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Executive Council talks about “the ask”

Executive Council talks about “the ask”

Here’s Mary Frances Schjonberg’s report on the meeting of the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church no underway in Phoenix:

The liveliest discussion during the opening session of the Episcopal Church’s Executive Council June 10-12 meeting here surrounded how much money the General Convention ought to ask dioceses to contribute to the church-wide budget – and what should be done about dioceses that do not pay the full amount.


The discussion took the form of an informal poll of council members by Diocese of Ohio Bishop Mark Hollingsworth, chair of council’s Joint Standing Committee on Finances for Mission. FFM, as the committee is known, is in the process of helping to shape the draft 2016-2019 budget that council must construct by February 2015. Hollingsworth gave each council member 30 seconds to share what they are hearing around the church about the budget-funding process, and what they think ought to be done.

In the 2013-2015 triennium, dioceses are asked to contribute 19 percent of their annual income to help fund the church-wide budget. Each year’s annual giving in the three-year budget is based on a diocese’s income two years earlier, minus $120,000. The list of 2012 and 2013 diocesan commitments is here.

Other issues on the docket:

There are two executive sessions on the council’s agenda for members to discuss a new report from its Subcommittee on the Location of the Episcopal Church Center. One session was held at the end of the opening plenary June 10 and the other is scheduled as the first item on the plenary agenda for June 12. Prior to the meeting council members had to sign in to receive sealed printed materials related to the discussion; they will have to turn those materials after the meeting.

Council members will also discuss mission and budgetary issues in the Navajoland Area Mission; responses to justice issues such as human trafficking, Middle East peace, and environmental and climate concerns; hear about the church’s communion-wide covenant relationships; and will review policy in several areas.

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Rebecca Wilson

Here in Ohio, our sunshine law for public sector organizations and government bodies allows for executive session to discuss the purchase or sale of property. I think most other states have comparable laws. So if we’re using similar standards, then I’d expect the 815 discussions to be in executive session.

Marshall Scott

Ann, I see your point. I would note that in other discussions about location of the Episcopal Church Center among the issues were personnel concerns. This meeting might not be dealing with individual issues, such as discipline; but might well be dealing with reimbursement packages, expenses, etc.

Ann Fontaine

Having served on a college board of trustees I find it distressing to see the Council holding executive sessions. Most states do not allow their public boards to do business behind closed doors. Personnel issues yes but everything else needs a good dose of ‘sunshine’

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