Dear Deputies,

The preliminary draft of the 2019-2021 triennium budget, prepared by Executive Council’s Finance for Mission Committee (FFM), is now available onlineAn overview of the budget prepared by the committee is also available.

After you have reviewed the overview and draft budget, I hope that you will take the online survey about the budget. This survey will provide both FFM and the Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget and Finance (PB&F), which will receive the next version of the draft budget at its meeting in February, with benefit of your thinking as they prepare the budget we will consider at General Convention next summer.

Here’s one note of particular interest to deputies about the budget overview:  You’ll see that in the notes on line 361b (found on page 3 of the overview), there are a variety of funds held back to fund resolutions that the 2018 General Convention may choose to approve. Similarly on line 298, there are funds reserved for a salary for the position I now hold–president of the House of Deputies.

The reason those funds appear in this draft budget begins with Resolution D013 of the 2015 General Convention, which directed Presiding Bishop Curry and me to appoint a task force to consider issues of leadership and compensation as they affect the president’s position. The Task Force to Study Church Leadership & Compensation, whose  members are listed online, will submit its Blue Book report on December 1. If that group recommends compensation for the president of the House of Deputies in the form of a legislative resolution, that resolution will be taken up at the 2018 General Convention. In the event that such a resolution is approved by both the House of Bishops and House of Deputies, these funds would be expended. However, without the action of General Convention, the president of the House of Deputies will continue to be a volunteer position.

Thank you for your attention to the draft budget. I know you will take seriously our responsibility as deputies to provide input at this stage of the process. I want to give thanks to Deputy Tess Judge, who chairs FFM, and to the other deputies and Executive Council members who serve on that committee, and to Deputy Barbara Miles, who chairs PB&F, and to our fellow deputies on that committee who will do the hard work required of develop the 2018-21 budget. I am grateful to all of you for your continued commitment to our work.

The Rev. Gay Clark Jennings
President, House of Deputies