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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Budgeting in the Episcopal Church

The following post comes from the office of the House of Deputies and was intended to spark conversation among deputies. We share it with you because the content is important for all to read:

The Canons of the Episcopal Church define the budgetary process by which
General Convention receives and adopts a triennial Budget. PB&F is
charged with presenting to General Convention a balanced Budget that
reflects God's mission as endorsed in legislation from both Houses of
General Convention.

The Canons require "the budget provide for the contingent expenses of
the General Convention, the stipend of the Presiding Bishop together
with the necessary expense of that office, the necessary expenses of the
President of the House of Deputies including the staff and Advisory
Council required to assist in the performance of the duties and matters
related to the President's office, and the applicable Church Pension
Fund assessments. The Corporate section of the budget includes the
administrative support of the Domestic and Foreign Mission Society
offices. "Title I, Canon 4, Section 6(b).

The Canons also state: "The Budget presented for adoption by the General
Convention shall also include provision for support for the Program of
the Episcopal Church. Revenue to support the Budget for the Episcopal
Church shall be generated primarily by a single asking of the Dioceses
of the church based on a formula, which the General Convention shall
adopt as part of its Program, Budget and Finance process." Title I,
Canon 4, Section 6(d).

The Canons continue in Section 6(d): "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."

Program, Budget and Finance( PB&F) is comprised of 27 members - 9
bishops and 18 deputies - 3 representatives from each province. It
meets electronically and face to face during the triennium, with the
majority of its work focused during the last six months prior to General
Convention. Four months prior to General Convention, PB&F receives from
Executive Council the Draft Budget and Mission Statement, developed from
input obtained from Executive Council, Commissions, Committees, Agencies
and Boards (CCABs), and the Church Center Staff. Mission Priorities
for budgetary consideration were approved by Executive Council during
2008 and used to help develop the Draft Budget for 2010-2012.

Following approval of the Draft Budget by Executive Council in January
2009, the narrative Draft Budget and Mission Statement was made
available online in February 2009. Deputies, first alternates and
bishops received a hard copy in May 2009.
The Draft Budget was developed during the beginning of the current
economic downturn. Financial situations continue to change on personal
and local congregational levels as well as in the investment arena.

PB&F will hold three hearings at General Convention - Mission
Priorities, Spending Issues, and Funding/Resource Issues. All are
invited to sign up to speak.

Click on the title to this blog and you will be linked to a .pdf copy of the draft budget of the Episcopal Church. Please remember, this is a draft and changes will occur. Thank you.

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