Diocesan Task Forces
Task Forces are groups dedicated to a specific cause and created by a resolution at the Episcopal Church in Western Oregon’s Annual Meeting of the Convention. The basis of the task force charges is laid out in the founding resolutions and is then shaped over time by the work and ministry of the task force.
Below are the task forces currently active in the Episcopal Church in Western Oregon:
TRANS & NON-BINARY PERSONS: Created by the 133rd Annual Meeting, the members of our Task Force were appointed by the bishop in July 2022. We are charged with producing guidelines and/or tools for diocesan institutions and congregations to voluntarily conduct an assessment of practices and develop a plan to provide education, and implement improvements, including but not limited to restroom access and signage, formation activities, and communications online and in print.
To fulfill our charge, we have established the following tasks and goals:
- Support and education of parents of LGBTQ+ youth
- Liturgical Language (How do we balance the depth and beauty of our liturgy with language that does not encompass or express the full beauty of God’s creation?)
- Development of Vestry/BAC trainings: What in our diocese perpetuates the oppression of trans and non-binary people? Can we provide a common language to demystify and foster communication around trans/non-binary? What other Church entities can we partner with who are already doing this work?
- Development of assessment tools for faith gatherings/congregations: What needs attention (policies/procedures/bylaws)? Provide leaders with a “rubric” or checklist.
- The Rev. Gavin Shumate, Chair
- The Rev. A.J. Buckley
- Alan Murray
- The Rev. Dennis j Parker
- The Rev. Kerlin Richter
- Ruby Welch
PALESTINIAN HUMAN RIGHTS: Created by the 122nd Annual Meeting, the Task Force for Palestinian Human Rights’ purpose is to provide educational opportunities concerning the Holy Land, focusing primarily on the injustices taking place in Israel/Palestine, particularly regarding the well-being of Palestinian children. They hope to provide informational programs and other resources to enhance communities’ knowledge, encourage communities to take action in some form of advocacy, and go on eyewitness pilgrimage trips to the area.
In addition, the task force strives to shine a light on the ever-increasing vulnerabilities of the Palestinian Christians, their churches, institutions, and communities so that we can support them in their efforts to remain a viable presence in the Holy Land as they have been since the time of our Lord Jesus.
Ultimately the task force hopes for there to be peace with justice for all peoples of the Holy Land, namely Christians, Jews, and Muslims, as promoted by international laws and United Nations resolutions.
- Darlene Dunham, Coordinator
- Geoff Dunham
- The Rev. Dr. Constance Hammond
- Elizabeth Sheppard
- The Rev. Canon Richard Toll
- Episcopal Peace Fellowship, Palestine – Israel Network: https://epfnational.org/pin/
- Sabeel: https://sabeel.org
- Churches for Middle East Peace: https://cmep.org
- Voices From the Holy Land: https://www.voicesfromtheholyland.org
- Eyewitness Palestine: https://eyewitnesspalestine.org
- No Way to Treat a Child: https://nwttac.dci-palestine.org
- Kumi Now: https://kuminow.com
- Holy Land Justice: https://holylandjustice.org
- Kairos USA: https://kairosusa.org
- Kairos Palestine: https://kairospalestine.ps
TRUTH & RECONCILIATION: Created by an adopted resolution at the 132nd Annual Meeting of the Diocesan Convention proposed by the Commission to End Racism (renamed the Engaging Racial Justice Working Group). It was tasked to tell the truth about the diocesan history regarding racism. Currently, the task force is researching to identify acts of complicity by the diocese in systematic racism and also to identify acts by the diocese in opposition to racism. Its primary work is to tell the whole truth of the church’s enabling and institutionalizing of racism within and without the church.
The resolution was brought to Diocesan Convention in response to the International Episcopal Churches’ mandate for the entire Church to engage in truth-telling in order to Become Beloved Community.
Unless the truth is told, there cannot be reconciliation. The goal of the task force is to compile and tell the historical, as well as the current truth. This is painful but necessary. The goal is to use the truth-telling to enable reconciliation with our past and with those we have hurt as a church. They are using the labyrinth adopted by Becoming Beloved Community as their working model. As you move through the labyrinth, all quadrants work together.
- Sydney Fitzpatrick – Christ Church, Lake Oswego
- Concetta Buckner – St. Luke’s, Grant’s Pass
- The Rev. Ernestein Flemister – Missioner for Racial Reconciliation
- Pamela Filbert – St. Timothy, Salem
Miki Charlton – St. John the Baptist, Portland
Bernadine Clay – St. Philip the Deacon, Portland
Mick Dressler – St. Alban’s, Tillamook
Alan Murray – Trinity Cathedral, Portland
Meredith Pech – Trinity, Ashland
- Becoming Beloved Community by The Episcopal Church
- Anti-Racism Trainings offered by the Episcopal Church in Western Oregon
- The Engaging Racial Justice Working Group‘s page