Concerning the 2013-2015 Draft Budget of the Episcopal Church
On March 1, the 2013-2015 draft triennial budget was posted on the Episcopal Church General Convention website and copied elsewhere along with a narrative explanation.
This is the draft triennial budget of $104.9 million that the Episcopal Church Executive Council approved at its January 2012 meeting.
During that meeting in the draft budget preparation:
- Executive Council discussed both “big-picture” areas and specific line items.
- The draft budget was prepared by means of a new process, calling for the Executive Committee of Executive Council to carry the work. Staff involvement was limited.
It is important to stress that this is a draft budget and is not the final document. It is presented for discussion and review.
The next step for the budget with the Program, Budget and Finance committee – commonly known as PB&F. PB&F will review and prepare a proposed budget at General Convention, being held July 2012 in Indianapolis IN. Following PB&F work, it will be forwarded to the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies for review.
It is General Convention that will approve a final budget. Although there may be discussion, suggestions and much sharing of information, the budget remains a draft until it goes to General Convention.
Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has stated “budgets should be understood as moral documents.”
Concerning certain areas of the budget:
- The debt associated with the building at 815 Second Ave., NYC is currently at $34 million. The annual debt service includes approximately $1.3 million in interest and $1.6 million of principal payment, which adds to the equity in the building. NYC real estate has regularly appreciated. However, at this point in time, when the nation finds real estate values at the lowest point in many years, a sale, even in Manhattan, would result in selling a very valuable church asset at the worst possible time.
- The staff of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society, excluding those supported government contracts, currently numbers 144 full and part- time. This number has dropped dramatically since GC09 when 44 positions were eliminated (9 of which were vacant, thus 35 employees lost their jobs) through budget reductions.
- Included in the draft budget are funding: for a “churchwide consultation” on the Episcopal Church’s future shape and work; and for a pilot project offered by Bishop Stacy Sauls, Chief Operating Officer, for developing a plan by which the church can assist congregations and dioceses in group endeavors and purchasing – an “Episcopal Co-Op.”
- In some cases, Executive Council allocated amounts to broad areas and departments rather than making allocations to specific line items. In these broad areas, future allocations are expected to be made either by PB&F or in future years when Executive Council makes annual revisions to the budget.
- Some areas of work, such as The Office of Communication, have been identified and funded as evangelistic or other missional priorities by Executive Council. For details on the work of the DFMS, please see the 2011 Report to the Church:
A special email address has been established for comments on the draft budget. Comments will be shared with Executive Council, the Presiding Bishop and the President of the House of Deputies. [email protected]