(ENS) Episcopal Church Program, Budget & Finance begins work on 2013-2015 budget

One tension PB&F members discussed centered on responding to the financial challenges faced by dioceses while deciding how much money needs to be spent in support of the denomination-wide mission, ministry and infrastructure of the Episcopal Church.

Del Glover, chair of council’s financial committee, told the PB&F group that council had also struggled with what he characterized as the tension between “what’s a reasonable expectation to ask of dioceses and what’s a reasonable expectation for the use of the funds by the [church], and those are two separate issues.”

Another tension concerned paying for the costs of the church’s mission and current structure knowing that there have been many proposals to change that structure and, possibly, redefine the direction and focus of the mission and ministry.

Read it all.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, Stewardship

14 comments on “(ENS) Episcopal Church Program, Budget & Finance begins work on 2013-2015 budget

  1. c.r.seitz says:

    Was there any discussion of the relationship between askings (even reduced ones) and yield?
    Many dioceses cannot afford much if any giving; and many do not give out of conviction. These are not mandatory payments.

  2. sophy0075 says:

    Midway through that budget cycle, TEC will have burned through the money it has stolen from the faithful through its lawsuits, and there will be no more victims from which to steal funds.

  3. Jeremy Bonner says:


    One can view the litigation as ill-judged (and even, in some cases, malicious), but it can’t be theft, any more than the action of the Anglican congregations in seeking judicial review was theft.

    One can believe that the various court rulings have been erroneous on historical and/or legal grounds, but that’s the fault of the court not TEC.

    When either side cries “thief” in the matter of church property, we compromise our witness.

  4. sophy0075 says:

    Dear Mr Bonner,

    You are certainly entitled to your viewpoint; however, the judicial decisions in favor of TEC run counter to the law of trusts, as hammered out via a millennium of Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence (please see Anglican Curmudgeon’s comments regarding the same). That the courts have been swayed to issue decisions counter to established law, suggests a venal form of bias to me, resulting in a wrongful taking.

  5. Jeremy Bonner says:

    But a bad legal decision is still a decision is it not, Sophy? And it is the law until overturned.

    I happen to think that the decisions are wrong as a matter of history (I’ll defer to the Curmudgeon and others better informed on trust law). If your use of the word “theft” was solely in respect to wrongful taking, fair enough. I just blench when it’s directed at members of the churches involved (ACNA and TEC) because to me it implies a willful effort to take something one [b]knows[/b] is not one’s own and I rather doubt any involved believe that.

    This is something distinct from the Presiding Bishop’s attempts to restrict the Anglican “brand,” which I do think are willful in the present context.

  6. tjmcmahon says:

    Can someone explain to me why TEC rents out the conference center of the Maritime institute in Maryland when it owns 110 Cathedrals, several conference centers (some built specifically for the needs of church conferences) and innumerable large parish halls? We are talking about a meeting of a subcommittee, for crying out loud- I can see why GC needs to rent big halls, but meetings of 30 or 40 people? How many thousands of dollars could it save per year using its own facilities for meetings instead of rented conference centers and Central American hotels. Or is it the “Maritime Institute of the Episcopal Church”?

  7. David Keller says:

    #5–That’s the probelm; she thinks its a brand, not a branch of Christainity.

  8. Sarah says:

    RE: “but it can’t be theft . . . ”


    Of course theft can be “legal.” There are a thousand years of instances of legalized theft out there. Just because there’s some law that gives me all the property of Jeremy Bonner’s doesn’t mean that my taking it isn’t cold hard theft. To say that does violence to the word “property” or “ownership.” I mean obviously, in the legal sense, if there’s a law that says all of Jeremy Bonner’s “property” belongs to Sarah, then in *that* sense, that “property” is not technically “Jeremy Bonner’s.” But again, all that has been accomplished is a *legal* deconstruction of a word — rather like the current revisionist leaders of TEC canonically deconstructing the word “marriage” and filling the word with a different meaning.

    RE: “When either side cries “thief” in the matter of church property, we compromise our witness.”

    I disagree. I think it is a very good witness to name the actions by our current TEC leaders as what they are. It’s important for pagans to see the leaders of this church named and denounced clearly for who they are and what they’ve done. Wouldn’t want them mistaken for those who believe the Gospel and I think, with determined and clear and steadfast effort, they increasingly aren’t and won’t be in the future.

  9. Jeremy Bonner says:


    I disagree. For the litigation to be theft there would have to be consciousness on the part of those in authority in TEC that parish property was and is ineluctably bound up with the individual congregation and any litigation was knowingly pursued with that fact fully conceded (at least in private). I don’t believe that, although of course I could be wrong.

    There’s enough ambiguity in the historical record – including pronouncements by a number of completely orthodox high churchmen over more than a century and a half – for people to have mistakenly acquired such notions. All too often, diocesan autonomy was something assumed rather than formally stated (if one goes digging one can find it stated, but you do have to dig) and congregational autonomy was something else entirely.

    It’s the theological arguments in the present contention that matter. The property disputes really don’t prove anything one way or the other (except in cases like Good Shepherd, where a reasonable offer is refused to preserve the Anglican brand – [i]that[/i] sort of behavior does deserve publicizing).

    In the last 25 years, Fort Worth, Quincy and South Carolina all ended up in court over congregational challenges from Continuing Churches and AMIA. Yes, those disputes were ultimately resolved out of court (Quincy and South Carolina were at least), but the same sort of arguments were deployed in those case as have been employed latterly by TEC in Virginia.

  10. Sarah says:

    RE: “For the litigation to be theft there would have to be consciousness on the part of those in authority in TEC . . . ”

    This is probably the theological root of the disagreement. I think people sin — thieve, murder, lie, rebel against God, etc, etc — all the time without “consciousness.” They are “people of the lie” as Scott Peck describes. If there’s one thing that the current leaders of TEC demonstrate it is just how much they are people of the lie.

  11. Jeremy Bonner says:

    So when the Diocese of South Carolina, on +Ed Salmon’s watch, took All Saints, Pawley’s Island, to court, in defiance of biblical injunctions regarding Christians suing Christians, its leaders became people of the lie?

    Thanks for clarifying, Sarah.

  12. Sarah says:

    RE: “took All Saints, Pawley’s Island, to court . . . ”

    I see you’re not very aware of the details. Understandable, since it’s not your state.

    But yes — [i]in so far as[/i] an entity attempts to gain the property of another despite the clear name on the title stating the clear owners of the private property and without historical encumbrances [again, you may want to go to the trouble to drag yourself through the details of the legal exchanges] its leaders engage in legalized theft, and [i]should they be “unconscious” of that theft[/i], then its leaders become people of the lie.

    It’s legalized theft whether its in Stalinist Russia, or 1930s Germany, or 21st century America. The “unconsciousness” of the perpetrators is neither here nor there.

    RE: “Thanks for clarifying, Sarah.”

    You’re very welcome.

    But there’s no need to be bitter over the truth being pointed out. I expect most conservative Episcopalians are aware of these basic principles.

    I think people need to have an unflinching recognition of the nature of the people involved in these evil actions — and they need to be able to take action [or inaction, as the case may be] accordingly.

    That’s why the faux diocese of Pittsburgh — to bring up another point of disagreement — is as hopeless as it is. People are in charge who are vicious, duplicitous, and untrustworthy to the core and the minority — at least most of them — haven’t yet acknowledged that fact and proceeded to work accordingly. They’d rather live in a pleasant land of unreality and delusion than confront the truth. It’s why there will be no peace or reconciliation or unity, although certainly the pretense of such a thing works in the favor of the ones in charge. It’s why they will win the bishop election and the diocese will continue to decline and good clergy will continue to leave it for dioceses with more trustworthy leaders.

    It’s the way organizations work — God in His mercy allows even the negative laws of thermodynamics, particularly of entropy, to be fulfilled.

    Always happy to clarify.

  13. Pb says:

    There were those in Georgia who never thought the case would be won and that the loss of all property was inevitable. 10 out of 11 judges who heard this case agreed. I do not like the decision but it was consistent with existing law. The decision to leave has had its consequences.

  14. Jeremy Bonner says:


    Could you (or someone else) clarify for me how the initial decision to engage in litigation in the All Saints case differs in essentials from more recent cases asserting diocesan hegemony. I understand why South Carolina did what they did and I believe it was done in good faith, but . . .