Deputies Concerned After Synod

The Georgia Deputation at the Province IV Synod

This article originally appeared in the June 12 issue of the Diocese of Georgia’s enewsletter From the Field.

Bishop Benhase and four clergy and two lay deputies to the General Convention took part in the Province IV Synod held at the Kanuga Conference Center in Hendersonville, NC. The Synod is comprised of the 20 dioceses of The Episcopal Church in the Southeastern United States. At the provincial meeting, the group heard from Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefforts Schori, President of the House of Deputies Bonnie Anderson and others about the upcoming convention. Sessions were held on the proposed rite of blessing of same gender relationships, proposals to restructure The Episcopal Church and the Denominational Health Plan.

Given the anticipated weight of these many matters, your Bishop and Deputies were surprised that an area of even greater concern for them was the draft budget for the next three years. The process used to create the proposed budget was termed “an experiment that failed” by a member of the Executive Council and “confusing” by our Presiding Bishop. The current proposed budget with annotations from the Presiding Bishop’s Staff is online here: Draft Budget for The Episcopal Church

The budget has many changes not widely discussed in the church including drastic cuts to the youth program budget and cutting completely the General Board of Examining Chaplains which creates and oversees the General Ordination Exams, while expanding staff positions for the denomination headquarters and our lobbying efforts in Washington. Your deputies present at the meeting feel strongly that these changes do not reflect the restructuring efforts our convention voted unanimously to endorse and we were vocal in the Province IV Synod about the problems. The primary issue, seen in many ways in the proposed budget, is that staff input, survey input and the guiding principles set by the last convention were not followed in creating the budget. Canon Logue, the Chair of the Deputation said, “We are committed to supporting all reasoned efforts to amend the budget prior to and during the convention to begin a leaner, mission-focused move as a Church.”

During the Synod, the deputation also voted on resolutions proposed for the General Convention and elected officers for Province IV and nominated others for election at the convention. Present for the meeting were Clergy Deputies Frank Logue, Ted Clarkson, Lonnie Lacy and first alternate Tar Drazdowski together with Lay Deputy Victoria Logue and Lay Alternate Carolyn Baker as well as Bishop Benhase.

Lined up to speak to the Synod.


Comments are closed.