D063 On Mandatory Diocesan Assessment

Resolved, the House of Bishops concurring,

That the Executive Council, in its pivotal role, must lead the development of an equitable, transparent, and unbiased process for evaluating waiver requests and Diocesan assessments. This crucial step, led by the Executive Council, will address the perceived arbitrariness of decisions and inequitable distribution of funds and alleviate the process's demeaning nature. The Executive Council, as the key driver of this change, will significantly contribute to fostering healthy relationships between dioceses, provinces, and the wider church by establishing such a process; and be it further

Resolved, That the Executive Council must also develop a new and previously unseen strategy to ensure that the Episcopal Church continues to exist throughout our current territory. This means not sitting back and waiting for dioceses to combine with other dioceses, be absorbed by larger dioceses, or perish. Instead, the General Convention and Executive Council need to use the significant accumulated wealth of the Episcopal Church to ensure that the weak dioceses among us survive and thrive, bringing a new era of hope and health to the whole body. This strategy holds the promise of a brighter future for all; and be it further

Resolved, That we, as a church, acknowledge that many dioceses across the Episcopal Church have a proportion of their parishes in decline, that these dioceses will have incredible difficulty paying their fair share, and that more of these dioceses may request waivers in the future; and be it further

Resolved, That the Executive Council will approach the waiver and fair share assessment process with an unwavering commitment to a “holy spirit of abundant generosity,” trust, and love. (Mark 4:20) This approach is not just a suggestion but a beacon of hope for fostering healthy relationships between the separate dioceses, provinces, and the wider church. This approach, which includes assisting struggling dioceses with advice, coaching, and financial support for evangelism, congregational vitality, and stewardship, underscores our deep commitment to the well-being of all dioceses; and be it further

Resolved, That the very monies and grants being withheld from dioceses who cannot pay assessments are punitive and antithetical to building the “beloved community” and ignore the gifts of all our people, especially those suffering temporary hardships brought about by brutal economic realities. “In ministering to each other, each from the riches that each possesses, we work together for the full coming of God’s kingdom.” Henri Nouwen, The Spirituality of Fundraising