To the rocking strains of “[Money] Can’t Buy Me Love” and “It’s Been A Hard Day’s Night” by the Beatles, volunteers passed out copies of the proposed national budget for the next triennium to deputies and bishops gathered for a joint session Wednesday afternoon.
“As we say in Detroit, this is where the rubber hits the road,” said Bonnie Anderson, of the Diocese of Michigan and chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget and Finance (PB&F) that presents the proposed budget to convention. Deputies and bishops will vote separately to approve the budget during their regular legislative sessions Thursday.
Anderson praised the hard work of her committee, which adjusts a suggested budget from Executive Council in response to emphases that emerge at General Convention. She said the former chair, Vince Currie of Central Gulf Coast, used to use Mark 6:31 to describe the committee’s labors: “For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.”
The budget of almost $146.4 million reflects the basic principles of “diversity, inclusivity and sharing of power” that underlie the five budget priorities of young adults and youth, reconciliation and evangelism, congregational transformation, justice and peace and partnerships with other churches of the Anglican Communion, other denominations and faith groups, Anderson said.
She observed that the priorities intersect and overlap, “creating a holistic approach to our mission,” which she called “relational, like we are.”
As an example, she pointed out that ministry with young adults and youth “permeates our ministry in congregational transformation” as well as in reconciliation and evangelism. “It goes into our priority for peace and justice as we try to eradicate the sin of racism which hurts and marginalizes our young people of color,” she said.
The budget breakdown therefore will “show you where the money will be ‘housed’ in the budget,” she told the bishops and deputies, but “the actual implementation of the ministry that the funds support will begin to enable a more relational, comprehensive method” of addressing the priorities.
In his comments opening the session, Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold urged the bishops and deputies to “look beyond” the figures to see how they “reflect very specific and concrete ways in which we are committing ourselves to engaging God’s mission.”
First, “Executive Council and now PB&F have sensed the needs and the great energies among us for mission,” he said. “The priorities on which this budget is based reflect those needs and those energies.”
Diocesan contributions to the national budget are expected to be 21 percent of the diocesan income, after a $100,000 exclusion. The fact that 61 percent of dioceses are giving at that 21 percent level or higher “says a very great deal about the health and vitality of our church and our clear understanding that we are members one of another,” Griswold said. “We are not a series of freestanding bodies but one body of many limbs engaged in one mission, one work, one holy project, namely, the unleashing of God’s reconciling love upon our desperate and needy world.”
Griswold said he is “profoundly grateful” for the “sacrificial generosity” of those dioceses that meet their asking and “also for those dioceses and their congregations that are seeking to move toward the 21 percent goal.”
He proposed a challenge, suggesting that “if every diocese currently giving below the 21 percent asking were to give their full apportionment, we would be able to fund every resolution before the convention.”
He also stressed that his awareness of “the generosity and sense of commitment to our common mission that is being expressed by the people of this church” makes him “all the more sensitive to the need for careful stewardship on your behalf as the mission is expressed through national programs.”
Bishop Russell Jacobus of Fond du Lac, vice chair of PB&F, used slides to illustrate how the budget would be affected if all dioceses contributed at at least the 21 percent level. The currently projected income of $146,395,000 would jump to $160,646,816, or more than the $158,070,169 requested in all General Convention resolutions. “We would have to find new initiatives to spend the surplus of $2.5 million.”
Nineteen dioceses increased their giving between their pledge for the year 2000 and the year 2003, Jacobus said. He singled out five dioceses — Central Gulf Coast, Connecticut, Los Angeles, Minnesota and Newark — as giving consistently above the 21 percent level.
Anderson said that while PB&F has not changed the total amount of the budget they were given by Executive Council, they are proposing moving funds between areas of the budget.
Increases totaling $1,454,000 are proposed in:
- Ministries With Young People, $1,000,000
- Overseas dioceses, $150,000
- Jubilee Ministries grants, $150,000
- Multicultural and multilingual liturgies for “new” populations, $130,000
- General Board of Examining Chaplains, $24,000
Reductions totaling $1,424,000 are proposed in:
- Program ministries support, $200,000
- Communication, $300,000
- Office of the Presiding Bishop, $50,000
- House of Bishops, $48,000
- House of Deputies, $25,000
- General Convention site and facilities, $50,000
- Committees, Commissions, Agencies and Boards, $290,000
- Archives, $50,000
- Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations, $50,000
- Office of Pastoral Development, $41,000
- Office of the Chief Operating Office, $30,000
- Human Resources Department, $30,000
- Controller’s Office, $15,000
- Treasurer’s Office, $75,000
- Telecommunications, $100,000
- Building Services, $100,000
As proposed, the $146,395,000 budget for the triennium allocates funds to the following areas:
- Canonical (includes such ministries as the Office of the Presiding Bishop, Office for Ministry Development, Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations), $28,115,000
- Mission Program (includes such ministries as Anglican and global relations, ethnic congregational development and women’s ministries, peace and justice ministries, ministries with young people), $46,618,000
- Mission Block Grant Partnerships (includes such ministries as overseas partnerships and covenants, ecumenical appropriations, Episcopal Relief and Development), $30,393,000
- Office of Communication (includes such ministries as media services, Episcopal Life, Episcopal Book and Resource Center), $15,702,000
- Corporate (includes such ministries as Office of Chief Operating Officer, Treasurer’s Office, Human Resource Management, Telecommunications), $25,567,000
Income for the triennium (equal to allocations) is projected from the following sources:
- Diocesan commitments, $90,487,000
- Investment and interest income, $30,831,000
- Other income (includes government grants to Episcopal Migration Ministries and income earned by Episcopal Life, Episcopal Parish Services, and Episcopal Book and Resource Center), $25,077,000