The Acts 8 BLOGFORCE has posted a new question for us to consider: “Where did you see resurrection at work at the General Convention?“
Yesterday I posted one response to the Acts 8 BLOGFORCE question above. On further reflection I thought of an entirely different way I saw resurrection at GC, in an unlikely place – the budget process.
I was very excited that both houses had passed significant legislation around evangelism, Latino/a ministries, and church planting. Some of these proposals had quite large budget allocations. Unfortunately, the budget submitted by Program, Budget and Finance (PB&F) contained very little funding for these projects. It was like a kick in the stomach. We keep saying we need to be more outward focused, that we must evangelize and be mission oriented, but when it comes to allocating funds to do so, we get cold feet.
To our rescue came several Acts 8 folks and I was thrilled when the Reverend Canon Frank Logue proposed an amendment to the budget, asking for an additional .5% of unrestricted endowment income be allocated to these projects. This raises our take from the unrestricted endowment to 5.5% from 5%. The last three years the funds earned over 8%. While asking for this may be considered risky (my diocese of Mississippi does 5.5% annually), it is exactly the taking of that risk that was empowering. There was debate of course, and some wanted us to be more cautious of our investments. But the amendment passed overwhelmingly in the House of Deputies, and after more debate, in the House of Bishops.
Similar proposals to take .5% for evangelism projects had failed at the 2006 (or maybe it was 2009?) GC. Passing an amendment to the budget at that point in the GC legislative process is unheard of. But we did. I am grateful to the leaders who came up with a plan to “resurrect” these vital programs. I cannot wait to see them in action.