In October 2016, the Budget & Finance Committee met to begin developing the proposed budget for the year 2017. A Budget Forum was held in October, open to all from the diocese, at which the preliminary budget was presented. Following that, the Committee met to make adjustments to the preliminary budget with the goal of developing a balanced budget where expenses are equal to income.
The Proposed 2017 Budget was presented to Diocesan Council at its December and January meetings, and was approved as submitted.
The Proposed 2017 Budget was then presented to the deputies of the 143rd Annual Diocesan Convention on January 27, 2017, with opportunity for questions at a forum following. It was accepted as submitted on January 28, 2017, and is attached.
Highlights of the 2017 budget:
- Pledge income of $1,950,000 was $130,000 (6.25%) below the projected 2016 level of pledge income. While one-half of congregations increased their dollar pledges for 2017 in an aggregate of $85,000, congregations that decreased their pledges (including some larger congregations) decreased pledge income in the aggregate of $150,000.
- The budget includes over $300,000 to continue to fund our initiatives of Joining God in Shaping Our Future, providing funds to cover compensation, consulting costs, and related expenses.
- The budget includes $398,000 as our commitment to support The Episcopal Church, equaling 100% of the assessment to the diocese.
- Outreach spending of $178,000 was slightly higher than 2016, and equaled 5.9% of total income. Budgeted contributions of $125,000 to the Alleluia Fund for Outreach will provide 70% of the outreach, with the balance coming from congregational pledges to the diocese and other sources.
- Additional funds will be added to reduce our lay pension plan liability and to add to the fund for the search and call of our next bishop.
The budget includes funding for a part-time Hispanic Missioner, and again includes funding for a portion of the costs for an individual who will represent our diocese, the Diocese of NJ, and the NJ Lutheran Synod by advocating for social justice issues in Trenton.