#GC79 - Reflections by Ted Kimball

Written by Ted Kimball, Member of Grace Episcopal, Fort Wayne
July 13, 2018

Hey! How many committees are there at the General Convention?

Well, officially there are 26 committees. However, in reality there are 30. You see, there are four committees that have two owners, one is the HoD (House of Deputies) and the other is the HoB (House of Bishops). Since the committees are the same function, they both have the same number.  These four committees are: 01 – Rules of Order; 22 – Dispatch of Business; 23 – Certification of Minutes; 24 – Privilege and Courtesy. The full list is shown below.

01 - Rules of Order/HOB  
01 - Rules of Order/HOD
02 - Constitution and Canons
03 - Safeguarding and Title IV
04 - Governance and Structure
05 - World Mission
06 - The Episcopal Church in Cuba
07 - Social Justice and International Policy
08 - Social Justice and United States Policy
09 - Racial Justice and Reconciliation
10 - Congregational and Diocesan Vitality
11 - Evangelism and Church Planting
12 - Prayer Book, Liturgy and Music
13 - Committee to Receive the Report of Resolution A169
14 - Christian Formation and Discipleship
15 - Ministry
16 - Churchwide Leadership
17 - Church Pension Fund
18 - Stewardship & Socially Responsible Investing
19 - Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations
20 - Environmental Stewardship and Care of Creation
21 – Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget and Finance
22 - Dispatch of Business/HOB
22 - Dispatch of Business/HOD
23 - Certification of Minutes/HOB
23 - Certification of Minutes/HOD
24 - Privilege and Courtesy/HOB
24 - Privilege and Courtesy/HOD
25 - Credentials
26 - House of Deputies Resolution Review Committee

I am a member of the Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget and Finance (PB&F). The PB&F committee consists of 27 members. There is one Bishop and two Deputies (either clerical or lay) from each of the nine Provinces.  The Chair, Vice-Chair work very closely with the Executive Council, Chief Financial Officer (CFO), and the Finance for Ministry (FFM) lead.  The Executive Council has the duty to carry out programs and policies adopted by General Convention and to oversee the ministry and mission of the Episcopal Church.

In October of the year prior to the General Convention, the PB&F committee meets with CFO, FFM, and key personnel from the TEC offices to review the draft budget for the next triennium. This meeting allows the PB&F to review the draft budget and understand its content (operating costs, program costs, etc.).  Then the following February a second meeting takes place. At this meeting, the PB&F take ownership of the draft budget. This is the starting point for the General Convention.

The PB&F meetings start two days before the legislative meetings begin (day 1 of the GC).  Money values requested in resolutions are evaluated and placed in the appropriate sections of the budget.  The is then reviewed to determine total expenses vs. total income.  At this GC, we had a deficit of approximately $15M.

The PB&F team, working in three subcommittees, analyzed the data and formulated ways to balance the overall budget.  This effort required a lot of time and effort.  The team worked very well together, always keeping the mission of the church in mind. Part of the process included hearings where deputies, bishops, and other people could tell of their specific needs for funding of projects. I was impressed with how well our hearing sessions were received. Our leaders explained we were there to “listen to your inputs and not engage in conversation”.  If conversation was necessary, the team was available after the hearings.

The budget was submitted on the 6th legislative day for translation and placement in the legislature calendar.  It was presented in a Joint Session on the 7th legislative day. It was approved without amendments in the House of Deputies on the 8th legislative day.

It takes a lot of work to get from the draft to the final balanced budget. Everyone doesn’t get everything they wanted. We kept the Jesus Movement and the mission needs in the forefront of our efforts.  I found myself rewarded by being able to work with the very talented people on the PB&S team.  Our Vice-Chair (Rt. Rev Stephen Lane) summed it up very nicely by stating: “My profound thanks for your work with the budget. We worked well together, and I think the proof of our work is the positive manner in which it was received by the church.”