Occasional thoughts of an Anglican Episcopal priest

About the Proposed Episcopal Church Budget

The next General Convention of the Episcopal Church is a year away and, in preparation for the same, a proposed budget has been prepared….

The budget can be found here.

Missing are funds for grants to assist seminarians; missing are funds to assist campus ministries on colleges and universities; missing are funds … for a lot of things. This is clearly not a mission-minded budget. Many of our dioceses are following the same pattern. We are becoming congregational because our leadership is forcing it on us. Without broader, diocesan-wide and church-wide vision, we have to focus entirely on local visioning … to the detriment of our connective catholicity.

This is a very disappointing budget.

2 Comments

  1. Steve Rucinski

    Well said.

    Is ‘congregational’ the best word to describe the individualism the budget and behavior is leading us to? Why do you think this is happening? Have we no common vision across our catholicity? We are fractured it seems. Is it a leadership competence gap?

  2. eric

    Congregational, yes, because the ministries that need to be done will have to be done only at the local level and not coordinated through any regional (diocesan) or national agency if there is not budget for that larger coordination. Perhaps in partnership with other congregations (in “deaneries” or across denominational lines in localities). This is tragic because not all congregations can do so, either because of lack of funds or because they lack the “critical mass” of youth/teens or adults/facilitators, or both! I think it’s happening because the church is aging and doesn’t know how to respond to a younger generation and, often, is unwilling to respond because it means changing priorities. I think it’s happening because the church’s priorities have been politicized – I still don’t know why we have a lobbyist in DC, nor why we need one. I think it’s happening because our leadership has been too caught up in conflict with “conservatives” and proving itself “right” about various intra-Anglican issues and not sufficiently focused on those outside the church or on those within it at levels any lower than “815” or the General Convention! I also think those in the pews and the clergy in the pulpits have failed to make their priorities known to the deputies and bishops of the General Convention, or staff and leadership at “815”. It’s not entirely a failure of leadership; it’s a failure of the membership, as well. – There is a whole constellation of causation here!

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