Deputies have passed a $111,546,000 budget presented by Program, Budget and Finance, and based on the Five Marks of Mission.
Meeting as a committee of the whole, deputies spent an hour asking questions, seeking clarifications and making pleas for redistribution of the money for various projects they passionately supported.
Much of the debate concerned the reduction of funds allocated toward communications, with most people saying it was a poor decision to cut funding because of the continued rise in popularity of the Internet and social media, such as Facebook and Twitter. Deputy James Steadman, Northwestern Pennsylvania, said the Five Marks of Mission “all include communication.”
Katie Sherrod, Fort Worth, echoed Steadman’s concerns, saying, “Communication is a key part of the first Mark of Mission to spread the Good News.”
Others, however, offered less resistance to the proposed budget. Deputy Matthew Grizzle, Southern Virginia, said, “When it comes to the communication [to] young adults and youth, I don’t want your money, I want you. I did not look at a website to join the Episcopal Church.”
The Rev. Susan Snook, Arizona, spoke against an amendment that proposed reducing the Church Center staff by 25 percent, saying, “We voted to restructure the Church, and we voted to do it in a strategic way.” She encouraged deputies to look at this budget as a “transitional budget,” which would include “things that will help us reach new generations in the future.”
In the end, A005 passed through the House of Deputies without amendment, and with an air of positivity for the coming triennium.
–By John Schwartz