Assistance from the Diocese
A great sign of the health of the overall Diocese across all regions is the fact that so few churches required monetary assistance during the 2016 operating year. In fact, only 11 out of 98 received assistance from the Diocese which shows great resource and financial management. And even in the instance where money from the Diocese was needed, half of all required less than $3,500.
Membership Growth and Sunday Attendance
Membership growth amongst churches was largely flat in 2016. However, some churches did experience significant losses in their membership numbers which causes should be investigated further; if there are extenuating circumstances that could explain these decreases they should be noted. On the other hand, there were some churches who did see improvement in their membership numbers with some experiencing a notable increase. But regardless of whether churches saw an increase or a decrease in their numbers, this would be a good opportunity to have a Diocese-wide review on how membership is defined and tracked as creating uniformity and clarity could be very beneficial.
In regards to Sunday service attendance, the numbers across the board are significantly lower than each church's membership numbers. Some churches have three to four times fewer Sunday service attendees than they do members, but again this may have to do with how members are counted.
Across the board in every church in every region, there are more communicants over the age of 16 than there are under the age of 16.
Marriages and Burials
There weren’t any detectable trends when it came to the number of burials and marriages each church experienced during 2016. However, there were three churches who did experience noticeably larger numbers of burials than what other churches did. Chapel of our Saviour in Colorado Springs, St. Laurence in Conifer, and St. John’s Cathedral in Denver had 20, 30, and 36 burials respectively last year. When it comes to the emotional and financial (older congregants tend to give more financially to their churches and do so more consistently), it could be beneficial for them to receive guidance from the Diocese during those difficult times. And since some of these congregants who pass away leave money to their churches, guidance in regards to managing not just the funds but the tax responsibilities that come with it could also be beneficial.
Total Congregations: 97
Diocesan Institutions: 10
Canonical Clergy: 280
Parochial Priests: 116
Non-Parochial Priests: 220
Transitional Deacons: 2
Vocational Deacons: 62
Male Canonical Clergy: 172
Female Canonical Clergy: 108
A Financial Overview
As a result of increased pledging and careful control of expenses in 2016, we were able to achieve a balanced budget with a modest excess of expenses over income of approximately $15,000.
Pledging has continued to increase from $1.5 million in 2012 to $1.8 million in 2016, and the percentage has increased from 8.3% to 9.0%. We are projecting that pledging for 2017 will increase by approximately $100,000. Our estimate for 2018 is a modest increase to 9.2% so we are slowly moving up to $2 million and closing in on 10%.
The ministry of the Office of the Bishop is “to serve, support and expand God’s mission through The Episcopal Church in Colorado.” To carry out that ministry, the budget has been developed to clearly identify resources attributed to each of our mission areas:
- Pastoral Care of Clergy and Lay Leaders
- Evangelism, Christian Formation, and Leadership Training
- Congregational Development and Transition Ministry
- Advocacy and Social Justice
- Development and Financial Stewardship
The total expense budgeted for these six departments is $2.1 million for 2018. The two support departments, Communications and the Business Office, account for $500,000 of expense and the contribution to The Episcopal Church, DFMS, is $200,000 making the total expense budget $2.8 million for the year.
In addition to the $1.9 million anticipated pledges from the parishes, there are revenues from trusts, endowments, and other revenue sources of approximately $900,000 which brings total revenue to $2.8 million creating a balanced budget for 2018.
This balanced budget for 2018 is made possible by the reassignment by the Colorado Episcopal Foundation of the rights to the annual grants from the Colorado Trust which resulted from the sale of St. Luke’s Hospital. Such amounts have varied in recent years in the range of $550,000 to $650,000.
This Colorado Trust grant has made possible the following additions to the 2018 budget.
- The establishment of a development department staffed by a development director and assistant.
- The enhancement of Latino/Hispanic ministry by the formation of an informal partnership with the Rocky Mountain Synod ELCA. There are now two full time Latino/Hispanic priests serving in the Diocese with additional funding being provided by several Regions and Diocesan trusts.
- Providing additional funds for the Advocacy and Social Justice Department.
There are many faithful Episcopalians across the five regions of this diocese who bring healing and change and life and hope to their communities. To be the mission-minded, mission-shaped, mission-focused body of Jesus’ followers that we aspire to be, we must continue to be willing to be stretched even further and to move. We have great work to do together and the financial support of parishes makes mission possible for our collective work in The Episcopal Church in Colorado as we form and equip leaders in congregations and communities—making disciples who make disciples.