08 June 2010


Usually, when stewardship is the subject, the writer or speaker is looking for money. But there is another aspect. When I was a member of the vestry in our parish, I was charged to be a good steward in another way. The challenge was to expend funds and efforts in ways that advance the ministry of the church.

Next week the Executive Committee of the Episcopal Church will be meeting. This meeting will happen in the context of the recent actions of the archbishop of Canterbury dismissing or diminishing our delegates to various boards and commissions. It also meets in the context of the second year of an economic disaster. We can call it a recession but things are not that good.

So here then the question: how is it good stewardship to send our resources, human or capitol to the ACC which uses them to trash our ministry, insult our delegates and support those who lie and preach that we are not Christians? If we believe that the words of the baptismal covenant call us to actions that the archbishop is determined to censor, how can it be good stewardship to finance his activities?

I submit it is time to re-direct the scarce funds away from the Anglican Communion. The simple fact is that the spending of money is stewardship too. If the council elects to continue its existing financial commitments to the Anglican Communion's administrative budgets it needs to explain how that is good stewardship. I do not think it can do that.



Phil Snider said...

Sorry, Jim, but how is this different from what the orthodox parishes did before separating from TEC? I seem to remember some pretty fierce comments from you about that, but here we are years later and you're advocating precisely the same thing. How does that work?

I'm really trying not be provocative, but, frankly, I don't get it.


JimB said...

It is a fair question. Several answers.

First I do not think we should with hold money from our church. The communion is not a church. That is not a small distinction it is a major point in the current discussion.

Second I at least (note I am not a member of the council and won't ever be one) see a difference between administrative and ministry money. I have for instance no argument with our sending money to the diocese of Renk in Sudan and yes I do know they disagree with me on many things. In fact, I support fund raisers in our diocese.

Third TEC did not declare itself out of communion, Dr. Williams did that. As he observed, actions have consequences.

Forth I am not suggesting that we try to force Dr. Williams to re-discover Christian conduct. Rather I am saying we should not waste money on administration that does not do its job, is involved in a major power grab and is simply not doing its job.

So, I submit the cases are not parallel. Money for ministry? In a heartbeat.


Christal said...

Sorry, I read this but I do not understand it as it is too scholarly for me.

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