Report lists dioceses' financial support of church's 2012 budget

By Mary Frances Schjonberg
Posted Jun 22, 2012

[Episcopal News Service] Just more than 41 percent of the Episcopal Church’s dioceses and regional areas have committed to contributing the full amount asked of them to fund the wider church’s 2012 budget.

According to a report posted June 21 here on the website of the church’s Finance Office, 46 of 111 entities reporting will pay 19 percent or more in 2012. Six of those dioceses have pledged to pay more than what is known as “the asking,” and which for this year is 19 percent of diocesan income.

Thirteen entities have not pledged to pay any portion of the 2012 asking. They are Colombia, Dallas, Ecuador Central, Ecuador Littoral, Georgia, Haiti, Honduras, Navajoland Area Mission, Quincy, San Joaquin, South Carolina, Taiwan and Venezuela.

Quincy and San Joaquin are two of the four dioceses that are rebuilding after a majority of their clergy and laity left the denomination because of theological disputes. Quincy is the smallest of the four. The other two, Fort Worth and Pittsburgh, have each pledged 19 percent.

Two dioceses – Arizona and Los Angeles – have committed to paying their full 2011 pledge at some time in the future.

An Office of Public Affairs press release announcing the availability of the report noted that Los Angeles has pledged to pay $780,261 “subsequent to conclusion of property [litigation] cases.” In 2011, the diocese paid nothing on income of $4 million. For 2012, the diocese will pledge the full 19 percent asking, amounting to $748,938 on $4 million in income, according to the release.

“We in the Diocese of Los Angeles appreciate the Episcopal Church Center’s recent clarification of our financial commitment to meeting our full diocesan pledge as set forward in the churchwide triennial budget,” Bishop Jon Bruno said in a statement emailed to ENS. “The Diocese of Los Angeles has a tradition of meeting its full asking, and the pledge amounts outstanding will be paid after resolution of our current property litigation. We will also continue to meet the full asking in the future while assisting as generously as we are able with special projects and collaboration within the wider Episcopal Church.”

Arizona paid $131,000 in 2011 on $2.4 million in income. The release said that the diocese has pledged to pay $327,300 “over time.” The diocese has pledged to pay $402,000 in 2012, based on income of $2.2 million.

“The Diocese of Arizona feels obligated to fulfill its commitment to the church-wide office. Just as we expect our parishes to bring their mission shares up-to-date, and we work with them on doing that, we also expect to fulfill our past due commitment to the Episcopal Church,” the Rev. Canon Timothy Dombek, Arizona canon to the ordinary, told ENS via email June 20.

“The Episcopal Church as a whole is very grateful for the faithfulness of dioceses who honor their commitments to our community, even when immediate concerns prevent them from doing so as quickly as they would like,” Bishop Stacy Sauls, Episcopal Church chief operating officer, said in the release. “All of us are grateful for their example.”

The Episcopal Church’s three-year budget is funded primarily by pledges from the church’s 109 dioceses and three regional mission areas. When the General Convention passes the budget it determines a percentage amount that it asks of those entities. (The Finance Office report includes the church’s 109 dioceses plus two of its three regional areas — the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe and the Navajoland Area Mission. The third, the Episcopal Church in Micronesia, is not listed.)

Each year’s annual giving is based on a diocese’s income two years earlier, minus $120,000. Convention’s 2010-2012 budget was based on a 21 percent asking in 2010, 20 percent in 2011 and 19 percent in 2012.

After the 46 entities that pledged to pay all or more than the 19 percent ask in 2012 (which account for 41.4 percent of the 111 entities listed), come:

  • 13 pledging to pay between 17 percent and 18.9 percent (11.7 percent),
  • six pledging to pay between 13.1 percent and 16.9 percent (.05 percent),
  • 17 pledging to pay between 10 percent and 13 percent (15.3 percent) and
  • 16 pledging to pay between 1.5 percent and 9.9 percent (14.4 percent).

Diocesan commitments in 2011 and 2010 are here; those for 2009 are here.

– The Rev. Mary Frances Schjonberg is an editor/reporter for the Episcopal News Service.


Comments (7)

  1. The Rev. Canon George I. Chassey says:

    Statistics reveal a broad downtuirn in baptized membership and giving in Dioceses which is reflected in the Program Budget of the National Episcopal Church. The Episcopal Church must recover the spirit of the resolution adopted by the General Convention in 1982 which stated that Christian Stewardship is the main work of the Church. Also, we must pursue a vigorous ministry of evangelization and church growth. Christian Stewardship, Evangelization, Church growth, are mandates of the Gospel. As persons committed to the cause of Jesus Christ let us not lose sight of our mission.

  2. (Rev.) Charles W. V. Daily, Jr. says:

    You don’t have to have a signal corpsman to read these signals. It reads “abandonment” and the captian of the ship had better read it carefully. We know the vision, my dear Canon, but we also know that the “Sense of the Faithful” are as guided as the ‘Appointed Shepherd’. It is about the Gospel and the Mission, surely, but who is to guide these dear sheep? They know the shepherd’s voice (Jesus) and they have the Holy Spirit available to them in a storm they didn’t create. They are as dedicated as any of us who have “Holy Orders”.

  3. Jesse Zink says:

    These statistics make for interesting reading. What is most surprising is the tiny size of some diocesan budgets—barely over a million dollars. How are these places surviving?

    1. Charles Smith says:

      Largely though infrastructure paid for in the past, and in some cases draining the principal of endowments. There seems little doubt that the other shoe will start dropping faster soon – selling off property – particularly places where property has been retained by spending large sums in court but there’s not enough people left to support the infrastructure by far.

      There is an aging and rapidly dying population in the pews, and they are by far ans large not being replaced. Do the math.

  4. Mark James says:

    Can anyone explain why Dallas and South Carolina can get away without paying their fair shares year after year with no repercussions?

  5. Doug Desper says:

    I suppose that we could hope that the activities of The National Church leadership team would actually be such to inspire more support, but I just don’t see it. An Easter message that never mentioned Jesus Christ, eliminating or decimating budgetary priorities in Evangelism and Christian Education, and spending untold (despite being begged for disclosure by several bishops) on lawyers and lawsuits against our own to maintain cohesion. We’re fast reversing course back to the days after the Revolution when the Church had to be rebuilt from disinterest, animosity, neglect and bankruptcy after a long stretch of obstinate hardheadedness from those at the top. We’ll have to get much worse before the light dawns among those at the helm.

  6. Len sive says:

    I don’t recall reading about the overriding importance of experiencing sexuality in the NT, let lone about cross-dressing or having same-sex marriages. I do recall Jesus saying, “Take up your cross and follow me.” In other words, self-sacrificce on behalf of the Gospel is central to understanding one’s role as a modern-day disciple–not the evangelization of sexual behavior (pre-marital, adultery, homosexual sex, etc). Some of us, to be evangelists, must give up “earthly happiness” in exchange for which our Lord gives us blessedness and a sure sense of belonging to His Church, now and in the future. But a church that puts a premium on sexudal pleasure above spiritual purity and depth–and regards formerly scriptually-deviant sexuality as “natural” now, regardless of what the bible or tradition says, is courting disaster: disaffection, concern over exposing young kids to a sexual ethos that puts a premium on pleasure while ignoring the self-sacrificial aspects of being an “apostle”; and putting ME before God. Jesus and his disciples gave up their Ego and were content to live for God. That’s the true faith, true biblically and traditionally. Our modern -day apostates in the church have turned the Gospel on its head, with what consequences we see all around us. Yet the blind still refuse to see. Jesus asked the blind what they wanted, and they got their wish;sight. The modern blind say, “If it’s a choice between sex and vision, give me sex.” They have their reward.And their church is dying.

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