Episcopalians across the church are invited to review and comment on a draft of the 2019-21 budget.
“In the current and prior triennia, the budgets were built to reflect the Five Marks of Mission,” Tess Judge, Executive Council member and chair of Finance for Mission Committee, wrote in an overview letter. “The 2019-2021 budget is based on the Jesus Movement, with Evangelism, Racial Reconciliation & Justice, and Environmental Stewardship as priorities.”
Following comments and suggestions, which are due by Jan. 10, the preliminary draft budget will be prepared for approval by the Episcopal Church Executive Council at its January meeting.
From there, Executive Council will present the draft budget to Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget, and Finance in February, which will then prepare a final budget for approval at General Convention next summer.
Here are a few highlights:
- The first two pages summarize projected income, $128,429,734, and projected expenses, $132,921,145, resulting in a deficit of $4,491,411.
Among the highlights on the Income page (1):
- Line 2 — Diocesan Commitments (Assessments required beginning January 1, 2019) In the current triennium commitments asked dropped from 18 percent to 15 percent, with a $150,000 exemption for each diocese. The Line 2 2016-18 figure is the expected actual commitment (not an assumed full commitment). The 2019-21 budget shows a gross number, the full 15 percent with $140,000 exemption projected assessment from all dioceses. The red box below is an allowance for those dioceses which might be granted waivers from paying the full amount by Executive Council in the Assessment Review process.
- Line 3 — Income from Unrestricted Assets & Outside Trusts — these two lines represent a 5 percent draw from investments.
- Line 3 — Annual Appeal Campaign — $500,000 from the Development Department’s new Annual Fund solicitation to fund ministries in the operating budget. Of this $88,000, will cover the costs of annual campaigns.
- Line 4b — Racial Reconciliation — $2 million was set aside from short-term reserves in the current triennium. Since this was a new program, it took over a year to get up to speed, so the full $2 million will not be spent. The 2019-21 budget carries over $1 million for this work.
Among the highlights in the Expenses page (2):
- The Expense Categories for the 2019-2021 budget include: Evangelism, Racial Reconciliation & Justice, Creation Care, Ministry of the Presiding Bishop to Church and World, Mission Within the Episcopal Church, Mission Beyond the Episcopal Church, Mission Governance, and Mission Finance, Legal & Operations. They do not perfectly correspond with the Five Marks budget categories.
- Staff — all staff lines include a 3 percent raise each year and estimate 9 percent increases in health insurance costs. The Presiding Bishop has expressed his satisfaction with the staff in place and asks that there be no new hires in the 2019-21 budget.
- House of Deputies, Line 298 — Staff Costs include $900,000 for salary and benefits for the President of the House of Deputies to be sure funds are available should the salary be approved by General Convention.
TLC will report on the draft budget on Tuesday morning.
Adapted from the Office of Public Affairs