[Note: This is a revision of the original post. I apologize to all whom the earlier version might have offended. -- Louie Crew, 5/21/05] If you have not already done so, you should read "Frequently Asked Questions About Funding in the Episcopal Church" at http://gc2003.episcopalchurch.org/documents/ECFundingFAQ.pdf It is a good document to print and share with persons who ask these questions of you as a deputy to General Convention. One important fact is not included in the FAQ: That is, canonical expenses are met first before any money is spent for program and mission: If in any year the total anticipated income for budget support is less than the amount required to support the budget approved by the General Convention, the canonical portion of the Budget for the Episcopal Church shall have funding priority over any other budget areas subject to any decreases necessary to maintain a balanced budget. (I.4.6d of the Constitution and Canons, 2003, page 32) That is why the FAQ notes: "'What happens if congregations or dioceses withhold their money from DFMS?' Reductions in funding for national programs may affect existing work and may slow or stop new ministry initiatives." In other words, program and mission suffer when money is withheld. Some who withhold talk as if they are getting back at the General Convention or the PB or..... Expenses for running General Convention and paying for the office of the PB are canonical expenses, the very last to be vulnerable according to our canons. Those most likely to receive the brunt force of cuts are the poor and suffering served by our program budget. If dioceses withhold money, they still have access to the full canonical services of the Episcopal Church. Their deputies come to General Convention fully enfranchised with seat and voice, albeit at the cost of others. The money it takes to pay for their participation has to be removed from programs that serve people far needier than they are. According to the FAQ, the canonical expenses of The Episcopal Church in this triennium are $28,115,000. That amount is 19.2% of the $146,394,000 total budget. Dioceses paying the full 21% of their income asked are paying not only their fair share of the canonical expenses, but also paying the shares withheld by others. I tallied the amounts withheld in the last triennium at http://andromeda.rutgers.edu/~lcrew/2001dio.html and expect to replicate that report for this triennium soon. The official budget for this triennium appears at http://www.episcopalchurch.org/finance_19599_ENG_HTM.htm. The treasurer's report to Executive Council on February 14, 2005 appears at http://www.episcopalchurch.org/documents/2005Budget_Presentation.pdf L. Louie Crew, Chair of Newark Deputation. Member of Executive Council http://andromeda.rutgers.edu/~lcrew/rel.html Anglican Pages
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