Diocesan Council Meeting Highlights – December 4, 2018
By Maurice L. Harris | Diocesan Communication Minister
Bishop Ely called a meeting of Diocesan Council on December 4, 2018, largely in response to a need for Council to consider new Church Insurance policy and rates, as well as the potential enrollment of all diocesan entities in Alacrity, a new program through Church Insurance designed to enhance the claims process while helping to contain insurance costs. The insurance proposals were met with unanimous approval and announced in the previous edition of The Mountain. As a follow-up to this action, Church Insurance will present the new Alacrity program at a July 10 webinar to congregational leaders. For complete details on this Council action and the upcoming webinar, please read this article: http://www.diovermont.org/post.php?p=11416.
The remainder of the agenda for this council meeting was relatively brief and regular business as well as a welcome to our newly-elected members announced at the recent Diocesan Convention. From Mission District #5, we welcomed Colleen Gates, a lay minister at St. Peter’s, Bennington. From Mission District # 1, we welcomed Alice Daley, a member of St. Andrew’s, Colchester. The entire roster of current, retiring, and newly elected Diocesan Council representatives can be found on the Diocesan Convention web page at https://diovermont.org/edov-diocesan-council/.
Although Treasurer Gerry Davis was unable to attend this meeting, Council noted in his written Treasurer’s Report that the Alleluiafund has exceeded its $40,000 goal for the year. Grants to the Rock Point Commons ($9,000) and the Rock Point Summer Camp ($11,000) have been dispersed, leaving $23,328, including the remainder from 2017, available for awards from the Grants and Loans Committee. Additionally, Council noted that the congregation contribution formula accepted in the 2017 Diocesan Convention appears to be working, although contributions are below original estimates by a total of $12,473 as of November 15, 2018. Gerry reports:
Parishes that are up to date and using the “actual” real-time method of calculating contributions are almost exactly on target with our budget, suggesting that their revenues are tracking according to plan. Parishes using the “estimate” method or a combination of the two are also very close to target levels. The shortfall in contributions can be explained by underpayment from [nine] parishes that are not yet up to a full 10 months of payments.
A portion of this meeting was dedicated to setting dates and responsibilities for the 2019 Diocesan Council meetings, which will begin with the Annual Diocesan Council Retreat to be held on January 18-19 at Bishop Booth Conference Center. As always, Council Meetings are open to all people of the diocese, and those wishing to attend can find meeting information on the Diocesan Council website or by contacting the diocesan office.
This Council meeting began and adjourned with devotions and prayers led by Dinny Hawksworth, a representative of Mission District #1 and member of St. Matthew’s, Enosburgh Falls.