By Stuart Mann
Synod has approved the diocese’s priorities and financial plans for 2012 and 2013, including its budgets for those two years and the parish assessment rate for 2012.
The diocese will continue to build and equip communities of faith that offer welcome, worship, teaching, pastoral care and social justice. It will do this by developing strong, competent leadership; planting new churches and supporting innovative ways to live and proclaim the Gospel; developing a “cutting edge” communications plan to reach out to seekers, newcomers and long-time parishioners; adapting existing church buildings for effective ministry and mission; reconfiguring its corporate structures to better support parishes; and giving to others who are not funded by the diocese’s operating budget.
To fund this work, Synod has approved balanced budgets of $8,066,813 in 2012 and $8,267,519 in 2013. To meet the revenue needs for 2012, Synod has approved an assessment rate for parishes of 24.39 per cent. There will be a financial Synod in 2012 to approve the assessment rate for 2013.
The 2012 assessment rate, combined with allowances for appeals and input variances, will produce a total of $5,731,993. The remainder of the income will come from interest on the diocese’s capital investments, endowment funds, and FaithWorks funding that support diocesan ministries such as All Saints, Sherbourne Street.
Here are some of the budget highlights for 2012 and 2013:
- Episcopal area budgets have been increased to support the diocese’s commitment to resource parishes and local leadership and initiatives.
- Congregational Development continues to support important programs for parishes, and new staff, who were added in 2010 and 2011, will continue to plant new Christian communities and initiate fresh expressions of church.
- The diocese is supporting the coaching of clergy and parishes to shape themselves for mission to reach out to those outside the church.
- In order to create safe and healthy churches, the diocese continues to hold sexual misconduct training workshops.
- Stewardship Development will be seeking to hire a Planned Giving Consultant in 2013 who can assist in educating and helping those who wish to leave a legacy to the diocese. That position is expected to be co-funded by the national church.
- The diocese will continue to place advertisements in major daily newspapers at Christmas and Easter, inviting people to church.
- Resources will assist with diversity initiatives.
Diocesan Council will implement and report back to Synod on the financial plan, and take corrective measures from time to time as best serves the needs of the diocese.
For more information, see the sections D and E of the Convening Circular.