Social Justice Policies of The Episcopal Church
The social justice policies of The Episocpal Church are formed in a number of ways. For one thing, almost all dioceses of The Episcopal Church are actively engaged in companion diocese relationships across the Anglican Communion, which lends the church a broader perspective. Also, Episcopal seminaries enroll and generally fund students from around the Anglican Communion. And the Episcopal Partnership for Global Mission, a network of more than 70 independent and churchwide agencies focused on mission in the larger Anglican Communion, is partially funded by the General Convention.
Mission Partners: 105 individuals in 35 countries in 21 provinces of the Anglican Communion. (About 95 individuals are in the field in any given year.) Mission partners include appointed missionaries, Volunteers for Mission, and the Young Adult Service Corps. Most individuals serve from one to three years, at the invitation and under the supervision of the local bishop.
Mission Funding: More than $23 million in 20 provinces of the Anglican Communion. Mission funding includes the total triennial budget of the General Convention for the Office of Anglican & Global Relations and for overseas partnerships and covenants. Staff costs account for 11% of the total. Grants to overseas jurisdictions of The Episcopal Church and to provinces in the Philippines, Mexico, Central America, and West Africa account for 58% of the total.
Capital Funding for Mission: More than $3 million in 28 provinces of the Anglican Communion, from grants from the United Thank Offering, a spiritual and missionary discipline of the women of The Episcopal Church, overseen by a national board and staffed by the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society.
Relief and Development: Episcopal Relief & Development partners with local churches and organizations throughout the 38 provinces of the Anglican Communion, as well as ecumenically, to reach more than 3 million people annually in over 40 countries. The organization’s programs support the Millennium Development Goals by alleviating hunger, creating economic opportunities, responding to disasters and fighting diseases like HIV/AIDS and malaria.
Refugee Resettlement: Nearly 2,000 refugees from 14 countries. Refugees are received and resettled by Episcopal Migration Ministries, in cooperation with parishes throughout The Episcopal Church.
Advocacy for Human Rights, Justice, and Peace: The Office of Government Relations of The Episcopal Church, in Washington, D.C., spends about 40% of its time and budget on international matters. The Office of Government Relations works directly with the executive and legislative branches of the U.S. government, as well as with the diplomatic community and organizations such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
Through the Episcopal Public Policy Network, Episcopalians across the country are engaged in grassroots advocacy work.
Of particular relevance has been the Office of Government Relations’ recent work in debt relief, the global AIDS pandemic, and conflict resolution in Congo, Liberia, Sudan, Uganda, Sierra Leone, and the Middle East. Other areas of work include women’s rights, religious freedom and development assistance (the Millennium Development Goals). The Office of Government Relations arranges for visitors from the Anglican Communion – often without fanfare and with great discretion – to meet with government officials and Congressional committees.
The Office of Peace and Justice Ministries, of which the Office of Government Relations is a part, has worked with a number of provinces in support of regional conflict resolution and a host of other issues, notably the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the crisis on the Korean Peninsula, and development of a peace program in the Philippines.