Sunday, July 15, 2012


 Not peanut butter and fluff, no matter what my northeastern friends may think...

PB&F budget hearing
PB&F is Program, Budget, and Finance.  In other words, those who determine the budget.  And if you determine the budget, you determine a good portion of the results of Convention.  You can pass all the legislation you want, but if it's not funded, it's not going to happen unless it didn't require funding to begin with.

Saturday evening, General Convention Day #3, there was a meeting on the proposed budget (, and anyone who signed up a half hour in advance could speak. 

Bishop Duracin of the Diocese of Haiti speaking
My understanding is that there was significant funding for Haiti.  I was especially grateful to a young man for stepping up to the microphone in favor of doing so.  We were reminded that there are around 200 Episcopal schools in Haiti, including St. Vincent's School for the Handicapped, one of the only schools in Haiti for disabled students.  (It was the only one for decades, but there are so many amputees now... It's not at all an uncommon sight.   I wonder if the other disabilities are receiving any attention these days.  But revenons a nos moutons, as they say - back to the topic at hand.)  Around 70% of church structures were leveled in 2010, and given that almost all churches have a school, this had a significant impact.  The Millenium Development Goals include universal primary education, so our support of Haiti is related to our support of the MDG's. Bishop Duracin also spoke about the church's involvement in primary education and health care.

Among the other ministries whose advocates spoke in favor of funding:
HIV/AIDS Ministries
Campus and Young Adult Ministries
Office for Pastoral Development (MANY people spoke up for this one)
Association for Episcopal Educators
Episcopal Relief and Development - Nets for Life project and MDGs
Episcopal Network for Stewardship
Episcopal Conference of the Deaf (perhaps the ones who provided interpreters to sign the entire GC )
Navaholand Area Mission, Native American Ministries, and Indigenous Ministries
The Anglican Consultative Council (Ian Douglas spoke, as he is the TEC rep to the ACC)
Episcopal Appalachian Ministries
Episcopal Service Corps
The Diocese of Alaska
The Diocese of Ecuador

Bishops speaking in support of inclusion of an office for pastoral development, which had had its office and staff taken away from the one bishop in charge of it. Based on what I heard over and over, it is a very helpful, very appreciated confidential ministry, if an unexciting one. I hope they decided to fund it fully.

There was a young man, a senior from Voorhees College (, who told a powerful personal story about the effect of this school on his life. He spoke in favor of funding a grant for a program intended to interrupt the cradle-to-prison pipeline.

There was also someone who spoke about the funding for General Convention 2015 and the need for wi-fi for 1300 people, translators for documents (we have quite a number of languages represented), copy equipment, and so forth. 

I believe they voted to have a paperless convention (insofar as possible, I assume) next time, but there will be people who don't have the equipment or don't know how to use it, so that will be an expense even if there is no copying to be done. 

photo of the empty House of Deputies taken while delivering the day's paperwork before the legislative session later that morning
That's a lot of paper for a lot of people, so I'm glad they'll be going paperless for General Convention 78 in 2015.
Eventually the new budget - the final version thereof, that is - will be online.  It will be interesting to see what the final decisions were in light of the testimony given at the hearing.  I did find the final version of the budget resolution ( and noted with approval that they require a balanced budget:
3.1 Each year, the Executive Council, with the advice of the Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget and Finance, shall adjust the budget to the assured income of the Executive Council so as to carry out the Budget for the Episcopal Church for that year on a balanced budget basis.
However, I haven't yet managed to find the numbers.  Please do put up a comment if you know where they might be found once posted.

Let's see if we really put our money where our mouth is.

1 comment:

  1. Peanut Butter and Fluff...I never made that connection before but I love it! Glad you were able to make it to the hearing