On April 30th, 2011 over 115 people from 35 Congregations gathered to discuss the statistical reality of RI parish revenues, and what that might mean for our future ministry as individual churches in RI and together as a diocese.
The presentation made by the Rev. David Lucey on behalf of the Program and Budget Committee was frank and clear; if we are to thrive as a diocese, each church must take an unvarnished look at its current reality, figure how it can best utilize its assets – financial, physical and human – in order to further God’s kingdom.
We need to talk to our neighboring churches and find effective ways to collaborate so that the Gospel mandates are creatively fulfilled and needs are met in the local communities. This may lead to mergers, partnerships, shared ministry or other ideas that you generate.
We left the meeting committing to three things.
- Each church will complete the form from Alban Institute and have conversation with their leaders and congregation about the financial future.
- Each Deanery will meet within the next month inviting leaders –both clergy and lay – from each church to discuss what each church is currently doing and begin conversation about how groups of congregations can work together to enhance ministry, share resources and save money
- Another meeting will be held in the fall to report back how the work has progressed.
If you were not at Saturday’s meeting you can view the material we distributed there, including Fr. Lucey’s PowerPoint presentation, 2009 Parochial Report Statistics, and the Congregation Budget Self-Test. We hope every parish will join in this dialogue.