R2021-03

R2021-03 150 150 Diocese of Southern Ohio Annual Convention

R2021-03: Creation of a Capital Improvement Fund

WHEREAS, The Church Foundation of the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio is ultimately responsible for the care and upkeep of the physical buildings and properties of our community, and

WHEREAS, the primary care of those properties lies with the local congregations and their vestries, and

WHEREAS, the COVID-19 pandemic has strained many of the congregational budgets in the diocese, reducing their ability to properly maintain their aging infrastructures, and

WHEREAS, funding for grants for building projects through the Church Foundation has been strained based on increased need, therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the 147th Convention affirm the creation of a capital improvement assessment of 1% of Box A of the Parochial Report for all non- “at-risk” congregations of the Diocese of Southern Ohio, and be it further

RESOLVED, that the assessment increase to 2% in 2023 and 3% in 2024 and be automatically placed on the agenda of the 150th Diocesan Convention in 2024 for review, and be it further

RESOLVED, that the Church Foundation give a report to the 150th Convention as to the use of the funds and propose continuation, changes, or elimination of such fees, and be it further

RESOLVED, that in each year of the proposed fee, 25% of assessment collected be withheld in a capital improvement fund to build funds for future times of great need as many of our beautiful buildings continue to age and need repairs.

SUBMITTED BY:

Trustees of the Church Foundation

BACKGROUND/SUMMARY:

The Church Foundation of the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio is ultimately responsible for the care of the physical buildings and properties of our community. This includes (73) parishes and rectories, the Cathedral and offices, the beautiful Procter Conference Center, cemeteries, and other buildings that serve our communities.

The primary care position lies with the local parishes and vestries across the diocese, however, the COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on budgets for many, which has pushed a significant burden onto our ongoing meeting agendas with a limited budget.

Generally, the Foundation begins the year with $175,000 that we can use to award grants to supplement the local participation for necessary repairs and upkeep of all the lovely buildings outlined above. We also have access to almost four times that amount that we can lend at relatively low rates for the same issues. To be clear, we cannot grant or lend for operating issues – only for repairs and upgrades (Windows, parking lots, HVAC, roofs, building purchases, etc.)

Because of the strain on budgets across the diocese that has drained our financial resources, (to be clear, in good years, we generally have a carry-forward surplus but not in current times) the Church Foundation is proposing this funding rule for your consideration to help ease the burden for parishes currently in dire need and build a fund to better cover necessary maintenance and upgrades of all of our beautiful, but aging physical resources, regardless of current financial need.

We propose an assessment of 1% of Box A from each congregation’s Parochial Report beginning in 2022 – increasing to 2% for 2023 and 3% in 2024. Any current congregations deemed as “at risk” by the bishop would be exempt.

This proposal, if approved, would be on the agenda for renewal and/or modification at the 150th Annual Diocesan Convention in 2024.

These funds will supplement the Church Foundations grant pool, but 25% each year would be held back to build a reserve fund that will grow over the years and supplement our ability to aid congregations in times of broadly experienced, dire need – as we are experiencing now.

BUDGET IMPACT:

None on the diocesan budget, but it will impact parish budgets.