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
2020 has the potential to be a watershed year for the Diocese of Washington, as we step out in faith for the first implementation year of our strategic plan. Through a year-long process of prayer and diocesan-wide conversation, God has placed on our hearts three overarching visions:
- Revitalize our churches to grow the Jesus Movement
- Inspire every person to grow in faith & equip our leaders to lead well
- Partner in ministries of service & justice for greater impact in our communities.
In the last few months, your diocesan leaders have worked to align the 2020 diocesan budget, staff, and organizational structure with our strategic goals. In addition, Diocesan Council has authorized a strategic investment of diocesan assets to help fund the first year of implementation. You can learn more about our implementation plans and how we'll fund them by watching two brief video presentations. Please take time to review them, and the proposed budget, with your vestry.
The budget is programmatic this year, with our expenses budgeted by priority and with a significant majority of our resources allocated, or reallocated, to parish support and implementation of the strategic plan. The total budget is $4.4 million, only slightly increased from 2019. We were able to accomplish the investment in the strategic plan without a significant budget increase by a laser focus on priorities – reducing or eliminating expenditures that don't demonstrate solid potential.
We are drawing a modest part of the initial investment in the strategic plan from accumulated surplus from prior years and a part from an educational bequest – but we primarily will depend on congregational giving. We have increased the budget for parish gifts to $2.6 million, only $31,652 above 2019. It is important that we achieve this level of giving, as it is the resource from which we will reap the harvest from the work that we accomplished this past year, and from the work that we will begin as we launch the strategic plan at Convention in 2020.
I am grateful for Diocesan Council's courageous investment in our strategic goals. I now ask you to make your investment, through prayer, engagement, and financial support.
I invite you to join us in the realization of the vision God has given us as well through your prayers and gifts of time and engagement. We are looking for champions of congregational renewal, faith formation and leadership development, and justice ministries to form the implementation teams across the diocese. I also welcome your feedback and suggestions for how the diocese can better serve Jesus' way of love.
This is a loaves and fishes moment, when Jesus invites us to offer our gifts that he might bless and make of them a miracle of abundance. Thank you for your prayerful consideration of your investment toward our mission to draw people to Jesus and embody his love in the word.
Faithfully in Christ,
The Rt. Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, D.Min.
Bishop of Washington