The Episcopal Diocese of Rochester, like all members of the Episcopal Church, employs a shared model of governance in which our bishop, the Rt. Rev. Prince G. Singh, and elected and appointed clergy and laity work together to discern God's plan for us in the region. Our vision is Joy in Christ, a way of life; our mission is to grow and develop congregations spiritually, numerically and in missional leadership. We practice this through radical hospitality, thoughtful engagement and passionate spirituality. Read more about us...
Bishop: The Rt. Rev. Prince G. Singh
As chief executive of the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester, the Rt. Rev. Prince G. Singh is responsible for guiding the Diocese towards its mission and vision. The bishop also serves as pastor to all clergy of the Diocese and shares, along with other judicatory heads, in seeing to the spiritual well-being of all people in the region. As a member of the House of Bishops, Bishop Singh participates actively in the leadership of the Episcopal Church.
Annual Legislature: Diocesan Convention
Every year, the Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester meets to vote on the budget of the Diocese and resolutions related to the direction, growth and life of the Church. Convention also elects members to the Diocese's elected goverance bodies (see below). It is composed of lay and clergy delegates elected from every church in the Diocese.
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Constitution & Canons
Revised and adopted in the Conventions of 1952, 1954, 1955, 2012, 2015 and 2016 the Constitution & Canons establish the governance of the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester and define the Rules of Order for Convention.
CONSTITUTION and CANONS - 2016.pdf (Revised and Adopted 2016)
Monthly Governance: Diocesan Council
Diocesan Council serves as the executive body of the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester between annual Diocesan Conventions and acts in accordance with the directives of the Diocesan Convention. Diocesan Council performs the work of the Diocese committed to it by Convention; assists the Bishop with new work between Conventions; formulates the annual budget as directed by Convention; establishes apportionment; organizes departments and determines their scope; and requests reports/statements from parishes and missions as needed. It is composed of elected clergy and lay members from the Diocese's districts, as well as at-large members who represent the entire Diocese.
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The Standing Committee
The Standing Committee has several functions. It acts as the Bishop's Council of Advice (Article VII.2); approves actions that encumber real property/equipment of the church; approves indebtedness for current expenses in excess of 20% of the previous year’s receipts for current expenses; approves requests to elect bishops; approves the election of bishops; and, approves candidates for Holy Orders. It is composed of four lay and four clerical members. The Standing Committee serves as the Ecclesiastical Authority in the absence of a bishop.
Oversight of Real & Financial Assets: Trustees
The Trustees hold the powers and duties granted to them by Section 5 of the Religious Corporations Law of the State of New York and are responsible for the prudent management of assets of the Diocese. Lay and clergy members comprise this body.
Leadership Development: Commission on Ministry
The Commission on Ministry (COM) is composed of elected and appointed clergy and laity primarily responsible for discernment with and formation of those in the ordination process for holy orders to the vocational diaconate and priesthood. It is also concerned with supporting the discernment of the ministry of all the baptized in our congregations. It addresses issues of formation guidelines, mentoring of newly ordained clergy, ongoing support and clergy wellness, deployment models, and administration of clergy continuing education grants.
Regional Executive Leadership: District Deans
District Deans, who are members of the clergy appointed by the bishop, liaise with Bishop Singh about needs and goals within their respective geographic areas. They communicate frequently with the bishop and his staff about strategic planning, district issues and pastoral needs. They also help guide pastoral development in their districts, working to foster mission and ministry, encouraging change and supporting congeniality in their districts. Deans help to build beloved community among the clergy and laity of the Diocese by creating prayer partnerships, hosting Bible study and providing pastoral care.
Legal Counsel to the Bishop: Office of the Chancellor
The Chancellor provides confidential or public advice on canonical or legal matters to the Bishop, Standing Committee, Diocesan Council, and Diocesan Convention at their request, but not to the Diocese or parishes. With this said, there are parish matters (approval of bylaw amendments) and Diocesan matters (review of resolutions) the Chancellor must review, and on a number of matters, at the request of the Bishop or diocesan staff, the Chancellor will advise the Diocese.
Ecclesiastical Discipline: Intake Officer & Disciplinary Board
Complaints regarding the behavior of clergy are received by the Intake Officer of the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester. Depending on the circumstances, cases may be referred to the Diocese's Disciplinary Board or to the appropriate law enforcement agency.
Deputies to General Convention
Deputies to General Election: (3) year term
Eight deputies elected every (3) years, (4) clergy and (4) lay
Duties include reporting back to the diocese as well as attending and representing the Diocese at General Convention held every three years.
Seniority of deputies is important in terms of the Convention committee structure.
General Convention Venue: 2018 Austin, TX
Deputies Elected at 2019 Convention
The Very Rev. Billy Daniel, St. Michael's, Geneseo
The Very Rev. Virginia Tyler Smith, St. John's, Honeoye Falls
The Very Rev. Johnnie Ross, Grace and St. Andrews, Scottsville & Caledonia
The Very Rev. Leslie Burkardt, St. Thomas, Rochester
Ms. Sarah Peters, St. George's, Hilton
Ms. Julie Syracuse, St. John's, Sodus
Dr. Carolyn Mok, St. Thomas, Rochester
Ms. Kathleen Stokes, Good Shepherd, Webster
Alternates Elected at 2017 Convention (New Election for 2020)
The Rev. Robert Picken, St. Paul's, Rochester
The Rev. Billy Daniel, St. Michael's, Geneseo
The Rev. Michael Hartney, Retired
The Rev. Virginia Tyler Smith, St. John's, Honeoye Falls
Ms. Susan Hartney, Trinity, Geneva
Ms. Gwen Van Laeken, St. Peter's, Geneva
Ms. Carolyn Mok, St. Thomas, Rochester
Ms. Julie Syracuse, St. John's, Sodus