Renting the Church Center in New York

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Received from the Rt Rev Stacy Sauls, Chief Operating Officer of The Episcopal Church, Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society, regarding tenants of the building at 815 Second Avenue in New York City. The Café asked for information following the departure of the Episcopal Church Foundation. Story here. The Café thanks him for the prompt response to our request for more information. Sauls is currently meeting with the Executive Council and the new Presiding Bishop. The interim bodies and task forces meet today through Saturday to coordinate work for the next triennium.

“In addition to the offices of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society, we rent space to tenants and provide space without rent to certain church-related organizations we call “affiliated agencies.”  Most of the latter are long-standing and have differing origins.  The General Convention budget adopted in 2015 assumes additional revenue-generating tenants in its income assumptions as the best way to make use of the assets of The Episcopal Church for the benefit of the whole church.  To accomplish these goals, the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society is consolidating its offices to make additional space available for rent.  In order to do so, we will no longer be able to accommodate affiliated agencies without charging rent.  Episcopal Relief & Development is a special case.  The General Convention Budget, in consultation with Episcopal Relief & Development and the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society, provides for Episcopal Relief & Development to pay rent at fair market rates as well as a grant to be provided to Episcopal Relief & Development in the same amount. The rationale was to show clearly the actual cost to the church for the space provided but not to divert the funding of other donors provided for the work of Episcopal Relief & Development.”

As of 11/17/15:

TENANTS
Ad Council

Consulate of Lesotho

Consulate of Haiti and Permanent Mission of Haiti to the United Nations

Lyceum Kennedy

AFFILIATED AGENCIES
Episcopal Relief & Development (will begin paying rent, which is offset by a grant in the same amount, beginning January 1, 2016)

National Association of Episcopal Schools (will begin renting space beginning sometime in 2016; will continue space without paying rent until rentable space is available at 815 Second Avenue)
Episcopal Church Foundation (through 12/31/15)

Colleges and Universities of the Anglican Communion (through 12/31/15)

Bible & Common Prayer Book Society (through 12/31/15)

Church Periodical Club (through 12/31/15)

Anglican Communion Office at the United Nations

The Rt. Rev. Stacy F. Sauls| CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER | Office of the Presiding Bishop | The Episcopal Church | 212-922-5313

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Jay Croft
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Jay Croft

Pegram, how much space would the national HQ need?

I understand that the College of Preachers building is vacant--and a beautiful building it is--but it would require a lot of interior upgrading and remodeling, especially for accessibility.

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Pegram Johnson III
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Pegram Johnson III

It seems to me a no brainer that the headquarters should be a the National Cathedral in Washington. I think the two could nicely complement each other.
And in re personal attack as discussed briefly above, I felt the same way yesterday when we shared thoughts on the name of the Episcopal Church in Lexington, Va. The "moderator gave himself the last word which was really offensive in generalizations about what some of us have said.

[At this writing (1:16 PM, 11/19) the comments for
https://www.episcopalcafe.com/r-e-lee-memorial-church-will-remain-r-e-lee-memorial-church/
are not closed. Comments on Episcopal Café close automatically after several days. They are not closed at discretion. Some exceptions occur, but not in the case of this post. - ed.]

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David Allen
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David Allen

Father Pegram, I'm not sure how anyone got the last word in the RE Lee story as the comments are still open.

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David Allen
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David Allen

Paul, I am one of the volunteer editors for The Lead. We each are responsible for the stories posted on the different days of the week.

Sunday - Jon White, managing editor
Monday - David Streever
Tuesday - Cara Modisett
Wednesday - Rosalind Hughes
Thursday - Jon White
Friday - Andrew Gerns
Saturday - David Allen
Ann Fontaine is responsible for the Speaking to the Soul magazine stories and she and John Chilton serve as ad hoc editors for The Lead.

We all share the responsibilities for moderating the comments, along with the moderation software built into Word Press.

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Paul Kean
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Paul Kean

Just a question David - Are you indeed a moderator? I thought you were but am not sure. Thank you.

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Prof Christopher Seitz
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Prof Christopher Seitz

"a twelve year old thing!" Mr. David.

“Comments that include personal attacks…will not be posted”

I don't think anyone is confused about the difference between a substantive comment and a personal attack.

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Paul Kean
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Paul Kean

Regarding the moderator - you are not alone...my recent experience as well.

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David Allen
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David Allen

Paul, you are being dishonest. Someone posting comments that disagree with your point of view isn't in any way mistreating you.

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Richard McDonough
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Richard McDonough

It would seem that the best use of church funds would be to move the HQ from New York to another, less costly city. This is not to say that new York is not a wonderful place to be, but more a recognition that the church would be better stewards of it's money in another location. The PB could certainly travel quite easily from Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Denver, or any number of other cities. Another possibility is to lease space at the National Cathedral or from any number of other church owned locations such as unused space in one of the many Seminaries. Yes, there would be disruption to the lives of the people who work for the church, but that is something that many people face, and survive, daily. We no longer need to be in the "center of the world". Let's use some common sense when it comes to a HQ location.

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christopher seitz
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christopher seitz

I assume part of the resistance to moving is optics: it might suggest that things are not going well and that is not what TEC wants to project. It's business as usual.

But the problem is. It isn't business as usual and problems must be addressed.

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David Allen
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David Allen

You of course are a glass-half-full kind of guy, especially when it comes to TEC. So you look for every opportunity to get in your spin. Such a twelve year old thing!

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David Allen
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David Allen

Pointing out someone's constant behavior isn't really a personal attack.

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Prof Christopher Seitz
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Prof Christopher Seitz

"Comments that include personal attacks...will not be posted" -- from your own guidelines.

That makes sense to me. It allows the discussion to stick to substance.

But perhaps moderators aren't subject to the rules.

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Prof Christopher Seitz
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Prof Christopher Seitz

Could you try to keep to substance, please?

Thanks.

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Jay Croft
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Jay Croft

I'm wondering why the Church Pension Group saw fit to rent space a block or two from 815, and then a few years ago moved to a space near the Empire State Building. I'm sure that the rents must be high there, too.

Interestingly, the pension checks are issued from a Chicago bank.

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John Chilton
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John Chilton

"The rationale was to show clearly the actual cost to the church for the space provided but not to divert the funding of other donors provided for the work of Episcopal Relief & Development."

All these years 815 was foregoing market rent for this space. It still is. Nothing has changed for 815 or for Episcopal Relief & Development.

There remains an unseen cost: change could have been made for the better. Assuming the grant is encumbered by a restriction that Episcopal Relief & Development stay in space there is an opportunity foregone. In all likelihood Episcopal Relief & Development would be better off if it gave up the space at 815 and kept the grant. This does no harm to 815/General Convention budget, but it benefits Episcopal Relief & Development.

Remember the mantra of effective giving: give cash, not in-kind. It applies here as well.

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