Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Show me the money: The Episcopal Bishop of Western Kansas writes Presiding Bishop, House of Bishops, Executive Council, & General Convention Deputies

via e-mail.

An Open Letter to The Presiding Bishop, House of Bishops, Executive
Council, and Deputies to General Convention,

I really do not know anymore what is coming next. How things are done and not done are as haphazard as people's ideas; or so it seems.

Now I read that the "New" Diocese of Fort Worth passed a $632,466 dollar budget for a part-time bishop, a little over 19 priests and 62 delegates who represent way less than a thousand people, and $200,000 is from the General Convention budget!

First, I did not see that in the GC budget that was passed in 2006. Where did it come from? Did the Executive Council pass it, which we would not know since the last several meetings' minutes have not been posted? I hate to beat a dead horse but how can there be $200,000 to give away when budgets are being cut and people let go?

If there is $200,000 available, then why was there not more for the Domestic Missionary Partnership to use in the poorest dioceses of the Church? Why did money get initially cut from indigenous ministries to pay other budget items?

This action leads me to ask the following question.

If I, as a Diocesan Bishop, left TEC (which I am not saying I am) with 10 of my churches, could the other 21 get $200,000 to carry on? Since our entire budget for the year was less than $400,000, it would go a long way to let this Diocese be in a better financial position. I am compelled to ask such things because it does not appear that anyone else is and we are about to spend 10's of millions of dollars on another General Convention to set a budget. Can others apply for general budget funds? I know that we can not.

So, what is the secret? Just asking,

In Christ's service,

The Rt. Rev. James M. Adams, Jr.


redleg82 said...

Seems to be too much of a straight talker to be a TEC Bishop. I'm sure he's on the "list" now after questioning the actions of the Empire/.

1662 BCP said...

Bishop Adams,
I hope that for your sake you have some savings put away for a rainy day, because I foresee dark clouds arising on the horizon in Western Kansas. Remember that you are operating within an ecclesial system (I can no longer refer to it as a church)which is run by people who are little more than thugs in clerical collars.

Jill C. said...

May God give Bishop Adams wisdom and strength for the days ahead. I am afraid they won't be easy!

Anonymous said...

There's an idea- 'get a divorce' (leave the church as a diocese) so the remaining spouse gets 'guv'mint' aid :)- what a plan- if more diocesans said- "we're leaving but some are staying" - just think how quickly KJS et al would run out of money trying to set up those that are 'left'. A couple hundred thousand here, a couple hundred thousand there- adds up to real's a plan!

_Katie in Georgia

Steven in Falls Church said...

If there is $200,000 available, then why was there not more for the Domestic Missionary Partnership to use in the poorest dioceses of the Church? Why did money get initially cut from indigenous ministries to pay other budget items?

A great question. I wonder how much TEC has spent propping up the Potemkin parishes and dioceses in an attempted fabrication of the appearance of continuing membership.

Has this been posted on the HOB/D Listserv? If not, someone should as I would be curious as to the responses.

Milton said...

A most courageous and straight-talking leader! I pray the Lord will uphold him and his diocese in the storms ahead.

Anonymous said...

Steven in Falls Church...
Yes this came from the Listserve and here is the gracious Espiscopalian reply:

might the good "white, fat 61 year old" Bishop of Western Kansas consider
petitioning GC to allow it to merge with The Diocese of Kansas, or other,
more financially viable, TEC entity?

Peter Keese
c2 E TN 09

BabyBlue said...

And has not not occurred to 815 regarding their attempts to set up shadow dioceses in San Joaquin, Pittsburgh and Ft. Worth when it would make so much more fiduciary and pastoral sense for the remnant parishes and clergy to join the Diocese of California or El Camino Real, the Dioceses of Northwestern Pennsylvania or Central Pennsylvania, and the Dioceses of Dallas or Texas. Think of the savings - in so many ways, so many ways.


redleg82 said...

Dontcha know, its all about the Bishops.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Allen said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
BabyBlue said...

Allen, I appreciate your frustration with Peter Keese, but I think the last post was close to throwing the cream pie. Feel free to post again, though. Okay?


BabyBlue said...

Alas, Anon - we do understand the frustration toward the Presiding Bishop but we are thinking that the last post carried with it a flying cream pie. Feel free to post again - but it probably makes your case if we give illustrations of your point. We do recognize however that many, many people are frustrated by these turn of events.


KAY4 said...

I fear that even if WKS wanted to leave they couldn't. Impossible to stand up to the inevitable legal assault. However, Bishop Adams et al shall remain in my prayers.
[an ex-pat Kansan. :-) ]

Anonymous said...

As a parishioner in a church that is part of the Diocese of Western Kansas, I feel compelled to present a counter to all the back-patting of Bishop Adams. While he may have a point about funding elsewhere, what little support was here for TEC in Western Kansas has been dissipated through the divisive "leadership" of Bishop Adams. His baffling and willful fomenting of discord has run the Diocese into the ground financially. If someone else had brought up this point, I would be more inclined to give it credence. But Bishop Adams needs to go away with "10 of HIS churches" - such arrogance! - and leave the Diocese of Western Kansas to try to heal and do Christ's work.

BabyBlue said...

"Fomenting of discord" is a quite an interesting turn of phrase. Isn't "fomenting discord" a way to get oneself blacklisted?

It is a misnomer to say that compelling one's departure will somehow lead to healing. That's like a husband saying to a wife, "Just leave and then I can heal our marriage." What it shows us is that this so called "inclusion of all the baptized" is just smoke and mirrors, a trick, as though we could say we would be far more effective at at being inclusive if the bishop of Western Kansas would just leave.


Anonymous said...

This is to the poster from Diocese of Western KS. I am also in the Diocese, and I have to flatly disagree with your interpretation of Bishop Adam's ministry. He raised issues of profound importance to the ministry of the diocese and to Christianity. Rather than engage in robust, healthy dialogue, the leaders of the diocese chose to go on the attack, telling the people of the diocese that the bishop was "trying to lead us out of TEC", and other incindiary things that were factually false and could only lead to fear, confusion, and polarization. It's not the bishop's actions that are "baffling" amd "willfully fomenting of discord" - it's the actions of the diocesan "leaders". They seem to want a chaplain instead of a bishop, and to do their own thing rather than be led. The diocese functions just like a tiny church with its resident curmudgeons who talk about Christ in their liturgies, but raise unholy hell as soon as things don't go their way. Diocese of W. KS is running out of money not because of the bishop's leadership but because it has churches with no people in them, absolutely no interest whatsoever in outreaching ministry, and the childish attitude that "if the Bishop doesn't do what I want, I'm taking my toys [and my money] and leaving." It's time for Diocese of Western KS to grow up and quit blaming its bishop for all its problems.