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Posted on 01/16/2006 5:20:02 AM PST by Huber
Reading between the lines of this Episcopal News Service story on the recent ECUSA Executive Council meeting, one detects more than a little hostility toward the rest of the Anglican world:
The largest amount of debate was spent on the eventual decision to meet a request by the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) that all members of the Anglican Communion increase their giving to the Communion in the coming three years. Those increases amount to $550,000, making the Episcopal Churchs total contribution $2.350 million.
The draft budget did not include those increases but instead kept the churchs contribution to the ACC at $1.8 million. The version of the budget that came to the council from its Administration and Finance Committee (A&F) contained an unallocated line item of $550,000. The intention was for the General Convention to decide whether the church should comply with the ACCs full request.
"What we were trying to do is present the issue to General Convention and frame that issue to General Convention," Bishop Stacy F. Sauls of Lexington told the council.
Josephine Hicks, a member of the churchs ACC deputation, urged the council to meet the ACCs request in the version of the budget it gives to PB&F. Saying she understood the idea of asking the Convention to decide, Hicks countered that the council needed to make "a leadership statement" and tell PB&F that it believes the request should be honored.
Some council members asked if the ACC had justified its request for more money. Church treasurer Kurt Barnes said that the ACC for the last two years has given the Episcopal Church the audits, budgets and budget narratives that the church asks of all its block grant recipients.
While Hicks said the ACC has said it needs more money to pay for the newly formed Panel of Reference and the listening process advocated by the Windsor Report, she also said she thought that it was "immaterial" why ACC needed the money.
"I think its important for our relationship with the ACC not to nitpick and ask what do you need it for," she said.
Hicks and Sauls said that meeting the ACCs request was similar to what congregations ask of their members and dioceses ask of their congregations.
"If we dont do this I think we will have lost a large amount of moral authority," Sauls said.
Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold agreed. "If we dont model it, how can we expect people to meet our own askings," he said.
The $550,000 came from other domestic and international mission programs, including eliminating a $180,000 increase in funding to the covenant with Liberia, $136,000 for grants and meetings of domestic mission partners, and a $108,000 increase from the budget for historically black colleges; zeroing out $75,000 for the Commission of Religion in Appalachia and $42,000 for the Episcopal Appalachian Ministries; and taking $9,000 from the contingency fund for overseas dioceses.
Some council members objected to cutting mission programs, especially domestic ones, to pay for an increased contribution to the ACC. But Sauls, who first proposed the cuts in the councils Administration and Finance Committee, said he did not think that the ministries in Appalachia would be hurt and might be helped. Sauls also said that sometimes sacrifices must be made at home for the good of the larger community.
After the council approved the $550,000 increase, Catherine Roskam, bishop suffragan of New York and a member of the councils ACC deputation, told the council that she had abstained from the vote because she "couldnt think clearly enough" because of the strong feelings she still has about the way the deputation had been treated at the last ACC meeting in Nottingham. She said she also thought that the council had not had a full enough discussion on a decision that had "a lot of implications."
I had thought that if and when ECUSA flips off the Anglican world this coming June and effectively gets read out of Anglicanism, that it would downplay or ignore the decision. In the interest of maintaining its tenuous hold on "historicity," it would need to pretend that nothing had happened and that it was still very much an Anglican church. But this suggests that ECUSA may not take getting run very well at all.
I have had occasion to speak to a few liberal ECUSA clerics recently, and a recurring theme is "they won't throw us out, they want our money too much."
The sermon yesterday in our church was all about increasing numbers and giving, and how we (the congregants) are doing a really poor job of it.
As I am sure that you are aware, a number of African churches have refused any assistance from ECUSA!
I am aware, but it doesn't seem to have gotten through to a lot of people yet, for some reason.
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