The diocesan budget is funded primarily by congregational giving. Here is Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde's annual letter to congregations seeking their support for the diocesan budget and the form necessary to pledge support.
Taking the five loaves and the two fish, Jesus looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before the people... and all ate and were filled. Mark 6: 41-42
This spring, members of diocesan staff have conducted pastoral check-in calls with almost all of our congregations. It has been an inspiring and uplifting experience, as we listened to the ways in which you responded to the COVID-19 pandemic with care and creativity. Just as the Holy Spirit filled the first disciples on the Day of Pentecost, so too has the Spirit been at work among us, leading us in directions we could not have imagined two months ago. Thank you for your faithfulness and leadership during this difficult time. I am very grateful for each and every one of you.
While the long-term implications of the pandemic are still not clear, we are clear that our diocesan-wide strategic plan provides the right framework for our common life and ministry going forward. Our mission is to draw people to Jesus and embody his love for the world by equipping our faith communities, promoting spiritual growth, and striving for justice, and we are fully committed to living out that mission.
At the end of March, as we began wrestling with the implications of the pandemic and stay-at-home orders, I encouraged each congregation in the diocese to take stock of its own financial situation and not to forgo any parish needs in order to meet a financial pledge to the diocese. I want to reiterate that statement today. We understand the needs and pressures you are facing during this unprecedented time.
However, as we move into the second half of the year, we must also assess our diocesan finances and the resources we will have to fulfill our work and mission. Congregational giving is the largest source of income for the diocese, accounting for 60% of our operating budget, and it is nearly impossible to gauge our financial situation without some sense of what giving will be for the year.
Therefore, keeping your own needs in mind first, I ask that you reassess your financial commitment to the diocese for 2020. Whether you made a pledge at the beginning of the year or not, please let us know by July 1 what your commitment for the year will be. You can complete the attached giving form and email a scanned copy to email@example.com or you can complete the form online.
Thank you for your continued support. May God grant us all wisdom and courage for the living of this hour.
Faithfully in Christ,
The Rt. Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, D.Min.
Bishop of Washington