September Council Highlights

by | Sep 12, 2017

Human Resources Committee Report

Paul Barkett (HR Committee), John Jasin (HR Committee), and Kathleen Hall

  • Health Plan Updates: Council unanimously approved an array of 5 health plans from the Episcopal Church Medical Trust (ECMT). ECMT will eliminate several of its Anthem BCBS plans at the end of 2018 and introduce comparable Anthem BlueCard options. Council has approved two new Anthem plans now to allow it to take effect in 2018. The Kaiser options and Anthem BCBS Consumer Driven Health Plan (CDHP) will remain part of the diocesan plan array. Both ECMT and the diocese will notify each person affected by these changes and will assist them in selecting a new plan. If you have any questions about these changes, please contact Kathleen Hall.

  • Lay & Clergy Compensation Table Updates: Council unanimously approved a recommendation from the committee to increase the clergy and lay salary tables by 2.4% effective January 1, 2018. The committee reviewed market data, projections and parish financial trends to arrive at this adjustment.

Finance Committee Report

Jim Jones (Finance Committee Chair) and Paul Cooney

  • Fiscal Year 2017 to Date: The finance committee reported to Council the current revenue and expenses for the diocese. Expenses are below budgeted levels forecast for this point in the year. Congregational giving is slightly behind forecast, but within historical norms. Overall, the committee believes we are on track to achieve budget targets by the end of the year.

  • Draft Fiscal Year 2018 Budget: The finance committee reported to Council the most recent draft of the FY18 diocesan budget that will be presented at regional assemblies this fall.

Items of note in the FY18 draft budget:

  • The budget is balanced

  • It maintains last year’s practice of reporting staff salaries within their respective budget categories.

  • It assumes a $150,000 increase of giving from parishes. This is $10,000 more than actual FY17 commitments.

  • The diocese remains committed to reducing its use of income from the Soper Fund for operations expenses. In the proposed budget, the diocese will increase the amount of available Soper income it holds in reserve for congregational growth grants to $150,000 ($120,000 was reserved in FY17).

  • The diocese will increase its giving to The Episcopal Church (AKA the wider church or national church) by $61,000 to bring our giving to  the 14.75% of diocesan income. The diocese will increase this giving to 15%, when this level of giving becomes mandatory in FY19.

  • There is a proposed pool of funds (2.5% of eligible employee compensation) available for merit-based staff compensation adjustments.

  • The budget has an assumed 6% increase in health insurance expenses.

Bishop’s Report

  • Diocesan Staff Changes: Bishop Mariann reported on preliminary efforts concerning alternative approaches to Church House staffing following the departure of Joey Rick, who has served as Canon of Congregational Vitality since 2012. Council offered its advice to the Bishop, and Church House staff will move forward with its work identifying how best to proceed.

  • Strategic Financial Resources Commission: The Strategic Financial Resources Commission has held two well-attended workshops on annual giving campaigns. These campaigns were well received and the commission plans to offer additional workshops on planned giving and capital campaigns. Julie Anderson, the SFRC program manager, has held interviews with each of the 17 congregations that applied for the pilot program. The commission is encouraged by the enthusiasm of applicants.

Regional Assemblies & Leadership Recruitment: Regional assemblies will take place during October and November. Bishop Mariann asked council to help identify persons interested in standing for election to positions of leadership in the diocese. View the offices open in each region and submit names for consideration online.