Both the Presiding Bishop and the President of the House of Deputies made opening remarks to the Council, along with CEO Bishop Sauls. (Bishop Jefferts Schori’s remarks were not made from a prepared text, but are summarized in this ENS article.) Reading between the lines of each, and translating the Presiding Bishop’s earlier prepared remarks about coming changes in structure, which may be viewed here, it is clear that the heads of the Church are not of one mind about how to deal with the challenges which it faces in the twenty-first century.
And those challenges are significant and substantial. They are summarized graphically in a presentation to the Council (zip file download is at this link) by Kirk Hadaway, who is the church official in charge of congregational research, and by Matthew Price, of the Church Pension Fund. Among other facts shown, 72% of Episcopal congregations were in financial stress as of 2010 (compared to 58% of other denominations for the same year) — the highest level in the past decade, by far.