Diocesan Governing Committees
The Episcopal Diocese of Northern Indiana meets annually in Diocesan Convention to make decisions regarding its governance. In convention, all canonically resident clergy and up to three lay delegates from each parish (one from each mission) deliberate together as one body. The hosting of these annual conventions rotates around the diocese from one parish to another.
Between conventions, the work of the diocese is carried out by a number of different governing committees, each with a different purpose and charge. Below the chart is a description of each committee.
The Standing Committee oversees the legal and canonical relationships between the diocese and the outside world. This includes the disposition of property, consent to the election of bishops throughout the Episcopal Church and the advancement of persons through the ordination process. In the absence of a Bishop or Bishop Coadjutor, the Standing Committee functions as the Ecclesiastical Authority.
The Standing Committee consists of three presbyters and three lay persons. All members are elected by the diocesan convention to serve a term of three years. No member may serve more than two consecutive terms. The current members are:
Mr. Timothy McLaughlin, President
The Rev. Joseph Czolgosz, Secretary
Mrs. Melissa Goodwin
The Rev. Richard Lightsey
The Rev. Paul Nesta
Mr. Randy Powers
Commission on Ministry
The Commission on Ministry (COM) advises the Bishop and the Standing Committee regarding the preparation of persons for ministry. This includes interviewing persons discerning a calling to ordained ministry (the diaconate or the priesthood), supporting those who have discrened a calling to ordained ministry in their formation process, and reviewing applications for Continuing Education grants for clergy and laity.
The COM is an integral decision-making body in the ordination process. It is comprised of both clergy (priests and deacons) and lay persons who are appointed by the bishop.
Property and Loan
The Property and Loan Committee advises the Standing Committee regarding the disposition of property. This includes consideration of requests by the Diocesan Council, a parish or mission to incur any indebtedness, obligation or encumberance, review of all (de)construction proposals involving property belonging ultimately to the diocese, and advice regarding diocesan rental of property belonging to others.
The Property and Loan Committee is comprised of both clergy and lay persons with expertise in such relevant fields as finance, law, real estate, architecture, construction, and interior decoration. Its members are appointed by the bishop.
The Diocesan Council oversees financial, legislative and programmatic life within the diocese. Council duties include monitoring the Financial Statement of Mission, maintaining diocesan policies and guidelines, staffing and funding diocesan initiatives, entering into contracts and making charitable donations on behalf of the diocese. Diocesan Convention may assign other duties to the Council as well.
The Diocesan Council consists of the Bishop (or the Bishop's designate) as presiding officer, the Secretary and Treasurer of the diocese, and nine elected officers. Each of the three Deaneries elects one cleric and one lay person to serve a term of two years. Diocesan Convention elects three persons at-large, also to serve a two-year term. No member may serve more than two consecutive terms. The current members of Diocesan Council are:
The Rt. Rev. Douglas Sparks, President
Mr. Joe Walker, Treasurer
The Rev. Jim Warnock, Secretary
Mr. Allan Brown (West—2018)
The Rev. Rob Dorow (West—2019)
The Rev. TJ Freeman (East—2019)
Ms. Cynthia Guzzo (At-Large—2018)
Ms. Pamela Harris (At-Large—2019)
Mr. Bill Munn (East—2018)
The Rev. Joshua Nelson (Central—2019)
Mr. Kirk Philippsen (Central—2018)
Dr. Steven Wietstock (At-Large—2019)
The Social Outreach Committee advises Diocesan Council regarding the distribution of funds for worthy outreach projects or ministries that fit within the parameters Jesus articulates in Matthew 25:35-36: "I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me." The primary responsibility of the social outreach committee is to receive, evaluate, and respond to funding requests from parishes within the diocese. A secondary responsibility is to identify possible recipients of funds designated for the Sustainable Development Goals.
Comprised of persons representing various areas of the diocese, the Social Outreach Committee is appointed by the bishop. It meets several times a year to consider applications for financial assistance
Congregational Revitalization & Development
The Congregational Revitalization & Development Committee advises Diocesan Council regarding opportunities for congregational growth and avenues for diocesan support. Its mission is to develop plans with congregations for revitalization by presenting the Gospel, implementing strategies for renewal of faith, and strengthening actions for mission; and to organize and implement plans for the expansion of God's Kingdom in our diocese through the development of new congregations.
The Diocese of Northern Indiana Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit corporation that supports the religious, educational, and charitable work of the diocese. It oversees funds in the following areas: education, outreach, congregation revitalization, and new congregations. Parishes, missions, and organizations affliated with the diocese may apply to the Foundation for loans.
General Convention Deputation
The General Convention is the governing body of the Episcopal Church. Meeting every three years in a bicameral legislature—the House of Deputies and the House of Bishops the General Convention considers a wide range of important matters facing the Church. The work at Convention is carried out by deputies and bishops representing each diocese. Our diocese sends a delegation of four clerical and four lay deputies, in addition to our bishop. Our diocesan convention elects deputies two years prior to the year in which they will serve.
Province V Delegates
For the Unity of the Church
O God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, our only Savior, the Prince of Peace: Give us grace seriously to lay to heart the great dangers we are in by our unhappy divisions; take away all hatred and prejudice, and whatever else may hinder us from godly union and concord; that, as there is but one Body and one Spirit, one hope of our calling, one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism, one God and Father of us all, so we may be all of one heart and of one soul, united in one holy bond of truth and peace, of faith and charity, and may with one mind and one mouth glorify thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.