This week in Budget and Dysfunction news

So the Presiding Bishop released her own version of a budget for the 2012-2015 Triennium. The story (with link to the budget) is here. It’s received praise from Scott Gunn, Crusty Old Dean, and Susan B. Snook.

From the comments on their blog posts, and the comment threads on the Episcopal Cafe (read them here), it seems there remains deep levels of distrust toward the Presiding Bishop and the Chief Operating Officer. We’ve seen this distrust again and again in the last months, perhaps beginning with Bishop Sauls’ restructuring proposals last fall. As an outsider and observer, I’ve had a hard time understanding where it came from and what fuels it. There seem to be several sources: anticlericalism, knee-jerk resistance to episcopal authority, tension between the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies, personal animosity between several of the major players, tension between staff at the Episcopal Church Center and General Convention. No doubt I’m missing some of the dynamics involved.

As an outsider, I must say that it seems all a bit petty, a waste of time and energy. Above all, it is a distraction from the very real problems that face the Church.

And then I read this from Susan Russell: http://inchatatime.blogspot.com/2012/06/elephant-in-living-room-coming-soon-to.html. She provides context, going back to General Convention 2006. I wanted to cry, scream, and bang my head against the wall. With everything confronting the church, let’s reopen old wounds, fight old battles, rehearse old resentments.

God help us all!

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2 thoughts on “This week in Budget and Dysfunction news

  1. Humm, obviously I am an outsider as well, so it all seems a bit messy and complicated. Still, it does seem to reflect in some ways the larger issues American society is dealing with. I was impressed with the comment in the video about the 200 proposals that would not be dealt with because of the in-fighting. Forget the problems of war and poverty – we have gays in the pews and clerics stealing our money 😉

  2. For some other relevant insight see: http://www.episcopalchurch.org/sites/default/files/2011_and_2012_diocesan_commitments_and_payments_updated_062012.pdf.
    It appears that more than 50% of the dioceses at not paying their full pledge (“asking”) to the national church budget. Several very wealthy dioceses continue to give little or nothing, including South Carolina and Pennsylvania. Dioceses that give nothing when they are able to do so should be reduced to observer status in both houses of the General Convention. Those that choose to reduce their payment to 50% or less should have only 1 seat in the House of Deputies and be limited to one seat in the HOB. There needs to be some penalty for freeloading and selfishness!

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