AS DIOCESAN CONVENTIONS start in force this month, we have an excellent chance to show our common commitment to the amazing treasure of the Anglican Communion. I suggest we demonstrate that commitment not with words, but action, action that will change hearts and lives.
We've already made the promise. At General Convention last year, we passed a resolution challenging all dioceses and congregations to contribute 0.7 percent of their budgets to international development. Twenty-eight dioceses so far have agreed. That's a great start, but it leaves a long way to go. For those in the 28 dioceses, now is the time to make sure that the giving promised actually is realized as 2005 budgets are being formed.
I have just returned from six weeks in West Africa working with the Anglican Church in Ghana. During that time, I was overwhelmed by the absolute treasure we have in being connected across nation-state and cultural boundaries by our communion. There is great need on all sides ... but God, in God's amazing providence, has given us all that we need in the arms of each other.
Our Anglican Communion is a gift to be treasured. And the way we treasure it is not by passing high-sounding resolutions that laud it ... but by physically, tangibly reaching out across it and giving that small fraction of our incredible wealth -- 0.7 percent -- to those who need it the most. The relationships we build around the communion, each of them a tremendous gift from God and an amazing revelation of God, will be our reward.
To learn more about the church's resolution and the U.N. Millennium Development Goals, visit the website of Episcopalians for Global Reconciliation, https://e4gr.wordpress.com/. To respond to this column, write to Episcopal Life or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
As of January 10, 2005 below is an Episcopal diocese participation list. For the most current listing please contact Episcopalians for Global Reconciliation.
Dioceses currently giving at 0.7% or who have 2005 budgets with 0.7% included in them as of November 23, 2004 (16)
Bethlehem (giving at close to 2%)
California (diocesan giving at 0.62%, expect parish supplements to meet or exceed 0.7%)
Central New York
Convocation of American Churches in Europe
Eastern Michigan (giving at 1%)*
Nevada (giving at 0.88%)
*Also has passed resolution asking congregations to give at 0.7%
Dioceses that passed resolutions commending D006 and urging congregations to give at 0.7% (1)
Dioceses that have passed resolutions calling for diocesan giving at 0.7% in 2005 budget and urging congregations to give at 0.7% (11)
Southeast Florida* (failed to get into 2005 budget, will try again in 2006)
Dioceses that have passed resolutions calling for diocesan giving at 0.7% in 2006 budget and urging congregations to give at 0.7% (6)
Dioceses that have passed resolutions calling for “study” before committing funds (2)
Dioceses that will be presenting resolutions at their next convention calling for
diocesan giving at 0.7% in 2006 budget and urging congregations to give at 0.7% (2)
Other dioceses with contact people (3)