The Episcopal News Service has noted a new survey by the Executive Committee of Executive Council put together as part of the process for developing a three year budget to be presented to the 2012 General Convention. The article is HERE. The survey is HERE.
The survey is a good beginning. It asks to assign or reassign the various program concerns of The Episcopal Church church-wide efforts to "church-wide", diocesan and network or parish levels, or to drop them completely. What it doesn't do is the following: (i) address the reality that about 38% of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society (the budget for The Episcopal Church on a church-wide level) is spent on canonical and corporate functions, not program, (ii) that The Episcopal Church has debt payments that now must be honored, thereby raising questions of continuing to own property in New York City, etc, (iii) that dioceses in The Episcopal Church vary greatly in size and some are unsustainable, and that (iv) empowerment of networks has never been adequately encouraged by General Convention.
I encourage you to take the survey. More, I encourage you to let Executive Council members (me included) know what you think might be helpful in preparing this budget. General crabby statements, such as, "I think The Episcopal Church is the work of the devil and not one dime ought to go to it" are not helpful. This is not an opportunity to dump on the work and ministry of The Episcopal Church through its various offices. Rather it is a moment for us to draw out the best ideas for new ways of thinking of the church-wide efforts that General Convention believes are important to our common life. I hope Preludium readers will join in the conversation.