The Committee on Program, Budget and Finance (PB&F) released its proposed budget for the Episcopal Church for 2013-2015 during a joint session of both houses this afternoon. It is available here.
Some of the highlights from the presentation given by PB&F chairpersons Diane Pollard of New York and Steve Lane, Bishop of Maine:
The budget was built around the Anglican “Five Marks of Mission”: to proclaim the Good News; to teach, baptize and nurture new believers; to respond to human need; to seek to transform unjust social structures; and to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation. Administration and governance are also included.
Proposed spending for the triennium is $111,516,000, with an approximate $30,000 surplus projected. Income from dioceses is based on a 19 percent asking from each, generating $73,500,000 over the triennium. A five percent draw on unrestricted investment assets yields another $29,364,000. Rental income and fees from the church center in New York rounds out the income picture.
The budget provides “block grants” for each of the five marks of mission, intended as grants and seed money for collaboration, partnerships and experimentation. One million dollars has been allotted for mission enterprise zones and another $1 million for new church planting. A third block grant is designated for poverty alleviation through Jubiliee Ministries. There is also a block grant set aside for operation of the church’s committees, commissions, agencies and boards.
The proposed budget sets aside 0.7 percent for the Millennium Development Goals, to be directed through Episcopal Relief and Development.
The presentation also highlighted significant funding for formation and vocation ministries, including campus ministry grants and youth programming.
The budget includes $4.1 million over the triennium for investment in a development office for the Episcopal Church, with the expectation that this one-time allotment of funds will generate money for the church that exceeds the cost of the office once it is up and running.
The budget anticipates a reduction of 12 church staff positions, some of them already vacant.
Pollard reiterated PB&F’s desire that the budget process be an ongoing one throughout the triennium to avoid the complicated and time-compressed way that the budget currently gets built. “The shorter length of this General Convention required that we complete the budget within 36 hours of our final hearing,” Pollard said. “Many resolutions regarding funding have still to be considered by the convention as we sent this budget to press.”
“General Convention is in our prayers as we turn this work over to you,” she said.
Both houses will vote on the budget on the last legislative day, which is Thursday.