Category : Stewardship
In 2009 an Anglican church was expelled from their building in Central NY under TEC Bishop Skip Adams and it became an Islamic Center for 1/3 the price the parish was willing to pay
The Church of England is to seek legal protection against being forced to sell its cash-strapped ancient cathedrals in the event that any them become bankrupt. A meeting of the General Synod, the church’s parliament, this week set in train the passing of a new law which would prevent creditors from seeking the sale of a cathedral’s land or buildings in the event that it falls insolvent.
The financial health of some of the CofE’s 42 cathedrals, among which figure some of the greatest treasures of British architecture, has made recent headlines as a number of institutions struggle to secure sufficient income….
More than a hundred new churches are to be created in a £27 million drive by the Church of England to revive the Christian faith in coastal areas, market towns and outer urban housing estates, it was announced today.
New Christian communities in areas including the Kent coast, housing estates in Plymouth and market towns in Cambridgeshire are to be set up by the Church of England as part of its Renewal and Reform programme.
The plans have been backed by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby as a ‘wonderful example’ of how churches are seeking to be faithful to God and to serve their communities.
He said: “The Church of England exists to share the good news of Jesus through our words and our actions. Across the country, churches are bursting with life – which in part is shown through how they love and serve their communities. I’m especially pleased about these grants because they demonstrate our commitment to following Jesus to the places of greatest need in our society….”
(Telegraph) Church of England sees fall in planned donations for first time in 50 years as millennials fail to engage
The Church of England has seen a fall in planned donations for first time in 50 years as it says millennials are not taking up the mantle of previous generations.
Money given through direct debits and standing orders has fallen for the first time since records began in 1964, it was revealed on Monday.
John Spence, chair of the Archbishops’ Council Finance Committee, told its governing body, the General Synod, that in 2016 income coming from planned giving fell by 0.4 per cent.
Figures for 2015 show that a total of £337.5m was given to the church this way, suggesting that there was a fall of around £1.35m in 2016.
The donations formed around a third of the money collected by parishes in 2015, which Mr Spence said rose by 1.8 per cent overall because of other sources of funds.
Almighty God, the source of all that we can have, and all that we can hope for,
Grant that we may be worthy custodians of the earth in which we dwell.
Make us creative so that we will not burden others;
Make us conservative so that we will not squander what comes our way;
Make us perceptive so that we may properly weigh our necessities against the needs of others;
Make us generous so that we may give freely of what we have that others can enjoy a portion of our fortune.
Remove from us all trust in anything but thee;
Strengthen us in the knowledge that thou wilt always provide all that we really need;
And finally, by thy Grace, instill in us that perfect desire to be thy servants and ultimately to be with thee in thy Heavenly Kingdom,
Who reignest forever and ever, Jesus Christ, our Lord.
–Robert W. Rodenmayer, ed., The Pastor’s Prayerbook: Selected and arranged for various occasions (New York: Oxford University Press, 1960)
The first Christians dealt with their wealth in so daring and counter-cultural a way that it proved powerfully attractive (Acts 2.44). Property and income was pooled so that there was no distinction between rich and poor, slave and free.
Yet this was no crypto-Marxist, hippy commune. Resources were shared because this was a community founded on the sacrificial love of the cross. Those dependent on Christ’s sacrifice knew that they were dependent also on each other. Those whose lives had been saved by the freely offered love of the cross could live only to the same values of generosity, gift, and grace.
It is interesting to see how far we have fallen. Anglican leaders (me included) love to rail against social inequality and the ever growing divide between rich and poor. Yet any analysis of the data shows that, across our own diocesan structures, we graphically model the inequality we so freely condemn.
The heart of the issue is that each diocese is its own independent charity, and that some have inherited vast historical assets, whereas others have not. While direct comparison is difficult because of the different accounting methods employed by different dioceses, the broad picture is so striking as to be unarguable.
Craig Antico co-founded RIP Medical Debt, a non-profit that buys up batches of overdue medical bills, erasing $120 million in debt for 60,000 patients so far.
The Church in Wales has announced a new £10 million GBP scheme to help its six dioceses fund new evangelism projects. The Church in Wales’ first ever Evangelism Fund will be launched this weekend with the aim of engaging “Welsh society with the claims of the Christian faith in vibrant and exciting ways.” The fund will provide grants of between £250,000 and £3 million, for diocesan projects that “will focus on people rather than buildings,” the Church in Wales said.
The fund will be managed by a committee with expertise in church growth and business ventures; and is being launched on Pentecost Sunday (20 May). Pentecost is traditionally regarded as the Church’s birthday, when Christians focus on sharing their faith and growth. This year, as in 2016 and 2017, it will come at the end of Thy Kingdom Come – a 10-day global wave of prayer focused on the church’s evangelism and witness.
“We are putting our money where our mouth is,” the Archbishop of Wales John Davies said. “We have long talked about growing the church and now we want to invest in projects across the country to enable that to happen. It is a radical answer to the decline we are experiencing in many places, and £10 million is a transforming amount.
The Anglican Church of Burundi has been training farmers to improve rice yields as part of efforts to combat food insecurity in the country. The two-year project has been run in partnership with Episcopal Relief & Development, the overseas development agency of the US-based Episcopal Church. Growing rice has been the main activity for people living along side Lake Tanganyika for many years; but the lack of improved techniques and seeds has caused low production and farmers could not expect to gain much from it.
Through the project, farmers have been trained and equipped with agricultural techniques and materials to improve rice production. “Already the farmers are seeing changes in agricultural production and consequently in their daily lives,” the province said in its newsletter.
“Our situation has improved since we no longer cultivate the rice just for consumption,” farmer Esperance Ndayishimiye, said. “I’m now able to meet easily my family’s needs. I pay school fees for my children. I have bought lands and built houses.” she said.
Coventry Cathedral which is built next to the bombed ruins of the old site has scrapped its entrance fees due to “generous donations”.
Charges including £6 adult entrance fees were introduced in 2010 because donations were “simply not enough”.
The announcement was made at the diocese’s Centenary Festival earlier.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said the cathedral and the diocese were working together to “make sure the day-to-day costs are met”.
(Post-Gazette) Religious institutions wait to see what tax reform does to their place in people’s budgets
The conventional thinking is that most people who donate to places of worship are not primarily motivated by tax benefits.
For many, giving is a core value based on religious teachings and a sense of gratitude.
This could be the year when those assumptions are put to a test.
The new federal tax law has cut taxes for working American families, but it also could have the unintended consequence of reducing the financial incentive for many people to donate to religious and charitable organizations.
The Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy estimates roughly 30 million households earning between $50,000 and $100,000 will be less likely to itemize deductions on their taxes due to the new law. With less incentive to donate, researchers predict the amount those households give will decline.
“Tax incentives do affect how much people give,” said Una Osili, associate dean for research. “If it is more expensive to give, they give less.”
— Teresa Lindeman (@pg_tlindeman) May 3, 2018
For those of You closely Following the Diocese of SC Supreme Court Case–TEC and the new TEC Diocese have requested another extension until May 7th
Apr 26, 2018: Motion to extend the time to file a response is granted and the time is further extended to and including May 7, 2018, for all respondents.
Tasmania’s Anglican Diocese is proposing to sell more than 120 properties, including churches, halls, houses and vacant land, to fund redress for survivors of child sexual abuse.
The church said it would need to sell just under half of its Tasmanian properties to cover an estimated $8 million of liability in additional payments to survivors.
It has been lobbying for the State Government to sign up to the National Redress Scheme for survivors, due to start on July 1 as a result of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
The Tasmanian Diocese also agreed to increase the payment cap for its own Pastoral Support and Assistance Scheme from $75,000 to $150,000 per claim.
A multi-million-pound bid to turn around churches that are in numerical decline is being prepared by the diocese of Durham.
The money will be used to turn churches in strategic locations with small congregations into “resourcing churches”. A strategic development funding bid for an estimated £2.9 million will be submitted to the Church Commissioners this month; an answer is expected in June. In total, the plan has been costed at about £4.5 million.
Canon David Tomlinson, who was appointed Senior Resourcing Church Leader this month, said last week that the funding would enable a “radical” approach to growth, “stepping outside of the norm in the Anglican Church of having a survival mentality”.
The first phase of the strategy entails church-plants in five areas: Bishop Auckland, Darlington, Durham, Gateshead, and Washington. In Stockton, missional communities of about 40 people will be developed. In the second phase, Sunderland, Hartlepool, Easington, and Jarrow will be added to the resource church network.
(Yorkshire Post) Sir Tony Robinson: Why York Minster and Britain’s other great cathedrals are right to charge an entrance fee
These days, cathedrals like York Minster are both a tourist attraction and a place of worship. More than 690,000 people visited in 2017 and, while it’s their entrance fees which keep the place running, finding the balance between commercial and spiritual demands is not always easy.
“I think York gets it right. These places are money pits and without the income they receive from visitors they would begin to crumble. I know that there are some people who would like them to be free to enter, but we do have to be realistic. We no longer live in the 19th century when wages were so low these great big cathedrals could easily afford to have 100 workers on-site without worrying about how they were going to pay the wage bills.
“However, what I particularly loved about York Minster was how every so often the general bustle of the day would stop and within a second it would revert to a place of stillness and a place of prayer.”
England is home to 44 cathedrals and given they have witnessed Henry VIII’s Reformation and Second World War bombing raids as well as the ravages of time, it is a minor miracle that the likes of York Minster have remained standing at all.