The Governance of The Episcopal Church: This information is another in an ongoing series discussing the governance of The Episcopal Church. Also, Episcopal Church lingo and terms are used; check the websites listed at the end for any necessary explanations.
In preparation for the 77th General Convention in July, 2012, the year-long budget preparation process for funding the mission and ministry of the Episcopal Church has begun. The Executive Council is announcing a new approach to solicit input broadly from across the church on what the program section of the draft budget should contain and our funding priorities.
The triennial or three-year budget, to be adopted by General Convention 2012 (GC12) for the years 2013-2015, will fund the governance, mission and ministry work of the Episcopal Church. The budget for the Episcopal Church serves as the blueprint for the mission and ministry that happen on a churchwide level between meetings of General Convention.
The Executive Council wants to hear the voices of the Church: elected deputies to General Convention 2012 (GC12); bishops; members of commissions, committees, agencies and boards of the Church; diocesan organizations such as diocesan councils, standing committees; and diocesan staff members.
To solicit input, the Executive Council, with assistance from the General Convention Treasurer, the Chief Operating Officer and the Officer for Congregational Research, has created a survey that can be completed online. The survey is directed to: GC12 deputies; bishops; committees, commissions, agencies and boards of the Church; diocesan standing committees; and diocesan councils/boards. The survey is located here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/EXCO822SURVEY
The data will be used to guide Executive Council in establishing its recommended priorities for mission work and funding allocations. In addition to the survey, a web site has been created that will both provide information on the effort to solicit input and afford members of the Church to provide input to the Executive Council. Changing and challenging financial realities at the churchwide level and for dioceses and congregations demand that a reassessment be done. The website is located here: http://generalconvention.org/ec/episcopal_church_budget
Survey deadline is September 7.
How can you be involved?
There are various ways to become involved in the budget preparation process:
- Talk to your deputies to GC12
- Visit the website to provide input and for information.
- E-mail your questions/comments to members of Executive Council.
- Discuss budget priorities in your congregations, diocesan conventions and provincial meetings.
- Complete the leaderâs survey.
Preparing the budget
The Executive Committee, a committee of Executive Council, will use the input from its members as well as staff and leaders from throughout the church to form a framework and mission priorities that will be presented to the entire Executive Council at its October meeting in Salt Lake City (Diocese of Utah). Executive Council will then have an opportunity to reflect on the input it received and respond to the proposed framework.
The Executive Committee will prepare a detailed draft budget proposal for the winter meeting of Executive Council (January 2012 in the Diocese of Maryland). At that meeting, Executive Council will review and discuss the proposal with the outcome forming the recommended draft budget that will be presented to the Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget and Finance, commonly known as PB&F.
PB&F is responsible for recommending a final balanced budget for the triennium to the General Convention
The final budget reflects the will of GC12 as concurred action by the House of Deputies and the House of Bishops after extensive open hearings, information gathering meetings, and other information gathered by PB&F.
The budget is presented to GC12 on the 8th legislative day (July 10) in a joint session of both Houses and considered separately in each House on the 9th legislative day, July12, 2012.
The budget that will be adopted by GC12 becomes the budget for the Episcopal Church for the next triennium, 2013-2015.
General Convention is the Episcopal Churchâs bicameral governing body, comprised of the House of Bishops, with upwards of 200 members, and the House of Deputies, with clergy and lay representatives from the 110 dioceses, at over 700 members. GC12 refers to General Convention 2012.
The Executive Council of the Episcopal Church is an elected body representing the whole Church and is comprised of twenty members elected by General Convention (four bishops, four priests or deacons and twelve laypersons) and eighteen members elected by provincial synods. Also serving on Executive Council are the Presiding Bishop, the President of the House of Deputies, the General Convention Secretary and Treasurer.
The Executive Committee of Executive Council consists of six elected members from Executive Council, the Presiding Bishop, the President of the House of Deputies, General Convention Secretary, and Treasurer.
Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget and Finance, known as PB&F, is responsible for recommending funding and spending for the succeeding triennium and to propose a balanced budget that reflects the will of General Convention as determined by resolutions, open hearings and information gathered. Its 29 members are the Presiding Bishop and the President of the House of Deputies, together with a bishop, priest or deacon and lay person from each of the church's nine geographic provinces. The priests, deacons and lay persons must be deputies to the General Convention.
For more information
For more information contact the Rev. Canon Dr. Gregory Straub, Secretary of General Convention, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Episcopal Church: www.episcopalchurch.org
General Convention: http://generalconvention.org/
Executive Council: http://generalconvention.org/ec
Indiana Convention Center: http://www.icclos.com/
Diocese of Indianapolis: http://indydio.org/diocese2010/
Diocese of Maryland: http://www.ang-md.org/
Diocese of Utah: http://www.episcopal-ut.org/