Executive Council discusses Diocesan Contributions to National Church Budget

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.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Executive Council, Parish Ministry, Stewardship, TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils, Theology

10 comments on “Executive Council discusses Diocesan Contributions to National Church Budget

  1. CSeitz-ACI says:

    We are not talking about a few stragglers who don’t pay 19% but a major percentage.

    Instead of thinking up ideas about enforcement why not ask why this is the case?

    And lest we forget, the very idea of an ‘ask’ shows that this is not a hierarchical church but a voluntary association of dioceses, each with their own c/c and each giving what they believe is just, given how the money is spent.

  2. CSeitz-ACI says:

    Less than 50% give 18-19%.
    That tells a story all its own.

  3. Fr. Dale says:

    “Asking” will become “Assessment”. Why is the executive council not asking themselves why money is being withheld. Maybe the grassroots folks don’t like the way the money is being used/abused.

  4. CSeitz-ACI says:

    #3–they would have to get that by some powerful liberal dioceses like PA and TX. Would GC write a canon mandating giving? It would be a steep climb. When more than 50% do not give the voluntary asking, as you say here, the first question ought to be: what are we doing that is not getting a positive response? And the fact that this is not noted is itself a telling bit of information.

  5. Adam 12 says:

    Perhaps diocesan consolidation would yield the desired giving?

  6. Undergroundpewster says:

    If you don’t pay, the black sedans might show up at your door.

    [blockquote]Deborah Stokes of the Diocese of Southern Ohio suggested “the chief concern is about accountability — those who are not paying [the full ask] and still getting the benefits of the church.”[/blockquote]

    I had to laugh. What benefits? What?

  7. Katherine says:

    #6, one wonders what benefits those are.

  8. rwkachur says:

    The other “whammy” in this scenario is the “based on a diocese’s income two years earlier, minus $120,000”. In dioceses that are shrinking, and that would be nearly ALL of them, this makes their planning exceptionally difficult and it’s unlikely they would pledge nearly one-fifth of their income from two years prior if they are losing members at a rate of 5-8 percent per annum. The big givers can only sustain their effort for so long. The ship is taking on water and listing badly….

  9. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    Well having mortgaged their buildings and trust assets to the hilt for short term borrowing; and in a last few acts of desperation they have nicked the money in the Soper Trust among others and raided the United Thank Offering and are still strapped for cash.
    Things must be much worse than they are letting on with their ASA probably diving below half a million in domestic parishes, so the likelihood is the people and therefore the money just is not there. But never mind, keep the engines going at full speed and ignore the water coming over the gunwales – all is well – time to send in the clowns?

  10. MichaelA says:

    The comments are fascinating. So far as I can see, they aren’t by leavers “trolling”, but by committed members of TEC who are nevertheless very unhappy with the way things are being run and the lack of accountability.