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.
I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ.
We hear God calling the Episcopal Diocese of Washington—your bishop, your diocesan staff, and each of our congregations—to engage a changing world with an enduring faith in Jesus Christ.
Our three priorities are:
- Growing Christian Community
- Connecting Spirituality to Everyday Life
- Striving for Justice
Your diocesan staff and leadership have as our primary goals the increased health and growth of our congregations, the growing spiritual confidence and abiding joy of our people, and the vibrancy of our collective witness as the Episcopal Church. We are here to serve you in times of transition and opportunity, as both support and resource, be it in technology or congregational development, children’s ministry or strategic planning, Scripture study or anti-racism initiatives. We are here to foster connections, raise up leaders, pray and problem solve at your side, as well as to learn from you as you engage your communities and discern God’s call. We love being the Episcopal Church with you, following Jesus and joining in his love for the world.
I am grateful that we don’t have a mandatory financial assessment for congregations. Your primary stewardship as congregational leaders is the health and vitality of your congregations, and I fully support you in that holy work. In my years as your bishop, I hope to inspire each congregation to give 10% of operating income in support of our collective endeavor, as an investment that strengthens and expands your ministry and supports others in theirs. I pray that we are beginning to earn that from you.
For your information:
- The range of congregational giving in the Diocese of Washington is 0- 11.03%.
- The average congregational pledge in 2014 represented 5.41% of base year Normal Operating Income.
- Eight congregations gave 10% or more in 2014. These congregations range in size from among our smallest to largest.
- Last year I invited each congregation giving below 10% to consider increasing their giving by one additional percentage point each a year until they reached a tithe, and seven congregations did so.
I ask the same this year. If you are not among those congregations investing ten percent in our collective work, would you consider increasing one percent point this year? As congregational giving increases toward at 10% tithe, we will invest more of our endowment resources in congregations in the form of grants, and in strategic initiatives for the growth and spiritual vitality of our diocese.
Please be assured that whatever the size gift, it will be received with gratitude and stewarded to the best of our ability, to the glory of God.
I thank God for you and for the privilege of serving as your bishop.
The Rt. Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, D.Min.
Bishop of Washington