Monday, November 3, 2008

Churches assess impact of financial crisis

Christian Century on the Financial crisis and the mainline churches. It's not as bad in the Episcopal Church as is being reported in some places. The sky is not falling.

Both Episcopalians and Presbyterians are grappling with possible budget shortfalls at the national level because of reduced income from endowment funds.

The Episcopal Church's Executive Council, meeting October 20-23 in Helena, Montana, approved a 2009 budget that has a projected deficit of about $2.5 million. But treasurer Kurt Barnes told the council that in part because of $2.2 million in surpluses the last two years and other features of a triennial budget, the church "could suffer a deficit of $2.8 million" and still have a balanced budget, according to the Episcopal News Service.

Barnes also reported that the value of the church's endowment funds decreased by 30 percent this year. If the stock market goes into a long decline, the losses will climb.

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