and effectiveness. Many of the underlying reasons for this state have been uncovered. In seeking solutions, the Committee has drawn upon the best available resources. One of its members personally studied a once similarly stricken diocese and its methods of recovery. No less authorities than the Archdeacon of Olympia and a Professor of Public Administration at the University of Washington (an excellent example of interdependence) were invited by the Committee to study the problems of the Diocese and make recommendations. There recommendations reflect the successful reorganization of their own Diocese, now in its fifith year of renewal, and they are incorporated in this Report.

Therefore, this Committee recommends that the program herein set forth be adopted by the 1968 Diocesan Convention, and that the means for speedy implementation be provided.

However, the Committee cautions that the structures and reorganization of the Diocese must be a continuing process, re-evaluating itself constantly in a drastically changing society. The Committee recognizes that in order to survive, the Church must force itself to adopt open-ended thinking, and accept the new and unusual pressures of present-day society. It must work within thse pressures, rather than recalling another era of Christianity.

In other words, we would call the whole Diocese to open its mind. We must emancipate ourselves from the notions of “Club-religion” and open the Church to ideas. We believe that the recommendations stated in this Report are the best means of reaching this goal at the present time.


Discovering a growing sense of division, frustration, and stagnation in the Diocese,, the report of the Committee on the State of the Church at the 1966 Convention called for the formation of a Select Committee to study ‘the structure and organization of the Diocese, and to report with recommendations to the 1967 Convention. To insure that on one could say that it was “the Bishop’s hand-picked group,” one lay and one clerical member was appointed from each Convocation by its Clericus; two wmen representing the Episcopal Churchwomen were also appointed. Since the organizing meeting in April 1966 there have been twelve plenary, and many sub-committee, meetings, Staff studies of the manifold aspects of Diocesan organization have been accomplished for almost every phase. Copies of the studies are on fil at Diocesan House, and are available to anyone for inspection and study. We feel that we have come to the point where we have a view of the strengths and weaknesses of the present structure and organization, and are in a position to make some recommendations — both general and specific — to improve our functioning.


DIOCESE IN GENERAL: We are operating on the principle of a loose (very loose, much of the time) confederation of some 23 separate, independent “parish” congregations, plus 39 separate “mission” congregations, dependent on the Bishop. There is little or no sense of “kinship,” of belonging to one another, much less to a wider fellowship. Cooperation between parishes, or between parishes and missions, even in the population centers, Is almost nonexistent. “We are not divided, all one body we,” just is not so in South Georgia today. This division within the Body is contrary to the whole nature of the Church.

There appears to be a deep and serious division within the Body, causing resentment, suspicion, and inability to proceed harmoniously with the Work of the Church. It would seem that the Bishop and most of the clergy, and laity are aligned in one camp, while a minority, some very local, oppose the first group. Some of the obvious symptoms of the trouble can be seen in the areas of race, alleged churchmanship, the involvement of the Episcopal Church with the National Council of Churches of Christ (NCCC), and on social issues in general.

These are the issues which at least appear on the surface of the combined surveys of our various sub-committees. It is interesting to note that at the Diocesan Convention of 1967, where these subjects were dealt with in discussion groups, the broad general agreement, that we were not sufficiently informed to deal with these issues in the light of the teachings of the Christian Church, was the conclusion of the discussion. It would appear that most of our division is traceable to: (1) lack of knowledge (ignorance) of the teachings of the Church, and (2) a desire to go back to some unnamed time in the past to set the standards of Church life, rather than following the relevant and informed leadership of the present.

In this regard, the problem of “communication” — having something to say,  and getting it across to someone else so that he hears what the modern, relevant Church in the 20th Century is saying the way the Church wants it to be heard — may well be the root of the division. As far as can be determined, the message has been going out “loud and clear” for some years now on all these subjects. The negative response indicates: (1) an unwillingness/inability to hear, (2) misunderstanding of the message, or (3) hearing, with a refusal to accept either the clear teaching of the Church or the leadership of the ecclesiastical authority by some clergy as well as some lay leaders. Recall the tensions culminating in the Conventions of 1965 and 1966.

THE EPISCOPATE: To switch a phrase from the Prayer Book: “It is not evident to all men,” that the Episcopate was given to the Church by Jesus Christ through the action of the Holy Spirit, to provide a center of unity within a portion of the Body; a focus, a representative of the whole Body to the portion, and of the portion to the whole Body. The Bishop has, by Canon Law and traditionally accepted the ology, both biblical and developmental, a threefold function in the Church as Chief – Liturgical Officer, – Pastor and Teacher, and – Administrator.

In the first, he not only has the sole responsibility for confirmations and ordinations, but also sets the norm for public worship in his jurisdiction. As pastor and teacher, he is the guardian and defender of the Faith of the Church, and the reconciler of differences. He is Father in God by Prayer Book definiton. He must, of necessity, administer the various resources of people and properties and things, but he should not act as a file clerk. A Bishop in his administrative function should be concerned for future planning, for broad movements, and not for: “What has happened to St. Swithun’s insurance policies?”

DIOCESAN HOUSE AND STAFF: Diocesan House, 611 East Bay Street, Savannah (given to the Diocese by the Savannah Gas Co. 10 years ago), contains 4 officers, a workroom , lavatories, and the Chapel of St. George on the first floor, and a large conference room, an officer, a work/storage room, and an unused room on the second floor. It is in good repair, and well arranged for our present scale of operation. There is no room for expansion in any direction.

The staff consists of (at the time of filing of a staff-study in June 1966): the Bishop’s secretary, who handles all of his correspondence, keeps the permanent record of confirmations, in slack times sorts through old records and files to retain important historical material, and handles as much of the Archdeacon’s correspondence as time permits. The Financial Secretary receives, records and deposits all monies coming to Diocesan House. She keeps accounts for Diocesan Funds and special offerings, disbursing same according to budget allocations or designations, or on direction from the Bishop. She sends out premium notices to the clergy for their share of the group health insurance, prepares a monthly statement for the Department of Finance and an annual trial balance prior to auditing. She has nothing to do with the Corporation of the Diocese, except when funds are received from it. The Archdeacon divides his time between supervision of all the missions of the Diocese and performing some of the functions of an Administrative Assistant or Business Manager. He has compiled fairly complete dossiers on each mission congregation, as well as pinpointing several future sites for expansion. He is involved in developing Basic Parish Libraries, ordering, preparing and distributing them as funds allow. He is responsible for expediting insurance claims — both for mission properties and clergy group health insurance. In connection with our M.R.I. relationship with the Diocese of Guyana, he has secured vignettes and photographs of each congregation in Georgia.

DIOCESAN CONVENTION: The Convention is a representative body made up of all the clergy canonically resident in the Diocese, plus elected lay delegates (3 from a parish, 1 from a mission), which meets at least annually. It considers the state of the Church in the Diocese (through reports presented at the time), enacts such legislation as is requisite for carrying out any plans or programs it chooses to adopt, together with a “line-item type budget to underwrite the programs, and may pass resolutions on matters of concern to the Church in Georgia.

Attendance for the past three years indicates that while the parishes have had 100% representation (mostly with a full delegation), 25% of the 39/40 missions have failed to send delegates.

There are no specific provisions for pre-convention presentation of reports and issues to the delegates; a few attempts along this line have been made, but on a voluntary basis, and mostly because of a crisis in 1965-66. In response to a questionnaire, the feeling was expressed that Convention is “cut and dried” or “railroaded” -perhaps because the delegates generally do not know what is coming up. Some of the Rules of Order cause delay and boredom, e.g. calling the roll to see if a quorum exists, reading the minutes of the preceeding day, reading interminable reports.

The Convention really does not make plans or establish priorities; it may, or may not, respond favorably to ideas presented by Bishop and Council, but usually with little or no debate or inquiry.

BISHOP AND COUNCIL: A body, partly elected by Convention, partly appointed by the Bishop (ratio of 2:1) for three year terms, consisting of 18 members (half clerical and half lay), plusseveral ex officio members, which is expected to act as the Convention ad interim to carry out the programs andpolicies set by Convention, with permission to initiate new work subject to Convention’s review. It is presently organized into eight Departments — Finance, Missions, Social Relations, Education, Promotion, Evangelism, Stewardship, Lay Ministry — each chaired by a member of Bishop and Council appointed by the Bishop, and staffed by those clerical and lay persons whom the chairman chooses to serve with him.

The Council meets three times a year — spring, fall, winter — at which times each Department chairman reports for his Department’s activities. Other than this, there is no official contact prescribed for interdepartmental liaison or planning. Each Department meets as often as its chairman chooses, defines its own purpose and goals, proposes its own programs, and fights all comers when it comes time to prepare a budget for the next year. Some Departments are almost totally inactive, and receive only a token budget item (less than 5%), others receive from 2 to 5 o and have little effect. The Conference Center receives 9 – 10%, the Department of Missions 28 -29% (add 5.5% for the Archdeacon). Support of the Episcopate has averaged 12.8-14.3% for the past three years, while Work Outside the Diocese has ranged upward from 24.5% to 31.5% in spite of the crisis of 196566. This latter is a commendable percentage, and continues to increase.

DEANS AND CONVOCATIONS: The Diocese is subdivided into six Convocations for purposes of fellowship, communications, and mutual activities. The Bishop appoints annually a priest in each Convocation as Dean (usually the man is reappointed for several years). During the past five years — while we had an Archdeacon -this was more an honorary title than a working position. About the only things a Dean was expected to do were given the Bishop names of persons for appointments to special committees, preside over the •clericus meetings, and the occasional Convocation meetings. The Deans are ex officio members of the Department of Missions which meets two or three times a year.

CLERGY — STIPENDS AND PLACEMENT: As of September 1967 there are 48 active clergy in the Diocese, 4 non-parochial, and 3 retired. Four have been in the Diocese more than 20 years, 11 at least 10. Twenty-one of the active, plus 3 of the non-parochial were ordained priest in this Diocese.

Among the 22 parishes, the salary range is from $4,800 (for a married preist with 3 childrenl) to $9,000. The median Is $6,000, the average is $6,281. One parish gives no car allowance, 2 give only $300; all the rest provide at least $600, with 1 as high as $1,500. Since 1957, salary increases have ranged from $300 to $3,400. The median increase has been $1,650, the average $1,596. There are 5 Curates whose salaries range from $3,950 to $6,000. The mission clergy salaries have a median of $4,500, and an average of $4,446-. The preponderance of salaries is below the national average of Episcopal clergy, which latter is no cause for rejoicing as far as cost of living is concerened.

In the past 10 years, 12 new rectories or vicarages, 9 new churches, 6 multipurpose (church/parish hall) buildings, and 4 parish halls or sunday school buildings have been built. In addition, there have been several major repair or renovation projects completed, and in 4 instances existing structures have been purchased and modified.

Some concern has been expressed that there is little opportunity for “advancement” — that parishes look outside the Diocese for new rectors rather than calling a man already here — and that we have lost a number of men as a result. Since 1963, 32 men have left the Diocese (including 3 by deposition and 1 by transfer to the Secretary of the House of Bishop’s List), of which 14 were ordained priest in Georgia — less than half of the losses. Six who were ordained in the Diocese out of the 48 currently active are now rectors of parishes, and 2 are vicars of missions about to become parishes. Eleven of the last 16 ordained are still with us.

It is true that several of the larger parishes have drawn on the rest of the Church outside Georgia for rectors in recent years. However, in some cases it is doubtful that any Georgia priest would have accepted the call if it had been offered, and it is possible that at the time there were no mission – or small-parish-clergy with the necessary maturity to be seriously considered who were ready or in need of a change. Placement problems need consideration throughout the Church.

STANDING COMMITTEE: This body of 4 clergy ana 4 laymen elected by Convention for 4 year terms, carries out its canonical functions. It has not been subjected to a staff study.

EXAMINING CHAPLAINS: The Examining Chaplains are appointed by the Bishop, and carry out their canonical functions. They too have not been subjected to a staff study.

COMMISSIONS AND BOARDS: By resolution of different Conventions, there are 4 Commissions, appointed by the Bishop and confirmed by Convention. The chairmen are invited to sit with voice and no vote at meetings of Bishop and Council. The Commissions are: Music, Liturgical, Ecumenical, and M.R.I.

Conference Center Board of Managers: This group has had a checkered career; sometimes a function (reluctantly) of the Department of Christian Education, reporting to Bishop and Council through it, sometimes an independent body, reporting directly. Its size has varied, but currently it is composed of 9 persons — 3 each, clergy, men, women — elected by Convention. The Boardsets policies for use of the Conference Center, coordinates use of the facility, and operates the Center with a resident manager, from Diocesan allocations plus fees.

Trustees of the Episcopal Girls’ Home: After many years of dissatisfaction with the anomalous situation of supporting, both by Diocesan appropriation and annual special offerings, an institution labelling itself “Episcopal” over which the Convention had virtually no control or access, an addition was made to the Canons which was acceptable to both Convention and the Board of Lady Directresses of the Home. The Trustees meet occasionally with the Directresses, and report to the Bishop and Council through the Department of Christian Social Relations. The relationship represents a stage of administrative development which has not had enough time to determine its fruitfulness.
The Corporation of the Diocese: Seven laymen, nominated by the existing members of the Corporation to Convention, are elected to manage the trust funds and properties of the Diocese. The activities of the Corporation have not been subjected to a staff study.

Diocesan Bookstore Board: This group reports through the Department of Christian Education, but should be mentioned here. The Board is made up of: (1) 2 persons selected by the Vestry of the Church of
the Good Shepherd, Augusta (whose facilities the bookstore uses rent-free), and (2) clergy and lay persons elected by Convention. The Board supervises the operation of the Bookstore, employs a manager, and stimulates interest in the Bookstore around the Diocese.

OTHER ORGANIZATION AND ACTIVITIES: “The Church in Georgia”: The Diocesan newspaper, published 11 times a year, is the primary activity of the Department of Promotion. In the past 10 years is has had no less than 5 editors or co-editors, 3 of whom are still in the Diocese. From time to time attempts have been made to supplement the Diocesan appropriation through advertising. Copies are mailed to each family in the Diocese from a mailing list kept at the publisher’s plant in Waynesboro. There is no regular, uniform procedure to keep the lists up-to-date. Each priest is supposed to send additions or deletions to the circulation manager, who is resident in Dublin, on 3 x 5 cards whenever changes occur. A current copy of a congregation’s mailing list may be purchased for correcting by applying to the publisher.

The emphasis, coverage, and journalistic skill have varied with each editor. Since different people are looking for the paper to provide a variety of emphasis, it would be difficult to dertermine under which editorship or co-editorship the paper has been most successful.

Episcopal Churchwomen: For many years, the Episcopal Churchwomen were organized into a completely paralledl structure, with Diocesan Secretaries for each of the comparable Departments of Bishop and Council. At the 1967 Annual Meeting the ECW discussed steps which would virtually eliminate both Diocesan and Convocational structures, leaving officers in place. This is not a proposal to do away with local organizations, but to free each chapter to discover its Mission and carry it out in connection with the total life of the individual congregation. Assistance and guidance for programs would then come from the appropriate Department of Bishop and Council, which will, it is hoped, include women in its membership.

Youth and College Work: There is a Diocesan E.Y.C. organization and annual convention. E.Y.C.s exist in most of the parishes and some of the missions. Except for 3 or 4 of the larger parishes, the work is haphazard and generally weak. There is little direction or assistance from the Youth Division of the Department of Christian Education and most local guidance is provided by well-meaning, but untrained volunteers (some of whom view their role as that of a baby-sitter).

With the exception of the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, where we have begun a chaplaincy in the last 2 years, all college work in the Diocese is done a part-time, catch-as-catch-can basis by the priest of the town. It depends very much on his interest and time available. There are 7 four year and 5 two year state-supported colleges in the Diocese, plus several private institutions, all quite small. The College Work Division of the Department of Christian Education has tried to encourage local priests to take as much interest in these essentially “suitcase” colleges as they can.


1. The Diocese needs to learn and accept the true meaning of “the Church” and “the Diocese”, and to workfrom that understanding. This is a problem of education and communication which exists no matter what the structure and organization.
2. The Diocese need s to understand the historic Office of the Bishop, and his relationship to the on-going life of the Church -we have too many congregationally oriented Episcopalians — and to be prepared to accept and follow his leadership in faith.

3. DIOCESAN HOUSE AND STAFF: We are pleased to observe that: (1) there is a new Financial Secretary, who could be available to carry out further responsibilities if assigned, and (2) since the resignation of the Archdeacon the Bishop and Council has authorized the Bishop to employ a Business Manager. We would recommend that such a person be given definitely prescribed duties and areas of responsibility so that he will know just what he is to do and how far to go. The Diocese should begin thinking and preparing for the day, not too many years hence, when the Bishop will call for Episcopal assistance.

A. Steps should be taken to see that:
1. Delegates are elected at least 90 days prior to Convention.
2. All reports are duplicated and distributed to Delegates 30-45 days prior to Convention, and are filed by title at Convention.
3. Convocational meetings of Delegates and Alternates are held 15-30 days prior to Convention to discuss the reports and issues.
4. Delays for roll-calling and minute reading are eliminated: (a) by registering Delegates officially to assure the Chair that a quorum is present, and (b) by providing a mimeographed copy of the rough minutes of the first day’s proceedings to the Delegates at the start of the second day.
5. An agenda should be provided by the Committee on Dispatch of Business in conjunction with the Bishog and should be adher
B Convention is the policy-making, program-responsible body for the Diocese. As such, it nees to operate from a statementof philosophy, which will indicate definite objectives, which should culminate in a program or programs. Convention needs first of all to accept and establish such a philosophy and objectives. On the bais of this, Bishop and Council can then go about preparing long-range program strategy to present to Convention for its consideration.

Some of the questions which Convention should ask itself are:
1. “What does God expect of us?”
2. “What are we going to do about it?”
3. “What are the priorities?”
It would be far better for Convention to have presented to it a “program budget” rather than a “line-item budget.” Such a budget would state the planned outlays in relation to the program objectives and would emphasize the “output,” i.e. what is expected to be accomplished, rather than the “input,” i.e. specific types of expenditures authorized. Appropriations would be made for programs and sub-programs on a lump-sum basis.
Progress toward long-range goals would be reviewed initially by Bishop and Council (through its Program Planning Committee), and reported to Convention with recommendations for revision of goals.

A. Revise Canon 31 “Of Bishop and Council” so that:

1. Voting members shall consist of:
a. One priest and tow laypersons electedby each Convocation .,ouncil for three year terms:
b. Three persons elected at large by Convention for three year terms (one rotating off each year).

2. Persons entitled to seat and voice, but no vote:
a. The President of the Standing Committee.
b. The President of the Episcopal Churchwomen.
c. The Chancellor.
d. The Deans of Convocations.

3. Persons invited to be present as advisors:
a. Program Area Chairmen.
b. Commission and Board Chairmen.
c. The Treasurer.

4. Eliminate canonical provisions of administrative functions, i.e. Sections 5, 8, 9, 10 of Canon 31 which specify the number and work of the several present Departments. This will provide for flexibility in administration.

B. Since it is mainly custom which dictates that all Chairmen be drawn from members of Bishop and Council (with the exception of the requirement in Canon 32, Section 3 regarding the Department of Finance), we recommend deletion of the Section, and that the Bishop be allowed to appoint Chairmen for the several Program
them remain Chairman at his pleasure. After all, this would establish the proper distinction between the executive and legislative phases of Diocesan organization.
C. Authorize the Bishop to enter into contracts with congregations for extended use of their priest on Diocesan assignments; the contract to be reviewed and renewed annually at the Bishop’s pleasure.
D. Provide for cooperation, planning, and liaison between program areas through meetings of Program Chairmen at times other than meetings of Bishop and Council.
E. Establish a Program Planning Committee of 5 or 7 members of Bishop and Council to evaluate operation of programs, clarify possibilities for new programs, and work on long-range planning. Utilize the planning process outlined in The Planning Process, by Perry L. Norton: Patterns for Ation Series, Joint Urban Progarm, Executive Council of PECUSA, as adapted by the DIOCESE OF Olympia.
F. Provision should be made for more frequent meetings, and of longer duration, of Bishop and Council. We recommend 5 or 6 meetings per year, lasting if necessary overnight — what is really only a full day’s work, but without the psychological pressure of trying to get done quickly in time for everyone to get home before too late in the evening.
G. If the Every Member Canvass is held in October, individual parish pledges to the Diocese could be in the Diocesan office by December 1st, making it possible to have a proposed dollar budget to include with the reports mailed to Delegates prior to Convention.

A. The relationship of the Deans to the Bishop should be somewhat analogous to that between battalion commanders and a regimental commander. We request the Bishop to define more clearly what is expected of his Deans, in order that the Deans positons may be strengthened as his chief field subordinates. We are happy to note that already their official position has been recognized by including in the Missions budget an item for their Convocational expenses. Through periodic consultations with the Bishop and his staff (Program Area Chairmen), they can better assist in coordinating the carrying out of Diocesan programs.
B. Provision should be made for a Convocation Council to consist of the clergy, wardens, ECW Presidents, and Delegates and Alternates to Convention, to meet two or three times a year, to provide a channel of communication (in both directions), and to promote carrying out programs in individual congregations. One of these meetings would be the pre-Convention “reports and issues” meeting.

7. CLERGY STIPENS: When one considers their training– almost all have had at least 3 years in seminary after completing college — and responsibilities, as well as the amount of time they spend at their “job,” it is unrealistic to offer salaries which range from only $4,800 to $9,000 (plus allowances) to rectors with up to 35 years experience in their vocation, and even less to vicars (see Charts pp. 24f). The clergy have not answered their call in order to make a lot of money, and by and large they are uncomplaining, but no man should be in the position of not being able to do his best work in his vocation because of a constant gnawing worry about finances.

We recommend that the Diocese increase mission stipends, commending the existing plan of having a slightly fluid upper range, to be awarded for experience and proven ability in mission fields.

We recommend the addition of a Canon requiring (a) the Program Planning Committee of Bishop and Council to review annually the stipends of all Diocesan officials, beginning with the Bishop, and (b) the Senior Warden of each parish to review annually (and report to the Vestry) the stipends of all parish clergy and, salaried employees.

8. STANDING COMMITTEE: It should act more freely as a council of advice both to the Bishop and to the Convention.

We recommend that the Rules of Order of the Convention (Rule XII) be amended, so that nominations for election both to Standing Committee and to Deputy or Alternate to General Convention come from the floor (the latter is true at present, although in conflict with Rule XII.

A. Delete from the Rules of Order of the Convention #3 of Rule V (Committee on the State of the Church) and add a new Canon creating a permanent Commission on the State of the Church. At its pre-convention meeting, each Convocation Council would elect one priest and two laypersons in rotation for three year terms to be confirmed by Convention. The Commission would be able to advise the Diocese on the continuing needs in structure and organization; it would be process-evaluative, a sort of “conscience of the Diocese.” Provision should be made for coopting additional persons for specific tasks, and membership should not be restricted to Episcopalians (outsiders often have needed skills, or fresh viewpoints, or willingness to call a spade a spade).
B. Combine the Music and Liturgical Commissions into one, with adequater representation of musically skilled person.
Let the Ecumenical Commission and the M.R.I. Commission continue as they are now, until further amendments.
D. We would recommend that the Corporation of the Diocese prepare, duplicate, and distribute widely a history of its existence, together with its philosophy of investment policies, and its methods of operating. At present very little is known about this most important aspect of our Diocesan life.
E. We recommend the creation of an Architectural Commission, composed of clergy, architects, builders, engineers, an realtors. The Commission would. give direction, and advice on, any plans for construction of any type of building for mission or parish.

A. Since this periodical is mailed into the home of each family in the Diocese it should:
1. Present and promote Diocesan policies and programs as fully as possible.
2. Include national, internation, and ecumenical news, and;
3. Provide a forum for airing differences of opinion.
B. There is an urgent need to change the procedure for maintaining the mailing list up-to-date. It is just too frustrating to write one place for the current list, make separate cards for each change, send them back to a different place, and then wait to see how many issues will pass by before the changes creep in.

Episcopal Churchwomen: We commend the ECW on its proposed integration into the Diocesan structure, and expect that the presence of women in the various program areas will add to their effectiveness. At the same time, we urge the Churchwomen not to lose their identity as a group on the Diocesan or congregational level, but to find ways to use the talents of women in new and broader patterns. In so doing, they will seek to learn what God expects of them, and what are the places of action and forms of expression through which they may be most effective.

Youth and College Work: We recognize that both of these groups of young persons are as difficult to work with as they are important to the continuing life of the Church. We would urge that greater thought be given to defining goals and developing programs which will be effective in reaching the E. Y. C. age-group in each congregation. We would encourage the College Work Division to consider greater use of ecumenical and interdependent approaches to ministering to our “suitcase” students.


No structure or organization, whether simple or complex, new or old, can be effective if it simply remains on a sheet of paper and is conveniently forgotten. We do not hold that what we propose is the last word, or even necessarily the best one. Nor will it automatically produce instant “mutual fellowship, encouragement, and understanding.”

We have found that at the root of our problems is the basic need of objectivity man has always had. God’s will must be done, on earth (now) as in heaven. We are the only agents He has to see that His will (not ours) is done in His Church in our day. We, quite apparently from the results surveyed, have left His will undone. Do we lack dedication, conviction, resolution? What of self-reflection, self-examination, self-discipline? And what has happened to the proud past of unity, so evident in our tradition? We so often come so close to being great (s o many of our people are community leaders), yet we fail to attain this witness in our Church life. Do we know what we are here to do, so that we may do it?

The Committee has no desire to dodge any of the issues or minimize any of the problems confronted by our Diocese. However, after a long and careful survey of the reports at hand, a summary of the areas of work for our Church in the Diocese of Georgia now, and for the immediate future, indicates careful consideration for the following:

1. A rededication of our people to the fundamental principles of the Christian religion as expressed by the teachings of the Episcopal Church. Any worthy change must come with a renewal of our faith.
2. A willingness and objectivity to carry out these teachings into the world today, in spite of the revolutionary character of society and culture. We thus baptize the secular world for Christ.
3. We must emancipate ourselves from the notions of “club religion” and open our Church to the idea that God has made of one blood all nations of men to dwell in the earth. This includes all men in South Georgia. To these is our Mission.

No revision or alternation of structure and organization Is valid without a primary consideration of these three points.

We would call the whole Diocese to open its mind and heart to our Bishop; to learn from him devotion and faithful service to Jesus Christ, to follow in faith where he leads us, and to join the rest of the Church in giving thanks for his ministry.

The report continued with actions for the convention and charts of the reorganized Diocese of Georgia. The full text including associated charts is found here in a PDF file: Report of Committee on Structure and Organization: Diocese of Georgia