[Episcopal News Service] The draft proposed 2013-2015 budget adopted by Executive Council in January has now been posted on the General Convention website here.
The budget is located under “Attendee Resources” and is accompanied by a narrative explanation prepared by a subcommittee of Executive Council.
That narrative says that council has proposed a budget that “responds to the changes facing us by funding the development of new kinds of resources for congregations, dioceses and provinces. These resources enable us to increase capacity, foster relationships, generate leadership, and imagine a new way of being the church together.”
The council also said that it heard from Episcopalians “that the church is participating in new ways of being church and should support new ways of doing ministry on a church-wide level. These new ways include changes in the role of church-wide staff, provinces and the emerging voices of other kinds of networks.”
Thus, the council said, “funding is reduced for mission that we were told was best done on a local level.”
At the same time, the budget includes three new line items that the council said in its narrative will fund “new work that we believe must be coordinated church-wide.” One designates money for a churchwide consultation on “the significant structural change we believe must be our faithful response to our changing context,” council said. The other two new line items call for an “Episcopal Co-op” to create church-wide arrangements for contracting certain administrative services and purchases, and a covenant with the Episcopal Service Corps to develop its ability to develop and plant new programs as a sustainable organization that empowers local ministry with a church-wide focus.
The council noted that it had provided “significant investment in the ministry of Communications, including the Episcopal News Service, as a primary resource for evangelism and to ensure Episcopalians everywhere have the information they need to create the networks necessary to do the work of mission. ”
The 2013-2015 draft budget represents $105 million in income from dioceses and investments plus other sources such as facilities rental, and an equal amount of expenses. That amount does not include income and expenses for the church’s refugee resettlement work, which is performed in large part under government grants. The total income for that government-supported work is forecast to be $47.6 million.
The draft budget reflects a decrease in income from the current triennium. That budget, as approved by General Convention in July 2009, was based on income of $141 million, including $118 million in non-governmental sources and $22.8 million in government grants for refugee resettlement.
In January, Treasurer Kurt Barnes estimated that 2010-2012 income from government grants to Episcopal Migration Ministries for its refugee resettlement work will have increased to slightly more than $40 million by the end of the triennium. At the same time, non-governmental income for the triennium is estimated to end up at $109 million rather than $118 million. That difference results from several factors: slightly reduced income from diocesan contributions, the closing of the unprofitable Episcopal Books and Resources and the Episcopal News Service’s monthly newspaper, and a reduction in fees received for the General Ordination Exams.
The difference in expected income for church-supported activities between the two triennial budgets is also due in part to General Convention’s decision in 2009 to reduce the amount of money the church’s 110 dioceses were asked to contribute to the cost of funding the denomination’s work. The amount went from 21 percent of diocesan income in 2010 to 20 percent in 2011 and 19 percent in 2012. The draft 2013-2015 budget is based on an annual 19 percent asking.