The Friday Reflection – August 10, 2018

From The Rev. Deacon Steve Skiffington, St. Raphael’s, Oakhurst

Coming Soon to the Diocese of San Joaquin: EPPN-CA (Episcopal Public Policy Network – California)

“It’s not politics, it’s Gospel.”
-Presiding Bishop Michael Curry

The Episcopal Church has long had an Office of Public Policy with offices in Washington, D.C. Part of that is EPPN, The Episcopal Public Policy Network. The purpose of EPPN is to present to our elected officials at the federal level the position of TEC on public issues as determined by Acts of Convention and letters from the House of Bishops. EPPN also keeps the church informed of congressional activity in those areas. Several states have a similar system at the state level which until recently did not include California.

For the last two years representatives of the six Bishops in California have been meeting to discuss the viability of a such a network for California. Three face to face meetings were held, the last at our own St. James Cathedral this Spring, and we’ve been in touch with each other via Zoom since then. The Rev. Deacon Carolyn Woodall and I are Bishop David’s representatives to that group.

A Foundational Statement was drafted which explained our reason for forming (think Declaration of Independence) as well and how the network would operate (think Constitution). Each of the six dioceses will be launching the network at their Fall convention. Deacon Carolyn and I will be presenting more details to you at that time. EPPN-CA is not an act of the conventions, it is a creation of our bishops and as such we are responsible to them. The Formation Group is now in the process of making plans for a public launch after the first of the year. As those plans take shape you will be informed.

These are perilous times for our country and we feel it important to speak to our Gospel values to those who make public policy in California. Through EPPN-CA The Episcopal Church in California will have its own voice, but we will also partner with groups and organizations which share our values. We will always speak to issues, we do not endorse any candidate or party. We endorse Jesus Christ and live by the values he taught us.

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