Revenue from parishes fall short as parishes cease to pledge or fall behind on their payments. Diocese plans to sell “real properties” to raise cash.
The Virginia Episcopalian, the official publication of the Diocese of Virginia, is reporting in the current edition that the Executive Board has “authorized the treasurer to open a $1 million line of credit to cover anticipated legal expenses for the near-term. That line has since been increased to $2 million and about $1 million has been accessed.”
In addition, the Executive Board of the Diocese of Virginia authorized diocesan staff to plan “the sale of non-strategic diocesan real property” to raise needed cash.
The Diocese also revealed that nine churches have not paid any of their pledges which Mike Kerr, Treasurer of the Diocese, estimated a loss to the diocese of $50,000. In addition, other churches have not paid their pledges in full causing the diocese is to run a deficit of expenses over income from those pledges.
The Diocese also announced that delegates representing four of the eleven parishes that followed the Diocese of Virginia’s Protocol for Departing Congregations and voted a year ago to separate from the Diocese have been selected by shadow vestries to attend Annual Council.
This is despite the fact that the Diocese of Virginia and the Episcopal Church has removed all eleven parishes from the official Episcopal Church data banks tracking the growth of the Episcopal Church here, though this is not mentioned in the Virginia Episcopalian.
According to the Diocese of Virginia list of parishes located at the Episcopal Church website on congregational development, those parishes with shadow Vestries are missing – in fact, all the church that have voted to separate from the Episcopal Church have been removed from the Episcopal Church’s official parochial reports data bank. These statistics are based on parochial reports through 2006 when all the eleven churches were still active in the Episcopal Church.
It is not clear if the four shadow vestries have filed their parochial reports for 2007 or whether the Episcopal Church will want to illustrate the drastic decline of membership and financial resources for those four particular parishes.
Currently, the Diocese of Virginia and The Episcopal Church appear to have made a conscientious decision to recognize that the eleven churches are no longer inside the structures of the Episcopal Church and that these parishes are no longer Episcopal churches in the Diocese of Virginia, including St. Margaret’s, Woodbridge, St. Stephen’s, Heathesville, The Falls Church, Falls Church, and Church of the Epiphany, Herndon.
Two other Episcopal directories offering public information in some instances listed the the CANA and Uganda congregations with their websites intact, while in other instances listed new addresses for The Falls Church or broken links for other parishes or nothing at all. Those public service directories seem to be pulling information from sources other than the parochial reports which provide the official statistics for the Episcopal Church membership.