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Executive Council's decision to put into the draft budget the full asking of the ACC



A friend asked me:
 
>  Dear Louie
>  I'm curious about your take on the ACC budget issue Executive
Council just dealt with.
 
The vote was 17 to 11 (10 had left at the time of the vote, late on
the last day) in favor of giving the ACC its full asking.  I was part
of the 11 who voted against it.
 
I feel we need much more information about why there are huge
increases in the budget of the ACC, and a much stronger reason than I
can find for taking the funds from Appalachian ministries, Liberia,
black colleges...  
 
We account for the ACC payments as a block grant, but Council members
have not seen the audits that we expect of all other block grants. 
The management team at the Church Center has not even provided us
with a copy of the request letter from the ACC, and certainly not
with the documentation we needed to make an informed decision.  The
treasurer indicated that he had a copy of the documentation.  There
should be no back room to the way that Executive Council does its
business.
 
I argued in favor of increasing our contributions at the same level
at which we are increasing salaries of our staff (a mere 2% in this
lean time), noting that we should love our neighbor as we love
ourselves.
 
A major reason for the much larger increase requested by the ACC
budget is the cost of the primates meetings.  Currently they can meet
as often as they want and anywhere they want.
 
Another increase in the ACC budget would be the cost of funding
'listening to lesbians and gays,  which to date few have ever done. 
 
Someone suggested that the payments for primates' travel come heavily
out of the Compass Rose Society, but yesterday John Peterson, past
executive officer for the ACC, assured me that it does not.  He
created the Compass Rose Society to fund communications for the ACC;
no episcopal travel is supported by it.
 
The Primates now claim to be one of four instruments of unity without
the 38 provinces ever having had a chance to ratify that new
standing.  When they bullied TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada
out of the room at Nottingham, they pressured to vote seats for
themselves at the ACC.  (Some ACC members claimed they supported
including the primates so that they could keep better watch on them.)
 
The strongest argument for the vote at Executive Council was the
analogy to TEC's askings, to diocesan askings, and to parish askings
-- claiming that we lose credibility in asking if we are not
responsive in giving at each of those levels when we are asked. 
There is a huge difference, however.  The Communion is just that, not
a body with legal authority parallel to the others.  Also, unlike the
others,  the Communion in this instance is acting without
participation of the folks it is assessing.
 
The doctrine of "no taxation without representation" is part of the
DNA of U.S. citizens, but  I would argue, it is not part of the DNA
of a Christian.  Nor is bullying a part of the DNA of Christians. 
 
I am less concerned about the payments than I am about the way in
which they are demanded without any of the conversation that normally
we expect when we are part of a body. 
 
I have several times written the ACC for basic information of a
non-controversial nature, and I have not received the courtesy of a
reply, though I identified myself as a member of the Board of
Directors of DFMS and a member of Executive Council.  ACC ought to
respond to all reasonable requests for information from any of its
members.
 
I well understand that any failure on the part of TEC to pay full
askings would be taken as retaliation for the ACC's objections to the
actions of GC 2003.  I feel that ACC is entitled to react to what we
have done.  I would have more respect for the objections if they were
in good faith with ACC's own pledges and Lambeth 98's pledges to be
in dialogue with us and with lesbigays in  particular.  There has
been almost no such dialogue. 
 
I am pleased that TEC and Executive Council have consistently acted
in good faith.  I believe that acting in good faith requires us to
challenge a budget priority if we feel that is clearly out of hand. 
It is wrong to fund our own oppression.  I have not yet concluded
that the draft budget approved by Executive Council does that.   It's
a question that General Convention needs to grapple with.
 
I am also aware that the Anglican Communion Network and the American
Anglican Council would be more that willing to pay any portion that
TEC might refuse to pay, as a bid to buying our place at the table, a
place that many at the table would like to give to them.
 
"G*n*r*t**n of V*p*rs" --  Jesus [censored]
 
Thanks for asking.
 
L.
Member of Executive Council.  Chair of the Newark Deputation.


>Date: Fri, 20 Jan 2006 16:21:39 -0500 (EST)
>From: Louie Crew <lcrew@andromeda.rutgers.edu>
>To: "bishopsdeputies@hobd.org" <bishopsdeputies@hobd.org>
>Cc: Executive Council <executivecouncil@episcopalchurch.org>
>Bcc: Bob Sessum <bsessum@goodshepherdlex.org>
>Subject: General Secretary of the ACC clarifies the ACC budget request

I am grateful for this clarification, shared with me by the Presiding
Bishop.

L.


THE ANGLICAN COMMUNION
19 January 2006

The Most Revd Frank T. Griswold
Presiding Bishop
Episcopal Church Center
815 Second Avenue
New York, NY 10017
USA

Dear Presiding Bishop,

I have just been shown an email from Louie Crew referring to the Executive
Council's decision to include the full request from the ACC into the draft
budget, and I am concerned that some of what is contained in it is
misleading or inaccurate.

The ACC meeting at Nottingham agreed an increase in the request to all
Provinces of 10% over the previous year's request, of which 5% reflects wage
and other inflation in the regular budget of the ACC, plus another 5% to
provide for the Listening Process and the Panel of Reference. The request to
set up the Panel of Reference was made by the Primates' Meeting in 2005 to
the Archbishop of Canterbury, who in turn asked the Anglican Communion
Office to allocate resources for this purpose. The request for the Listening
Process has been made at successive Lambeth Conferences since 1978 and
repeated again at the last Primates' Meeting which directed it to the ACC,
and this was approved at the ACC meeting at Nottingham.

Primates are requested to fund their own attendance at Primates' Meetings if
possible, and many do so. The balance is funded from the core budget of the
ACO. The Compass Rose Society does not, and never has, contributed any
funding to a Primates' Meeting.

As you know, the Primates' Meeting in 2005 requested the Episcopal Church
and the Anglican Church of Canada to voluntarily withdraw their members from
meetings of the ACC until Lambeth 2008. The decision to withdraw their
members was made by the churches themselves, which, though a very difficult
decision, was in my opinion a gracious and helpful response to that request.

The decision to propose (and at this stage it is only a proposal) to
incorporate Primates into the ACC as additional members was in response to a
request from the last Lambeth Conference for such incorporation. It was
considered at the Joint Standing Committee Meeting in June, which in turn
proposed it to the ACC at Nottingham. The issue was not discussed at the
Primates' Meeting in 2005.

I am not aware of any request to ACC for 'basic information of a
non-controversial nature' from Louie Crew, and my attitude has always been
to respond to any such reasonable request.

I'm saddened to see the Anglican Communion Office embroiled in a row not of
its making. In these difficult times for our Communion we have sought
throughout to serve the Communion and to respond to the very many demands
and requests being made to us to the best of our ability with very limited
resources.

I hope this information serves to answer some of the inaccurate criticisms
of my office circulating at this time. Please feel free to share this letter
with others if you think appropriate.

With all good wishes.

Yours sincerely,

Kenneth Kearon
Secretary General





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