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Episcopal Church 2016-18 budget available for review

Episcopal Church 2016-18 budget available for review

More on our Saturday series on resolutions and reports for General Convention 2015:

From the Office of Public Affairs of The Episcopal Church:

The proposed budget for The Episcopal Church in the 2016-2018 triennium is available for viewing here.

The document was approved by The Episcopal Church Executive Council at its January meeting.

The proposed budget is now submitted to the General Convention through the Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget, and Finance, which will meet to consider the proposed budget February 23 – 25.  That committee will conduct hearings at General Convention and present a Budget to a joint meeting of the House of Bishops and House of Deputies on July 1.

Proposed budget details
Of significance in the proposed budget:

• The proposed budget lowers the diocesan assessment from 19% in the current triennium to 18% in 2016, 16.5% in 2017, and 15% in 2018. It also increases the exemption for each diocese from $120,000 to $175,000 per year.

• The proposed budget includes grant money for the important Marks of Mission initiatives:
– In Mark 1, it raises the amount of money available for grants for church planting and new initiatives from $2 million to $3 million.
– In Mark 2, the program of Province IX Sustainability that was begun in the 2013-15 trienniums continues; the amount of Campus Ministry Grants increases to $400,000; youth and young adult ministries, including the Episcopal Youth Event, receive full funding; and $100,000 is provided for the ministry of Forma.
– In Mark 3, funding continues for the Young Adult Service Corps, and funding is provided for matching grants for diocesan and parish World Mission work, meeting the 0.7% spending target for the Millennium Development Goals.
– In Mark 4, it provides funding for Domestic Poverty and Jubilee ministries
– In Mark 5, it provides $500,000 in grants for environmental initiatives.

• In the area of Supporting Mission through Local Efforts in The Episcopal Church, it provides $1.5 million of funding for long-term development grants for domestic dioceses, and $400,000 of grants for higher education, particularly in Historically Black Episcopal Colleges and Universities.

• Funding for the Anglican Communion is restored to earlier levels, at $1.2 million for the triennium. Funding of $300,000 is also provided to help Anglican Communion covenant partners with long-term sustainability.

There seems to be very little reaction to the proposed budget. Add links in the comments to reviews you have read. Though budgets are often dull reading they reveal where the true heart of the church is revealed. (Matthew 6:21 “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”)

The Rev. Margaret Watson has written on how the idea of creating “self sustainability” affects the Cheyenne River Reservation where she serves multiple congregations covering a larger area than some states.

It’s not that the monies for this place will be slowly eliminated… it’s that the Church will give a grant so that the People here can figure out how to become self-sustainable, because the current model for mission is not sustainable…. And, in the meantime, what money is in the General Convention Church budget will be frozen at the same level as was given three years ago.

That’s not “eliminated.”

Besides, don’t you know, it might be spiritually degrading to be on the receiving end of such “mission” –it might create unhealthy dependency….

I don’t care how it’s spun… who can’t read between the lines? Who can’t understand the intent?

I have to admit my absolute electric shock to be on the receiving end of the words ‘spiritually degrading’ and ‘unhealthy dependency…’. It was good for me.

I hope I said something to the effect of –the church helped make these circumstances… it can’t just wash its hands and walk away.

But, I think that is exactly what the church will do. It will do all it can to protect the survival of the institution first.

More of her thoughts about what can be done are here

So, the first action the Church must take is to support (at least) South Dakota’s first asking of the Budget Committee –an increase.

And why should the greater Church support this ministry?

–as my Bishop said, for the sake of its own soul…

If the whole Church cannot support such ministry as a sign of repentance, reconciliation and restoration, then it has already lost the Gospel, and has nothing to say –to any one.

What the heck does it mean to repudiate the Doctrine of Discovery if we then do nothing to repent of it –true, sacrificial repentance….

Out in Episco-land – all is crickets. Maybe no one cares?


posted by Ann Fontaine


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Elizabeth Kaeton

I am happy to see that Campus Ministry has had a small increase. $400K for the Triennium is not nearly enough but it’s something. We squander our future by not funding this adequately. I hope it will be restored to a level that reflects our value of and investment in young adults.

I am curious to see that there is no funding for GBEC (General Board of Examining Chaplains) except for exam fees. Right, wrong, good or bad aside for the moment, my question is: How is it that we can totally eliminate funding for something that is canonically required? I know lots of people think the GOEs are worthless but if we’re going to eliminate them and the GBEC, ought we not change the canons first? Or, does PB&F have some yet to be reveled plan to fund the other functions of the GBEC?

Susan Brown Snook

Regarding the grants to domestic dioceses, the budget narrative also says the following:

“Lines 149-153, Grants to U.S. Dioceses. DFMS management discussions with these dioceses about the appropriate kind and level of support are ongoing, so Council has left these amounts the same as in the November 2014 draft budget for the present. It is anticipated that if necessary, proposed changes may be presented directly to PB&F by management. It should be noted that Line 167 includes $1.5 million of proposed long-term development grants intended to help the mission of these dioceses.”

In other words, the numbers presented in this area were not final, nor were they intended to be, because information was still being gathered. I hope PB&F will have the opportunity to review this information. There is also no intention of leaving the domestic dioceses on their own, but rather of helping with long-term development. I am shocked by the term “spiritually degrading,” as terms like these have never been part of any Council discussions. I spoke with my friend Margaret Watson+ this week and will relay the information I have gathered to PB&F, who will take the budget from here.

Ann Fontaine

Susan: the budget and conversations have been heard as spiritually degrading – not that you necessarily said those words.

Susan Brown Snook

No, I didn’t think anyone heard me say those words, thank God, because I would not say them! I am offering reassurance that those words were not said in any Executive Council meetings that I was part of.

June Butler

Thanks for posting Margaret Watson’s words. You’d have to look no further than Cheyenne River Episcopal Mission to find “the least of these”. If the church chooses not to support missions like the one where Margaret so courageously serves, what is the meaning of “mission”, the word I hear so often and so casually thrown about by church people?

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