Regarding Summer 2020 Church Apportionments
June 2, 2020
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
During its May 26th meeting, the diocesan Executive Board voted to authorize the Bishop’s Office to provide for apportionment cancellation for the months of May, June, July, and August, in response to the continuing economic hardships created by the COVID-19 pandemic and upon request by individual congregations. During its discussion, the Executive Board unanimously approved a resolution presented by the diocesan Finance Committee and amended it to extend through the entire summer.
The Executive Board’s original decision to cancel April apportionments was made to relieve anticipated economic hardship, even before they became fully known. A few churches still submitted April apportionment payments, for which we can all be thankful, but a diocesan survey in May revealed that almost all of our 87 churches are experiencing a loss of income and many are experiencing significant financial stress. Last week’s resolution will support churches as they begin to reopen, on a case-by-case basis.
Unlike the cancellation of April apportionments for all churches in West Texas, this action provides for individual consideration and requires church leadership to provide financial information for each month for which relief is sought. This is a need-based opportunity, and churches that have not paid their apportionment for January, February, or March will be expected to pay those months or make arrangements to begin paying, before reduction in a summer month apportionment will be considered. And of course, I urge clergy and congregational leaders to continue to encourage their members to honor pledges and give generously and gratefully.
In response to the loss of the April apportionments, Diocesan staff reduced their 2020 ministry and program budgets by 8.33% and have carefully reduced expenses as well. In April, I also suspended new staff hires and the search for an Assistant Bishop. We have not had to let any staff members go, and we are working hard to avoid further budget cuts, while also offering support and relief to our churches.
For any church interested in requesting apportionment cancellation during one or more of the summer months, the required documents (see attached request form) will be readily available and should not create an undue burden. Submit applications to Canon Caroline Mowen at firstname.lastname@example.org. They will be reviewed by Treasurer Ted Burkhart, Financial Officer Susan Hardaway, Canon Mowen and me. If you have questions, please contact Canon Mowen at email@example.com or 210-415-7372.
Thank you for your commitment to the life and ministries of your church in these difficult and uncertain times.
Faithfully yours in Christ,
David M. Reed
Bishop of West Texas