Diocesan Council hosts budget summit
Diocesan Council continued a practice begun in the summer of 2008 by inviting various “stakeholders” in the Diocese to a Budget Summit for a morning of “wisdom conversations” about topics related to the preparation of the 2012 diocesan budget. The event, held at St. Paul’s, White River Junction, July 16, focused on three topics (strengthening connections; increasing revenue; adjusting expenses) in the context of Bible Study and prayer.
In opening remarks, the Rev. Reid Farrell said that Council has found that collective leadership has helped the budget process over the last three years and told participants, “We want to create a budget that reflects what we have the capacity to do now.”
Bishop Thomas Ely identified several “contextual realities” for the conversation, among them projections of decreased revenue, the “tension between the local and the more than local” and “the challenge of living between hope and fear at all levels.” He said, “We are in the era of “tactical adjustment.” What do we need to employ now to meet these realities without undoing the larger mission?”
Participants spent time in small group conversations, returning on two occasions to share their “wisdom” to inform Council as it develops the budget. Some comments:
- What are we willing to risk to strengthen our mission?
- Dioceses support congregations with expertise. Maybe we need now to think in terms of a community organizer/webmaster mentality.
- Understanding that we are all in this together is something we need to explore.
- How will the budget reflect an understanding about our relationships?
- To what can we say yes?
- We need to talk about generating generosity and gracious giving.