From Your Diocesan Finance Office and Diocesan Finance & Budget Committee
Living into our learnings from our Discerning Our Common Call process about the importance of communications between our Bishop and his staff, committees and commissions of our Diocese and our congregations, we hope to bring you actionable ideas on a periodic basis, and invite your feedback, questions and topics for future newsletters.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: From A Confession of Faith in a Time of Crisis, Reclaiming Jesus.org:
“Our urgent need, in a time of moral and political crisis, is to recover the power of confessing our faith. Lament, repent, and then repair. If Jesus is Lord, there is always space for grace. We believe it is time to speak and to act in faith and conscience, not because of politics, but because we are disciples of Jesus Christ—to whom be all authority, honor, and glory. It is time for a fresh confession of faith. Jesus is Lord. He is the light in our darkness. ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life’ (John 8:12).
NOW GO AND DO:
Visit http://ReclaimingJesus.org for more information on this new ecumenical and interfaith movement supported by our Presiding Bishop, and http://poorpeoplescampaign.org for information and resources related to the new Poor People’s Campaign, which expands on the original movement begun 50 years ago by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.to confront what he named as the “giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism”, now also to include ecological devastation.
News You Can Use (and share with members of your congregation!)
SPOTLIGHT ON: PROJECT RESOURCE & BISHOP’S FORUMS
Want to equip and inspire yourself for resourcing your mission both financially and spiritually in the same 2-hour timeframe? Along with other people seeking to do the same? And create local networks with nearby congregations for follow-up and support? Treat yourself to a trip to any one of the Bishop’s Forums (by orders – lay or clergy) now underway. A link to that schedule can be found here. Each forum begins with a presentation by one or more of our Project Resource Team focusing on how you can access our resources and coaches. An overview of the presentation points is summarized here. This is followed by time with our Bishop and in conversation with each other – both small group and plenary – focusing on the Fourth Mark of Mission – Transforming Unjust Structures of Society. The Dwelling in the Word components and Vital Questions we discuss together are designed to help us help each other with the challenges of staying grounded as followers of Jesus Christ in the midst of an increasingly polarized world. You are not limited to attending the one in your convocation, so don’t miss out on this incredibly valuable experience! Here’s an agenda for the forums from Bishop Stokes.
SPOTLIGHT #2 ON: BOARD OF CONSULTATION AND TASK FORCE UPDATES
Yes, these are busy times when we need TWO spotlights! Fulfilling the Marks of Mission Giving Resolution mandates of our 2017 and 2018 Diocesan Conventions as well as our 2017 Special Convention, the following groups have been formed and are beginning their work:
- Board of Consultation – this board will work together with congregations which are not currently meeting their Marks of Mission Giving requests, with full authority to grant reductions in the requests as well as to require congregations receiving such reductions to develop plans for congregational growth, discipleship and holistic financial development. This board will also serve as a communications conduit and feedback loop in recommending diocesan resources to assist the congregations with their plans.
- Revenue & Resources Task Force – this group is charged with evaluating all resource and revenue options for effective long-term support for a secure, stable diocese, and is required to report and make recommendations to the 236th Annual Convention of the Diocese in 2020.
- Mission, Structure & Budget Task Force – this group is charged with making recommendations to the 236th Annual Convention of the Diocese in 2020 to align our diocesan structures and budget to the Anglican Marks of Mission and to our understanding of ourselves as a missionary diocese.
The Discerning Our Common Call Steering Committee acts as the strategic coordinator for all of the above groups, with the two task forces operating directly under their umbrella. In addition, the task force requested by the 2018 Diocesan Convention to recommend changes to the current formula for calculation of the Marks of Mission Giving requests is in the process of being formed and will also begin its work soon. Stay tuned for periodic updates from these groups on their ongoing work.
BENEFITS CORNER: YOUR EMPLOYEE ROSTER WITH CHURCH PENSION GROUP (CPG)
Every church needs a Senior Officer assigned for CPG’s Employee Roster (ER)
What is the ER? The ER is a web based application that simplifies pension enrollment and information changes for all eligible clergy and staff.
Why use the ER? To simplify your life! No more paper forms to fill out and send to CPG; keep information up to date in real time for pension, The Episcopal Church Annual (The Red Book) and The Episcopal Clerical Directory; and help CPG and the Diocese communicate with your church leaders about benefits programs.
Who should use the ER? The person at your church who enrolls clergy and staff in the pension plan, updates their demographic information, and/or enrolls clergy and staff in other benefits programs. Your church can have more than one officer assigned.
To set up someone from your church as your Senior Officer or for questions, please call or email Pat Hawkins at 609-394-5281, ext. 22 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
RESOURCE OF THE MONTH: EPISCOPAL CHURCH FOUNDATION’S VESTRY PAPERS, April 4th Edition
“While working with church finances it is often easy to slip into a routine, never stopping to ask ‘why’ and continuing to do something because that’s the way it’s always been done.” (Sound familiar???) “Pausing, re-assessing and looking at things from a new perspective, however, can begin to transform numbers into meaningful data that we can use to do God’s work effectively.”
Learn more about what this means in terms of basic financial statements, endowment planning fundamentals, steps towards healthy personal AND church finances, and one diocese’s initiative towards economic justice in terms of its minimum wage here.
UNTIL NEXT TIME—
This month we leave you with a quote from Mother Teresa:
“There is a light in this world, a healing spirit more powerful than any darkness we may encounter. It will emerge through the lives of ordinary people who hear a call and answer in extraordinary ways.”