Reproduced below is the text of an email that was sent out at the end of December. In it Bishop Diane and Fr. Isaac Petty outlined some of the work already undertaken on developing a new budgeting process and they provided advance notice of a request for input. This request will be sent to leaders of diocesan ministries and those with fresh ideas for ministry in the diocese, asking them to respond to a set of questions. Read the text of the email below to find out more.
From: The Rt. Rev. Diane M. Jardine Bruce and the Very Rev. Isaac Petty
Subject: Budget Process 2024 – Ponder anew what the Almighty can do…
In my address to the 2022 Annual Convention of The Diocese of West Missouri, I announced a total reworking of the diocesan budgeting process in advance of our 2024 diocesan budget. These are the words I shared with you at that time:
Just as planning for convention started much earlier for this convention than in years past, we are moving to do the same with the budgeting process. Indeed, in December we will be outlining a process by which we will strip the budget down to zero, and rebuild it based on the revised mission and vision statements. At the same time, subgroups will be formed to study compensation for clergy and laity as well as assessment calculations. Information will be brought to the people of the diocese through the New Spirit and From the Mission Field monthly so that you are all informed about this important work.
On December 14, I met with the Diocesan Treasurer and Diocesan Finance Administrator to draft a high-level process. The following week, we met with a newly formed budget committee, comprised of members of Finance Committee, Diocesan Council, and additional financial experts from around the diocese. We finalized a rough timeline for our budgeting process and laid out steps for acquiring the information we need to begin the boots-on-the-ground work of building a new budget from the ground up.
The reason we are writing to you today is to make you aware that on January 15, a letter will be sent to current and potential budget stakeholders (throughout the whole diocese), with responses due back on February 1. In that letter, we will be asking you – leaders of diocesan ministries and those with fresh ideas for ministry in our diocese – to respond to these prompts:
- [For current ministries: What has your ministry done in the past? What are you doing now? If you were to reinvent yourself or this ministry what would you do differently?] [For current and new ideas: If money were no object, what would your biggest dream for ministry in this diocese be?]
- Justify your ministry against the mission and vision statements recently adopted by Diocesan Council
- What alternative funding sources might support your ministry?
- How would you measure your success? What does success look like? Can it be quantified?
We are sharing this letter with you now so you can organize your teams and strategies for responding to these prompts in the latter half of January. In the January 15 letter, we will share the revised mission and vision statements from Diocesan Council, the first drafts of which you saw and engaged with during our Diocesan Convention in November 2022. Here are listed the mission and vision statements shared in November:
Mission: To be the hands and feet of Christ in West Missouri by proclaiming the Good News, serving others, and promoting justice, peace, and love
Vision: To become a just, peaceful, and loving community built on our shared love of God and one another
Many thanks to Amanda Perschall for organizing, leading, and collecting responses from our discussions at Convention, which will be incorporated into new statements discussed in our January 14, 2023, meeting of Diocesan Council and sent to the diocese in our January 15 letter.
The process of building a new budget will be a huge undertaking for the entire diocese. In this process, everyone’s voice will be important. It is our intention to disseminate drafts and request feedback through the deaneries frequently as we build this new budget together. Even now, we ask that you gather in your churches, deaneries, and across the diocese to begin praying together, asking God to reveal what ministry might look like in The Diocese of West Missouri in the future. As the old hymn goes, Ponder anew what the Almighty can do…
A link to the 2023 Diocesan Budget (Plan for Ministry) for your review is provided below:
Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.