D054 Expand YASC and EVIM Support

Original version

Resolved, the House of _____________ concurring, That the 79th General Convention affirm the Anglican and ecumenical mission consensus that incarnational and personal presence is important in global mission alongside funding and program initiatives and that therefore the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society should continue to send missionaries to serve in companionship with others around the world; and be it further

Resolved, That the General Convention encourage dioceses, seminaries, and congregations to recruit and support both Episcopal Volunteers in Mission (EVIMs) and Young Adult Service Corps members (YASCers); and be it further

Resolved, That the General Convention increase its commitment to EVIM and YASC programs by increasing the budget to meet the escalating costs of travel and insurance for missionaries and to strengthen the promotion of both programs across the church; and be it further


Resolved, That the General Convention request the Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget and Finance increase the Mission Personnel budget by $250,000 from $4,740,900 to $4,990,900 for the 2019-21 triennium in order to implement this resolution.

Explanation

The Episcopal Church’s global engagement occurs through many avenues, including short-term mission teams, consultations, conferences, funding, and various programs around the world. An historic and continuing commitment of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society is to send missionaries to serve for substantial lengths of time (one to three or more years) as invited into mission companionship by provinces and dioceses and other institutions of the Anglican Communion. This resolution has been endorsed by the Board of Directors of the Global Episcopal Mission Network.

Currently there are about 10 persons under age 30 serving in the Young Adult Service Corps (YASC) and about 35 Episcopal Volunteers in Mission (EVIM), though the numbers of YASCers tends to vary widely from year to year, with as many as 25 serving in some years. We rejoice in these missionaries, who must raise the majority of their support themselves, with the DFMS providing ancillary support such as travel, health insurance, and participation in the Church Pension Fund.

Overall the number of missionaries supported by the DFMS is relatively small, about one for every two dioceses of the church. Increasing the number of missionaries will intensify the exposure Episcopalians have to the church’s global work; deepen awareness of cultural, religious and socio-economic differences around the world; facilitate learning from mission companions in other parts of the world; and enhance the church’s engagement with Anglicans who differ with the Episcopal Church on various issues.

Increasing the number of missionaries involves strengthening the awareness of both the EVIM and YASC programs across the Episcopal Church, for many Episcopalians are unaware that the Episcopal Church still sends missionaries. It also involves increasing the funds available for sending and supporting missionaries as costs of travel and insurance continue to increase.

The budget for Mission Personnel for the 2016-18 triennium was $4,570,812. The proposed budget for 2019-21 increases that figure by 3.7 percent to $4,740,900. This resolution’s proposed addition of $250,000 would result in a total increase of $420,088, or 9.1 percent, over the budget for the 2016-18 triennium. The Global Partnerships unit at the Episcopal Church Center would be responsible for allocating the increase among the various budget line items related to EVIM, YASC, training and promotion.

Resolution 112 at the 78th General Convention was similar in intent. It was approved by both houses at the 2015 General Convention, but its proposed funding (different from the present resolution’s proposal) was not included in the budget.


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