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Mr. Duncan, on the part of the Standing Committee for the last year, who had been charged with the duty of preparing suitable Canons for the government of the Church in Louisiana, reported the following; which, on motion, were separately adopted without dissent.
Of the Organization of New Parishes.
The mode of organizing a new Parish, shall be as follows: The friends of the Church, being duly convened, shall choose two Wardens, and not less than five Vestrymen, and also a Parish Clerk. To entitle such new Parish to be admitted into union with this Convention, they shall pass a resolution declaring their adhesion to the Constitution and Canons of the General Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America; and also of the Diocese of Louisiana; a copy of which resolutions, with the proceedings of the meeting, certified by the Clerk, shall be laid before the Convention.
Of Parish Meetings.
The election of the Wardens, Vestrymen, and Parish Clerk, shall be made at the annual parish meeting, to be held on Easter Monday; which officers shall continue in office till the next annual meeting, or till a new election takes place. In case of manifest expediency, a special meeting may be held for this purpose. All persons who own or hire a pew, or who contribute annually to the support of the ministry, shall be entitled to vote.
Of the Convention Fund.
It shall be the duty of every Parish to send annually to the Treasurer of the Convention, a sum equal to one per centum on the salary of its minister; or, if there be no minister, at least ten dollars annually; and the sum so raised shall be appropriated by the Standing Committee to pay for publishing the Journals, and other contingent expenses of the Convention. Each parish shall be entitled to at least twenty copies of the Journals. The Treasurer's annual report to the Convention shall contain a statement of the sums received, the parishes from which they were received, and the purposes for which they were expended.
Of Parish Registers and Parochial Reports.
Every Minister shall keep a Register of Baptisms, Confirmations, Communicants, Marriages and Funerals, within his cure, agreeably to the 29th Canon of the General Convention of 1832. The Record shall specify the name and time of birth, of the child baptized, with the names of the parents and sponsors; the name of the adult baptized; the names of the parties married, and of the persons buried; and also the time when each rite was performed. The Register shall be kept by the Minister, in a book belonging to the Vestry; and in case of a vacancy, by the Senior Warden.
It shall be the duty of the Minister to present to the Annual Convention a statement of the number of Baptisms,
Confirmations, Marriages and Funerals within his cure; together with the number of Communicants; distinguishing the additions, removals, and deaths, since the last Report. He may also include in the statement any other matters tending to throw light on the condition of the parish.
Of the Standing Committee.
The Standing Committee shall organize on the day of their election, by choosing a President and Secretary; the latter of whom shall keep a Record of all its transactions, and present an abstract of the same to each annual Convention. The meetings of the Standing Committee may be called at the discretion of the President; and it shall be his duty to call a meeting when requested thereto by any two of its members.
Of the Convention.
Every Convention shall be opened with prayers and a sermon, and the administration of the Lord's Supper; and the preacher shall be nominated by the Bishop, or in case of the vacancy of that office, by the Standing Committee. There shall also be prayers every morning during the session of the Convention.
On motion by Mr. Duncan, it was unanimously Resolved, That the Diocese of Louisiana be, and hereby is, placed under the full Episcopal charge and authority of the Rt. Rev. Leonidas Polk, D. D., Missionary Bishop of Arkansas, agreeably to the provisions of the 3d Canon of the General Convention of 1838; and that he be respectfully requested to accept the same.
Resolved, That the Standing Committee be requested to transmit the foregoing Resolution to the Rt. Rev. Bishop Polk; and to express the earnest hope of this Convention, that he will take the Episcopal oversight of this Diocese.
Dr. Wheaton, on the part of the Delegates to the last General Convention, reported, that agreeably to the instructions they had received, they presented the claims of the churches in Louisiana to be admitted into union with the Church; and that by a resolution of the General Convention, Louisiana had been constituted an independent Diocese, in union with the General Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America.
The Rector of Christ Church, New-Orleans, reported the following ecclesiastical rites in his parish, since he assumed the charge thereof in November, 1838; viz.
Baptisms, (infants, 54; adults, 5;) 59:-Confirmations, 9:-Marriages, 20:-Funerals, 18:-Communicants, between 130 and 150. But one Communicant has been removed by death.
The condition of the parish is encouraging; all the pews are disposed of, with the exception of a few reserved for strangers; and the assemblies for public worship are generally full.