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Rochester to Sell Diocesan House

The Rt. Rev. Prince G. Singh writes about plan to sell the Diocese of Rochester’s office space at 935 East Avenue:

Thus far, the topic of Diocesan House use has been discussed at no fewer than 14 meetings; we are blessed with leadership who have engaged this issue as a serious matter involving the stewardship of our real, financial, human, and spiritual resources.

In these discussions, I have felt a constant gratitude for the blessing of Diocesan House, and for the saints who helped arrange its purchase more than 60 years ago. It has served the Diocese of Rochester very well, providing a space of beauty and history. What we have also learned in these discussions is that Diocesan House is as much an asset as a liability: it is expensive to maintain as an office, provides four times more square footage than needed by our target staff size, and ties up resources that could otherwise be used for mission and ministry. Diocesan House is a great asset, but that asset comes with $100,000 in annual expenses and perhaps even higher opportunity costs.

In truth, the greatest asset we have as a Church is the dynamic discernment in following Jesus Christ. One of my recent metaphors for this dynamic comes from the Church of the Multiplication on the shores of the Sea of Galilee/Tiberius, where the miracle of hospitality is said to have taken place. The mosaic on the floor nearest to the altar has an image of four loaves and two fish implying that the fifth loaf is on the Eucharistic table/altar today. It conveys to us the sense that every generation, every culture, every group of Christian leaders has the invitation from Christ to remember and be re-membered and subsequently reconstituted out of that remembrance.

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