How TEC funds Facilitated Conversations

Where does the money come from to fund the proposed “facilitated conversations” in the Anglican Communion? An insight can be gleaned from the blog of Rev. Susan B. Snook who is an Episcopal priest, rector of the Episcopal Church of the Nativity in Scottsdale, Arizona, and a member of TEC’s Executive Council. She writes a detailed account of the meeting just finished in which we find the following statement:

In addition [to funding a digitization project], we expect to use $312,000 in 2015 to support the Anglican Communion Office, in response to a request from the Presiding Bishop. If approved, this will raise our ACO commitment from $700,000 for the triennium to $1,012,000. According to Presiding Bishop Katharine, her request came not only in recognition of greatly improved relations with the Communion, but also as a gesture of support for some very beneficial work, such as the continuing Indaba project and reconciliation work. We did not officially vote on this request at this meeting, because it affects the 2015 budget, which does not come up for an official vote until October. However, I expect we will approve it then. Note that our 2013 and 2014 payments to the ACO were made as if we were spreading a total of $1,012,000 over three years. If the increased 2015 budget is not approved in October, the ACO will experience a severe cut, to $25,333 in 2015. (from here and the ENS summary of Executive Council resolutions is here)

Very interesting. For “improved relations with the Communion” perhaps read “we can do business with Lambeth”? At any rate, we now have confirmation that TEC is committing large sums to fund “Indaba and reconciliation”. We now wait to hear what Archbishop Justin has to say in his Presidential Address to the CofE General Synod at 9.30am on Wednesday morning to join up the dots”¦.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury

33 comments on “How TEC funds Facilitated Conversations

  1. Sarah says:

    RE: “greatly improved relations with the Communion” — boy that’s the truth. Look at what that money bought from Welby just a couple of days ago in his statements about Jefferts Schori, in which he stated:

    — she has “remarkable gifts of intellect and compassion, which she has dedicated to the service of Christ”
    — she has a “profound dedication to stewardship of our planet and humankind, especially in relieving poverty and extending the love and hospitality of Christ to those on the edges of society”
    — “Bishop Katharine’s achievements serve – and will continue to serve – as a powerful model for women seeking to pursue their vocations in the church.”

  2. sophy0075 says:

    So [i]that’s[/i] what the recommendation for an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree at Oxford costs these days…

  3. Matt Kennedy says:

    When I first read the infamous press release in which Welby heaps his effusive praise on Schori for all of her wonderment and glory, I thought to myself, “you can’t buy that kind of publicity”. Well, as it turns out I was wrong.

  4. tjmcmahon says:

    Wonder how many Oxford professors will end up as “facilitators”- Oxford needs to get its cut one way or another.

  5. tjmcmahon says:

    Do you think KJS will be upset when she finds out that Baucum got the Canterbury preacher thing was at a big discount?

  6. Adam 12 says:

    Just a note to our Friends in England…you may find yourself in a gathering where your convictions are looked on just a single viewpoint and there is a strong clerical persuasiveness for everyone to get along to get along—with those saying anything being made to feel like troublemakers or cranks lacking compassion. Also what is really at stake may in some sense be control of structures and funds and perquisites. It might be best to seek out people who think like you and persevere together.

  7. Jill Woodliff says:

    According to Presiding Bishop Katharine, her request came not only in recognition of greatly improved relations with the Communion

    Yes, I can see how that would be the case, the primates meeting, the Lambeth Conference, and the covenant gutted, the moratoria selectively applied, and the SCAC stacked with members who are torchbearers for the LGBT agenda.

    Mar 2007 The House of Bishops of TEC determined that the primates’ pastoral scheme would be “injurious to The Episcopal Church” and a violation of the church’s laws.

    May 2007 Archbishop Williams contravenes the primates’ September 30 deadline and issues the Lambeth invitations.

    May 2009 Ugandan alternate delegate to the Anglican Consultative Council, Rev. Phil Ashey, is refused a seat because it would violate the moratorium of provincial interventions. Yet PB Schori and Bp Ian Douglas, supporters of same-sex blessings and the consecration of a bishop in a same-sex relationship (also Windsor moratoria), are seated on the Standing Committee of the ACC.

    Dec 2009 The Standing Committee receives and adopts the Section 4 of the Covenant, considerably revised (not by the Covenant Design Group but by an appointed ad hoc group). Canon Janet Trisk elected illegally to the Standing Committee under the existing constitution. The Standing Committee determines that there is not enough money for the primates to meet annually and makes their meetings biennial.

    In his December 18, 2009 letter formally transmitting the final text of the Anglican Covenant to the member churches of the Communion, the Secretary General referred to a document then publicly unknown to explain key procedures for determining membership in the ACC. This document was unknown even to the Covenant Design Group and the subgroup of the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Unity, Faith and Order tasked to review the Communion structures. It came to be called the “new” or in some cases, “secret,” constitution.

    Jan 2010 President Bishop Mouneer Anis, coming to the “sad realization that there is no desire within the ACC and the SCAC to follow through on the recommendations that have been taken by the other Instruments of Communion to sort out the problems which face the Anglican Communion and which are tearing its fabric apart,” resigns from the Standing Committee. Also resigning in January-June are Archbishop Henry Orombi, his alternate Archbishop Justice Akrofi, and Bishop of Iran, Azad Marshall. Bishop Marshall said, “Indeed it became abundantly clear to me that the Anglican Communion had ceased to be a representative body of non-Western churches. Its main concern was how to maintain a relationship with TEC and other churches…who have repeatedly defied the communion’s stand on human sexuality.”

    Apr 2010 Rev Ian Douglas consecrated as bishop, thus rendering his clerical seat on the ACC and the Standing Committee vacant, according to the existing “old” constitution. Analysis of the existing ACC constitution showed that an immediate reappointment would not be canonical.

    Apr 2010 Global South leaders from twenty provinces meet in Singapore, uphold the Global South resignations from the Standing Committee, and call for the Standing Committee’s responsibilities for Covenant oversight to be transferred to the Primates.

    July 2010 Registrar of Companies publicly discloses new Articles of Association of the Anglican Consultative Council.

    July 2010 Standing Committee meets. The Standing Committee admitted that its December appointment of Trisk had been unlawful, but they proceeded to appoint her again anyway. Bp Ian Douglas continues to serve on Standing Committee.

    July 2010 The Anglican Communion Institute states that the new constitution is inconsistent, both in vision and in detail, with the Covenant.

  8. dwstroudmd+ says:

    Silver, silver! My communion office for quite a bit of silver!

  9. New Reformation Advocate says:

    I’m shocked. Just shocked. (sic)

    You know, there are watchdog organizations that monitor the level of corruption around the world (e.g., Ukraine is ranked as the most corrupt nation in Europe, where bribes are almost always required to get things done and extortion by government figures is routine). Might it be time to create an impartial, international organization dedicated to monitoring and exposing corruption within the religious world??

    David Handy+

  10. David Keller says:

    #8. I presume $312K is the modern day equivalent of 30 pieces of silver?

  11. Katherine says:

    So Pageantmaster has been exactly correct. He who pays the piper calls the tune.

  12. SC blu cat lady says:

    I am always amazed at the stupidity (or perhaps arrogance??) of these people who post such stuff on their personal blogs. Do they think that only those who agree with them read these things? Anyway, so yes, it is clear now that TEC is buying influence via official *projects* within the Anglican communion and especially the Church of England. Good to know as it does explain ++Welby’s praise of KJS and we can expect the trajectory of the CofE to continue thanks to funding by TEC. So improved relations within the Communion? Really? Perhaps between those few provinces who have been bought off byTEC? Anyway, it makes me even more thankful for GFCA and GAFCON.

  13. SC blu cat lady says:

    OK, Here is part of that post
    [blockquote]If the increased 2015 budget is not approved in October, the ACO will experience a severe cut, to $25,333 in 2015.[/blockquote]

    Perhaps we all should be praying the 2015 budget is not approved and they will cut the flow of money to the ACO? I wonder if that would help turn the tide in the Cof E or is it too late?

  14. Katherine says:

    #13, that might restrict the damage the ACO can do in the larger Communion, but I don’t see how it could stop the rot in the CofE.

  15. SC blu cat lady says:

    #14, If it would restrict damage to the larger communion, it is still a worthy goal. I agree, probably too late for the CofE. The rot needs to go.

  16. dwstroudmd+ says:

    Decisions! Decisions! Lawyers’ fees or the ACO? Tough to be on the monolithic Executive Committee for TEO these days. Just think of all those poor starving ACO people that need that support desperately because of cOE investment changes and declining income versus supporting TEO lawyers in the style to which they have become accustomed. Poor, poor Executive Committee!

  17. tired says:

    I would be greatly surprised if this is the extent of TEC ‘support.’ I would imagine that there are a number of proxies, whether in the form of foundations, discretionary funds, or individual churches (e.g., Trinity Wall Street.)

    That said, it is a pittance to pay for integrity.

  18. Milton Finch says:

    Indulgences. TEC…Schori…your sins are covered over. Whew! That was close!

  19. tjmcmahon says:

    #10- for original Roman coins of the early first century, you are probably correct, if they are in very good condition.
    But, of course, you can get copies on eBay that look just like the originals for much less.
    I think what all this comes down to is that Justin Welby does not believe there is a hell, or such a thing as damnation. Therefore, upholding Scripture and the Church becomes adiaphora. The only important thing is getting along.
    Meanwhile, I rather imagine Uncle Screwtape is ecstatic that the price of the soul of an Archbishop of Canterbury has fallen to a mere $312,000. The average TEC bishop costs more than that.

  20. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    Well, I had my question answered.

  21. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    Two thoughts on this:

    1. I was struck by how the funding from TEC had been structured for the three year period:

    we expect to use $312,000 in 2015 to support the Anglican Communion Office, in response to a request from the Presiding Bishop. If approved, this will raise our ACO commitment from $700,000 for the triennium to $1,012,000
    … Note that our 2013 and 2014 payments to the ACO were made as if we were spreading a total of $1,012,000 over three years. If the increased 2015 budget is not approved in October, the ACO will experience a severe cut, to $25,333 in 2015

    So, TEC informed ACO that they would pay 2/3 of about a million dollars for three years, but in fact funded ACO that amount over only two years, leaving no funding for the upcoming third year! What an excellent way of applying pressure – “if you want to be funded at the same rate next year, are you going to be “helpful”?

    Clearly ACO and Welby were helpful. In fact, I think one could say they have been extremely helpful.

    2. All this brings into focus the visit to TEC’s House of Bishops Meeting in August 2013 made by Canon David Porter, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Director of Reconciliation as reported by ENS:

    The morning discussion focused on Bridge-building Mission. Presenters were….Canon David Porter, Archbishop of Canterbury’s Director of Reconciliation, on the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Vision for Reconciliation

    It appears that Canon Porter has recently been funded to work full time at Lambeth Palace, as he tweeted at the start of January this year:

    First London jaunt of the year – set to be a weekly occurrence with an increase to full time secondment to Lambeth team. New Year New Focus.

    It also brings into focus Canon Phil Groves, Continuing Indaba Czar for the Anglican Communion Office. In his visit to the last TEC General Convention, ENS Reported:

    Enabling conversation across difference has been the main objective of the Anglican Communion’s Continuing Indaba and Mutual Listening Process. But the fruits of the program in breaking down barriers and building friendships across vastly different contexts have far exceeded any expectations, according to the Rev. Canon Phil Groves, who said the guiding principle and the key to its success has been in placing Christ at the center of the conversations.

    “People are passionate about the gospel, and sometimes that leads to deep disagreements,” Groves, the program’s facilitator, told ENS in a recent interview. “But once Christ is placed at the center of a conversation, people begin to work for the good of the whole rather than to win an argument.”

    Groves attended the 77th General Convention in Indianapolis and witnessed the Episcopal Church commit itself (in Resolution D008) to deepening its involvement with Anglican Communion ministries and networks and to using the Continuing Indaba process to encourage “conversations across differences to strengthen relationships in God’s mission.”

    Groves said he found the deliberations at General Convention encouraging. “There was a clear sense that the Anglican Communion is something very significant and that [there is a] … deep desire to be linked up with people who may radically disagree with the direction of the Episcopal Church.”

    And there is more

    It looks like they left from their visits to TEC with considerably more hand baggage than they arrived with.

  22. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    I have been reading this article by Peter Ould today: What next for Justin

    Peter does make some astute observations, in particular about other members of the Communion ‘switching off’ to Justin Welby and thereby to Canterbury. I see though that Peter manages to ignore again Welby’s sponsor in all this.

    I have been reading with rising concern a number of posts by evangelicals including this one by Professor Glynn Harrison and others describing their meetings. Most seem to be assuming that this process of Facilitated Conversations can be balanced or is indeed a conversation. Peter still accepts Justin Welby’s motives in driving these out – the scales have not yet fallen from his eyes.

    We have to look at the history of Welby and Canon Porter his Director of Reconciliation:

    1. Welby was a facilitator at the Dublin Primates Meeting where by Indaba and some manipulative games, those Primates who attended were persuaded to issue a statement downgrading the Primates Meeting which was charged by the Communiion with dealing with the breaches in the US and Canada down to a mere council of advice to the Archbishop of Canterbury.

    2. Welby and Porter were allowed to introduce Indaba to the English General Synod last year. Porter organised a ‘play’ whereby a 60 year old Anglo Catholic priest serving in a poor inner city parish was wondering what his future would be when the church was negating his whole understanding of the apostolic succession of his ministry and his connection to the church through his bishop…….well actually it wasn’t what happened. Instead the role play involved a nice woman priest describing how hurt and marginalised she felt that some church members were so mean as to not accept her ministry.

    3. The Facilitated Conversations Welby is rolling out are a program. Sir Joseph Pilling was on script yesterday telling synod that not everything could be achieved in his report at once and commending a process of facilitated conversations as leading to good rather than bad disagreement. Clearly he was spouting the Welby line, and instead of Synod having any say in whether to role out Facilitated Conversations they were just permitted to listen and ask questions – no role at all. Welby had previously said that the question of Pilling would be put to Synod and Synod would be asked what it thought. No such thing happened. It was a deal done behind Synod’s back.

    4. The process of Facilitated Conversations is just exactly what was rolled out in TEC as part of the process of rolling out same-sex blessings and then marriage. The program is exactly the same. Moreover, the language and terminology and the timetable match almost exactly what happened in TEC.

    We are seeing the same being rolled out in the CofE and if he can get away with it by Welby in the Communion.

    It is not surprising that this is not being recognised for what it is in England – we give our leaders the benefit of the doubt if they are plausible, and we have little knowledge of what happened to those in TEC or how TEC was manipulated. We have little experience of how to assess the roll out by Welby of Indaba and Faciltated Conversations in the Church of England and no background or education to understand what is happening to us.

    Wake up Peter. Wake up Church of England. Wake up Primates.

  23. BlueOntario says:

    It’s like deja vu all over again.

  24. tjmcmahon says:

    Over on the HoBD list, in and among all the email about how wonderfully the PB has handled that little UTO thing (which we might want to look at when trying to figure out where $312,000 is going to materialize), is a discussion about a 2015 resolution to canonically tighten up the “asking”, so that the dioceses that have been withholding “their fair share” of “funds for mission of the Church” will reconcile themselves to the fact that the “Church has moved on.” That is, those dioceses that have not been ponying up the 19% that 815 wants to fund lawsuits, well, they wouldn’t want anything to happen to their pretty little diocese, now, would they?

  25. tjmcmahon says:

    The more I think about it, given that any good accountant can make contributions “fungible,” this may well be where your UTO contributions will be going in future years. The money must have come from somewhere. Certainly not savings from the legal budget.

  26. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    On Peter Ould’s thread What next for Justin? Bishop Peter Broadbent has helpfully commented:

    Pete Broadbent >David Hussell
    1. The Americans aren’t, to my knowledge, funding the CofE conversations. This is our process, and ECUSA have nothing to do with it.
    2. The conversations aren’t indaba. Nor are they to be based on Pilling.
    3. It’s not any longer about listening to LGBT people on its own. It’s also about LGBT people listening to those who hold the historic and orthodox view.Two way conversations. They probably won’t change anyone’s views.

    I am not sure that anyone has suggested that TEC is paying money specifically to the Church of England. However, it has been suggested that they are paying money which is being paid to finance Reconciliation and Continuing Indaba in all parts of the Communion. Since we have been told that that Facilitated Conversations for that will be designed and overseen by the recently funded Director of Reconciliation for the Archbishop of Canterbury and we have been told that Canon David Porter and the Lambeth team will undertake that both in the Communion and within the CofE in what is a process initiated by the College of Bishops in response to the Pilling report, so that what he is saying may be clearly understood, will Bishop Broadbent please answer these questions:

    1. Please confirm that Canon David Porter is not funded in his work in the Church of England and the Communion from funds directly or indirectly from the Anglican Communion Office from funds originating from the Episcopal Church of the United States?

    2. If he does not know will he please undertake to find out and to report back?

  27. tjmcmahon says:

    I have read recently in the British press that one reason that women bishops must be rushed through Synod is that there are not a sufficient number of qualified men available to fill vacancies in the episcopate.
    While it is difficult to believe that there are not 44 male members of the CoE with sufficient intelligence and pastoral skill to be bishops, I must say that if the current HoB actually contains the most qualified men available, that the proponents of women bishops have a point. One would have thought that the chief pastors would be able to hold a conversation without aid of the corporate communications facilitators. That they cannot demonstrates that the wrong people have been raised to the Episcopate. Of course, that was obvious when they started reaching for survey results from the Telegraph in lieu of Scripture to determine the meaning of “marriage”, but there we have it.

  28. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    Interesting – up has popped this evening House of Bishops Pastoral Guidance on Same Sex Marriage on Thinking Anglicans, but not on the CofE site or twitter [is there a rush to get this out I wondered?]

    On its face it appears quite firm, but then reading it as I am quirkily wont to do from the bottom up to avoid the flannel, I was struck by the last two paragraphs:

    27. The House is not, therefore, willing for those who are in a same sex marriage to be ordained to any of the three orders of ministry. In addition it considers that it would not be appropriate conduct for someone in holy orders to enter into a same sex marriage, given the need for clergy to model the Church’s teaching in their lives.

    28. The Church of England has a long tradition of tolerating conscientious dissent and of seeking to avoid drawing lines too firmly, not least when an issue is one where the people of God are seeking to discern the mind of Christ in a fast changing context. Nevertheless at ordination clergy undertake to ‘accept and minister the discipline of this Church, and respect authority duly exercised within it.’ We urge all clergy to act consistently with that undertaking.

    Strange that in #28 clergy are urged rather than instructed to act in accordance with their undertaking. Is it a matter of discipline or not? I wondered if that was the nudge nudge wink wink clause?

  29. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    Having now read carefully the House of Bishops Statement and commented on it here I have also reread what Bishop Broadbent said above in the light of it:

    Bishop Broadbent writes

    2. The conversations aren’t indaba. Nor are they to be based on Pilling

    Well, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York write to the church:

    We have already committed ourselves to a process of facilitated conversations across the whole Church of England in the light of the Pilling Report

    Bishop Broadbent also writes:

    It’s not any longer about listening to LGBT people on its own. It’s also about LGBT people listening to those who hold the historic and orthodox view.Two way conversations. They probably won’t change anyone’s views.

    The Arcbishops of Canterbury and York write:

    These conversations will involve ecumenical and interfaith partners and particularly the wider Anglican Communion to whom we rejoice to be bound by our inheritance of faith and mutual affection….They will involve particular attention to the lived experience of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people.

    The Archbishop of Canterbury has also previously written

    we are working on, and if I am really honest, struggling with the issue of how we recognize the love that exists between people who have a same-sex orientation; and who are committed to each other, and how that is recognized.
    …My own view on same-sex marriage is one thing; my own view on same-sex unions is I recognize, again I have said in public, the immense quality and profound love and commitment of many same-sex unions

    In the light of these statements how can we have any confidence that these will be ‘two way conversations’ or that the over-riding primacy of scriptural witness in maintained when the House of Bishops has handed over the design of these Facilitated Conversations to the Archbishop of Canterbury and his Director of Reconciliation, Canon David Porter?

    As for Bishop Broadbent’s first statement:

    The Americans aren’t, to my knowledge, funding the CofE conversations. This is our process, and ECUSA have nothing to do with it.

    One awaits Bishop Broadbent to back this up and that Canon Porter’s salary and expenses are not being paid from US sources, which will be interesting in the light of what appears to be the honest report from the Rev. Snook TEC above.

  30. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    I have been puzzling about Canon David Porter and had a few questions for him. He has obviously commited himself to and done good work implimenting the peace process in Northern Ireland, and spent time at Coventry Cathedral on dispute resolution, and I am sure a job and salary in Lambeth Palace under the Archbishop of Canterbury is a great achievement for a lad from Northern Ireland.

    Many of his forebears stood with us bravely against the tyranny in Germany which threatened to engulf us all even as it was murdering the families of Justin Welby and Nicky Gumbel. Many of his ancestors gave their lives to defeat that evil.

    What then persuades an Ulster Scot to allow himself to be used to undermine the biblical teaching of the Church of England and the Anglican Communion, to design and roll out Facilitated Conversations to the agenda of the Archbishop of Canterbury that we find a way to recognise ‘the immense quality and profound love and commitment of same sex unions’ in the church and overthrow the church’s teaching?

    What is it – the lure of money, prestige, travel around the world and the airmiles they clock up [or are those credited to the Presiding Bishop of TEC]? What have we done to you David Porter, have we offended you, have we let you down, do your hate us, or is it just that that this is also your agenda?

    By the way, when you take a break from tweeting TEC propaganda what are you up to in Cairo this weekend? More schmoozing in accordance with the Archbishop of Canterbury’s agenda? Who is paying for your trip? Where do you know the money to finance you and your ‘Reconciliation’ role comes from?

  31. Br. Michael says:

    We don’t we drop the doublespeak and call “facilitated conversations” what the really are: “facilitated acceptance of homosexuality as a lifestyle and acceptance of same sex marriage”.

  32. MichaelA says:

    PM, thank you for your very astute observations, and your detective work from tweets etc.

    Its easier to find information on what is happening in the Roman Curia, than in the goings-on at Lambeth Palace and The Anglican Communion Office!

  33. MichaelA says:

    tjmcmahon, good point.

    Getting the women bishops measure passed is a primary goal for the bishops of CofE, most of whom fit into the “i am very moderate about everything except establishment” mold.

    I suspect that the “strong stand” just taken by the CofE HOB is a sop to orthodox evangelicals and anglo-catholics, to keep them quiet ahead of the next vote on women bishops.