Program leaders from throughout Province VIII of the Episcopal Church met October 3-5 at the Mercy Center in Burlingame, California, to make plans and draft a budget for 2007.
Province VIII is composed of 14 dioceses in the western United States, and Pacific Rim.
How the province serves the dioceses and communicates what it does with the dioceses were two of the major issues before the annual province leadership council, said the Rev. Dr. Jack Eastwood, rector of St. Paul's Church, Oakland, in the Diocese of California, and president of the province.
The province has no official staff, Eastwood noted, since the retirement of the Revs. Giles Asbury and Jerry Drino. He told the program leaders that the executive board is considering hiring a person who could work half time to help raise awareness of the provincial programs.
The Rev. Brian Nordwick, provincial treasurer, asked the program leaders to think about those "splash" events that they wanted to emphasize during the coming year. Responses included:
a provincial youth event for July 2007 in Salt Lake City. The Rev. Brian Prior of Spokane, Washington, serves as provincial youth leader and is also vice president of the House of Deputies.
development of a new curriculum for use among Native Americans. The Rev. Debbie Royals of Los Angeles is provincial Native American ministry coordinator.
a stewardship conference in Sacramento, California, in March 2007. The Diocese of Utah has been involved in planning for this event, which is coordinated by the Rev. David Abernethy-Deppe of California, provincial stewardship coordinator.
a workshop in November for diocesan contacts and others working in health ministries. Mary Margaret Davis of Alaska is provincial health ministries coordinator.
a conference for women called "Let your Light Shine: Claiming Your Ministry." Sally Nichols is provincial Episcopal Church Women president.
workshops in July 2007 on peace and justice issues with representatives of the Episcopal Church's Office of Government Relations, located in Washington, D.C. The Rev. Canon Carmen Guerrero of Arizona is provincial coordinator of peace and justice activities.
The Rev. Butch Gamara of Los Angeles, provincial representative to Executive Council, reminded the attendees to be aware of "cultural sensitivity" in their presentations.
Prior said that the networking that happened at the meeting "will help to handle that dynamic."
"No other province is as ethnically diverse, and it's up to all of us to have the networks reflect that," added Prior.
Guerrero said "this is a good province when you can see all these programs." She added that she was impressed by the programs she had learned about, and the willingness of all program leaders to work with each other to maximize program impact and effectiveness.
The total budget for 2006 is projected at $213,464, and the figure for 2007 is $208,335. The draft 2007 budget directs more money into programs and less into provincial staff.
Prior noted that the provincial networks had a good record of working together, sometimes deferring events to provide funds for someone else's project.
The amount designated for network programs is $53,815 for the current year and $114,025 for next year -- "a pretty significant increase," said Nordwick.
Provincial income is based largely on assessments from the member dioceses, and is subject to adjustment after the dioceses inform the province of the amount of their payments.
The dioceses that comprise the province are Alaska, Arizona, California, El Camino Real, Eastern Oregon, Hawai'i, Idaho, Los Angeles, Navajoland Area Mission, Northern California, Nevada, Olympia, Oregon, San Diego, San Joaquin, Spokane, Taiwan and Utah.