The Episcopal Church Building Fund is apparently reading the writing on the wall. So if TEC can't afford what it all ready has (the Church Insurance Company is reporting that three congregations are closing their doors for good every month!), what in tarnation is it doing engaging in lawsuits for? Has the Diocese of Virginia considered if they can even afford the upkeep of the churches they are suing? The snow removal bills alone were a whopper!
From The Episcopal Church Building Fund:
As dioceses and parishes struggle with spiraling costs and shrinking budgets, our most significant physical assets - our buildings - are in serious disrepair. Crumbling buildings are in many cases the single biggest barrier to mission and ministry. According to the Church Insurance Company, every month more than three congregations close their doors for good.
This alarming situation threatens the health and life of the Episcopal Church. The raft of complex financial, pastoral, and historical issues surrounding our buildings has made this a problem easier to ignore than to address.
An upcoming symposium hosted by the Episcopal Church Building Fund will equip church leaders to solve this problem in ways that make both financial and pastoral sense, empowering the church to shift its focus to the vitality of its ministry.
The symposium will take place April 7, 2010 at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Richmond, Virginia. Register for the symposium or view the program description. Limited scholarship funds are available for travel and registration.
Speakers include church leaders who are confronting and negotiating these struggles in their own dioceses and communities, and who will share creative and successful models. Topics include how and why to face the reality that a parish or diocese is in decline; how environmentally sensitive attention to church buildings can save money; and Emergence church models that de-emphasize buildings.
The Building Fund is uniquely positioned to help dioceses to recast their physical assets by evaluating troubled situations, working with congregations on re-imagining their use of space, bringing them insight into collaborative initiatives, best practices, and a community-wide vision. The Building Fund is committed to good stewardship, sustainability, and results.