Monday, June 8, 2009

Episcopalians' budget takes hit

From the Washington Times-

The Episcopal Diocese of Washington has drastically revised its 2009 budget, largely because of paltry giving from the bulk of its congregations plus a drop in its investment income.

In an approximately $3.9 million budget approved in May by its diocesan council, the diocese made a series of staff and budget cuts to make up for a shortfall of more than $400,000 from initial revenue projections. The income projections included $357,800 less in pledges than the diocese anticipated from its 93 churches, plus an estimated $26,400 the diocese could lose in investment and interest income.

The 40,000-member Washington Diocese will undergo "an aggressive and rapid reduction in staff, across all levels," according to Paul Cooney, canon to the ordinary for the diocese. Three staff members were let go in February.

The diocese also chopped off a $126,000 gift to denominational headquarters in New York by eliminating an annual contribution from the $21 million Ruth Gregory Soper Trust fund; overall, it plans to give $649,230 to the national church.

Part of the problem is that less than a quarter of the diocese's 93 congregations tithe - or give 10 percent of their money to the diocese - according to diocesan spokesman Jim Naughton. The diocese does not mandate a set amount churches must give.

More here-

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