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September 21, 2009


Diocese of Colorado Consuming Itself

Unrestricted reserves fall from nearly $5 million in 2006, to $750,000 today, due mainly to litigation over Grace Church in Colorado Springs. This represents not only a deep decline in money available to the diocese, but in investment income generated by those reserves.

H/T: Kendall


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43 comments

Nice.

Follow the Money Trail.

Only the lawyers benefit from this. Wormwood gets an attaboy from Uncle Screwtape.

[1] Posted by Ralph on 9-21-2009 at 06:00 PM · [top]

Buildings for sale…get your buildings here!!
Intercessor

[2] Posted by Intercessor on 9-21-2009 at 06:22 PM · [top]

WOW!!!! The hand writing is all over the wall but no one seems to be able to read it!

[3] Posted by TLDillon on 9-21-2009 at 06:27 PM · [top]

It took an additional $100,000 from the Colorado Episcopal Foundation to help balance the budget. The Foundation might want to take another look at its Core Values.

Accountability
Long-term perspective/vision
Responsible, stable stewardship
Integrity

[4] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 9-21-2009 at 06:36 PM · [top]

Wow.

Just wow.

In a public company, the stockholders would have ridden the entire board of directors out on a rail with that kind of bloodletting in the endowment.  Simply incredibly fiduciary malpractice.

[5] Posted by Sarah on 9-21-2009 at 06:37 PM · [top]

#3, I’m no prophet, but I can read it. See Daniel 5.

God has numbered the days of this diocese and its bishop. Weighed in the balance and found wanting.

Interpretation: The lawyers will keep the litigation going until the Church is bled dry. Then, they will go on to find other prey. Which diocese is next?

A Great Feast. Indeed, a feeding frenzy.

The Disintegrity folk would smile, and condescendingly inform us once again that this is merely the cost of discipleship.

[6] Posted by Ralph on 9-21-2009 at 06:41 PM · [top]

How can anyone with straight face assert that this is merely discharging a fiduciary duty?  A fiduciary duty is a duty to protect, to preserve, to be faithful—and these actions are the converse.  And these figures are merely those to date—it’s not over yet.  Amazing.

[7] Posted by RomeAnglican on 9-21-2009 at 07:00 PM · [top]

I can’t seem to cut and paste the pdf, but I would refer everyone to the top of page 5, where we see the budget for Christian Formation.  It seems that the various formation programs were combined, and the resultant unified Formation budget was cut (as a total) from $371,000 in 2008 to $259,000 next year.  This is then explained by the following:

“The Faith Formation Department, formerly the Children’s and Youth departments, reflects the bishop’s commitment to the Church’s mission more clearly than any other.”

While it does look like some of the money taken out of this budget has been redirected into parishes, one does wonder what sort of Formation programs will survive the litigation strategy.

In other news, regardless of frugality at the diocesan and parish level, dues paid to the national church will be $30,000 more in 2010 than in 2008.

[8] Posted by tjmcmahon on 9-21-2009 at 07:00 PM · [top]

Note, too, that when many in the pews are experiencing pay cuts or freezes, furloughs, or layoffs, the diocese (despite its gross malfeasance with respect to its reserves) is giving its staff a 2.5 percent pay increase.  At least one can say that this report makes clear the diocesan priorities.

[9] Posted by RomeAnglican on 9-21-2009 at 07:06 PM · [top]

What goes around comes around, as they say. The (Pied)Piper (national church) is being paid. Unfortunately, the Word has been lost in this debacle and that is why they are in this pickle. Onward and downward!

[10] Posted by athan-asi-us on 9-21-2009 at 08:31 PM · [top]

I left Colorado ECUSA in ‘06.  Today I received the diocesan newsletter- I have not missed a copy yet.  I have no idea whose list I am on-our parish is gone- but since no one can ever leave someone is paying to send me additional recycle material. 

You say O’Neil is going broke?  If my little contribution to that goal helps then thanks be to God.  He is good.

[11] Posted by Elizabeth on 9-21-2009 at 08:54 PM · [top]

The Lord laughs at the wicked, for He knows their time will come. It is gratifying to see such speedy payback.

[12] Posted by A Senior Priest on 9-21-2009 at 08:57 PM · [top]

Terrible waste, just terrible. Doesn’t it say somewhere that we are supposed to be shepherds and protect the flock?

[13] Posted by bdino on 9-21-2009 at 09:13 PM · [top]

It’s not “the Dennis Canon” - heh - but “the Dennis Curse”. Seems as though the man was born to be TEC’s Trojan Horse.

[14] Posted by Chancellor on 9-21-2009 at 10:11 PM · [top]

It looks like the entity, Colorado Episcopal Foundation, is bailing them out. $100,000 in 2009 and $206,000 in 2010. In one of the discussions in the Colorado Gazette, a reader alleged that the homosexual activist from Denver, Tim Gill, was funding the diocese. Is there any way to corroborate this? Could Tim Gill be funneling money through the Colorado Episcopal Foundation? Do not for profits have to declare their supporters?

[15] Posted by robroy on 9-21-2009 at 10:33 PM · [top]

God is doing a new thing.  God is doing a new thing.  God is doing a new thing.  In civil engineering terms, I think we have what we’d call a “structural failure.”

[16] Posted by Bill2 on 9-21-2009 at 10:56 PM · [top]

“If this plan or this undertaking is of man, it will fail.”  (Acts 5:38)

[17] Posted by Jim the Puritan on 9-21-2009 at 11:30 PM · [top]

#8 tj, a small technical note.  Whether or not you can copy and paste from a .pdf file depends on how the file was created.  If it was created in a .pdf editor (Adobe Acrobat full) or converted to .pdf from a word processor or graphics program then the .pdf file contains the text and/or graphics as elements that can be selected.  If done from a scan or converted graphic file (jpg, gif, tif, bmp, etc) then there are no elements, only pixels with color values that cannot be selected.  Probably a hard copy of the DioCO budget was scanned and converted to .pdf.

[18] Posted by Milton on 9-21-2009 at 11:42 PM · [top]

Ralph, don’t blame the lawyers for doing the bidding of the client.  They are being paid—handsomely it would appear—to sue the orthodox out of their churches, and it would be a breach of the lawyers’ fiduciary duties not to pursue such a course with vigor.

[19] Posted by Cousin Vinnie on 9-22-2009 at 12:10 AM · [top]

Wow.  $750k in 2006, and $4.9M now.  At a linear growth rate, that would mean they would have about $9M in 2012. 

Oh, wait..

Ew.  Ouch.

[20] Posted by J Eppinga on 9-22-2009 at 03:08 AM · [top]

Thank you, Moot. Humor is SO needed with all this grim news.

[21] Posted by Anglicat on 9-22-2009 at 06:24 AM · [top]

#19, CV. I agree that someone should benefit from this mess. We don’t want homeless, starving, destitute lawyers out on the streets of Denver. In a way, the diocese is doing very important mission work.

I’ve never figured out what caused the sudden shift to litigation in Virginia. I’ve never figured out why the PB is so aggressively pro-litigation.

Follow the Money Trail.

Another evil thought: If there are any other parishes in that diocese ready to walk away and try to keep their property, the legal costs would sink the diocese.

[22] Posted by Ralph on 9-22-2009 at 07:58 AM · [top]

Fascinating - projections are that in 2010 the Bishop and his Canon will cost $645,069 in contrast to $258,794 spent on Christian Formation and $261,078 on Congregational Development.

One reads:

The bishop’s travel is extensive.  Colorado is one of the largest dioceses in ECUSA, both in terms of number of congregations and area.  In addition to ordinations, installations, confirmations and other special services, pastoring and consulting throughout the state, the Bishop is canonically required to visit each church in the Diocese at least once every three years.  The Bishop’s travel, entertainment and business meals expenses are a reflection of this commitment.

What is one to make of all this scoffing and quaffing - that the Bishop spends his time perambulating around the diocese stuffing his face?

The Canonical requirement for all congregations to be giving 10% to the Office of the Bishop…is still a work in progress….It is essential to the mission of the church in Colorado that all congregations reach this mark as soon as possible.  This is a bare bones budget,  The challenges are on the revenue side of the budget.

Well quite - we don’t want to see any bare bones on the Bishop.

[23] Posted by Pageantmaster ن [Repent Justin Welby] on 9-22-2009 at 08:01 AM · [top]

Sarah,
DioCO may may not be a publicly owned company with a BoD, but it does have a Standing Committee.  Such are usually, at least in part, elected at the diocesan convention.  Surely there must be enough Third Way members in the diocese to raise a ruckus and force some changes?!  The long term situation is bad, but they can’t handle another Pyhrric victory.
APB

[24] Posted by APB on 9-22-2009 at 08:05 AM · [top]

the Bishop is canonically required to visit each church in the Diocese at least once every three years.  The Bishop’s travel, entertainment and business meals expenses are a reflection of this commitment.

Once every *three* years?? Just how many parishes are there? I know DioGA is considerably smaller than Colorado - still, we see our bishop once a year.

[25] Posted by oscewicee on 9-22-2009 at 08:26 AM · [top]

Stark evidence of the collapse of what was argueably the flagship diocese of the church in America. As a child of the Dio Colorado, I knew genuine diversity: Anglo Catholics, Evangelicals, middle of the road ministers called “Mister,” priests in birettas and cassock, candles, incense and old timey gospel singing in tiny mountain churches. It was awesome and instructive of tolerance within a basic framework of Anglican thought.

It is easy to blame O’Neil for this mess, and he is indeed a singularly unattractive specimen of revisionism, but the blame lies in the lay people who allowed such smarmy incompetents to sieze control of the Diocese.

The inevitable has happened.

[26] Posted by teddy mak on 9-22-2009 at 08:38 AM · [top]

#23 Pageantmaster,
With the thought theroy they (Dio of Colo) are using to pay the Bishop and his staff, I would hate to think what it ould look like for VGR in New Hampshire whose Diocese seems to include the world as far as “The Bishop’s travel, entertainment and business meals expenses are a reflection of this commitment.”
Eek-gads! I had no idea that being a bishop was so profitable in terms of travel, entertainment, eating eating. LOL while shaking my head in utter disbelief!  hmmm

[27] Posted by TLDillon on 9-22-2009 at 09:14 AM · [top]

This past Sunday the parishoners of Grace and St. Stephen’s learned that Rev. Stephen Zimmerman will join the clergy as the interim rector (I’m not sure of the title).  What are the implications of this appointment?

[28] Posted by Concerned Parishoner on 9-22-2009 at 09:18 AM · [top]

“Eat for Jesus” do you think?.

[29] Posted by Pageantmaster ن [Repent Justin Welby] on 9-22-2009 at 09:19 AM · [top]

The PB is aggressively using litigation because they have determined that if they did not use brass tacks instead of 4 Dioceses it would have been 5-7 and instead of 250+ parishes they would be looking at 1000+ parishes departing.  They are intimidating parishes/clergy to remain and fiqure they can mitigate their loses throught the sale of valuable properties.  Although un-Christian the strategy is in the main working.  It appears that they have lost in Va and SC now looks bad for them.  Forth Worth also has some facts to give the orthodox hope.  If they lose in a few more places - the strategies strenght may take a beating.

[30] Posted by chips on 9-22-2009 at 09:22 AM · [top]

Love the opening line about how “pleased” they are with this budget.  Also “anticipated” pledge increases.  I just came back from a family reunion with 30 cousins, half of which live in Colorado and all of them - ALL of them are FORMER Episcopalians.  Not one remains.

[31] Posted by midwestnorwegian on 9-22-2009 at 09:26 AM · [top]

Yes Pageantmaster but I am most intrigued by the <i>“entertainment”<i> aspect. What kind of entertainment could he possibly be compensated for? That for me is a very scary thought!  shock

[32] Posted by TLDillon on 9-22-2009 at 10:01 AM · [top]

Reminds me of This…

[33] Posted by JohnK on 9-22-2009 at 10:59 AM · [top]

TLDillon: “Entertainment” is a standard category for the business expense of paying for meals—as in, when the bishop takes someone to lunch, coffee, etc.  The amount certainly varies by budget, but the category is a standard on clergy expense reports long pre-dating this present darkness.  Of course, the category is supposed to have a budget, and the IRS determines what is an actual business expense and what is income, and finally, the category can be abused,
For example, when I was in Oklahoma, the college chaplain I worked for proudly told me about taking college students to a gay bar in New Orleans while at a National Gathering of College Students—that of course was “entertaining” on the backs of faithful Episcopalians.  ick.  (This happened, probably in 93 or 94—when NatGat was in New Orleans.  My one and only NatGat was in the Rockies, and it was all about gays—totally, completely, no other agenda). 

So, the diocese spent that much on Grace.  Wow.  And now that congregation has massive debt to pay, so they won’t be chipping in much for quite a while.  The restricted giving thing has cost the diocese too—not as much, obviously, but its hurt.  What a #$@% mess. 

And lastly, Rob Roy—I haven’t heard the rumor that the Gill Foundation is proping up the Colorado Foundation.  It doesn’t sound true to me—but as we know these days, one cannot go to a concert, watch PBS or listen to NPR without the constant assault of the Gill Foundation.  Its certainly possible that Gill is helping with funding, but, given the major bleed out, unlikely.

[34] Posted by Theron Walker✙ on 9-22-2009 at 11:43 AM · [top]

Thanks, Theron+. I hope you and your parish are doing well.

[35] Posted by robroy on 9-22-2009 at 12:44 PM · [top]

Anyone want to guess howling before TEC fails due to lack of money?? My guess is 10 years on the outside.

[36] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 9-22-2009 at 01:32 PM · [top]

Just for the record, I think Chips (#30) is probably right about what motivations lie behind the madness of the PB’s catastrophic policy of attempting to intimidate all conservative parishes so they won’t join the exodus.  I’ll just add that she probably also fears the Anglican competition taking root and starting to flourish.  I think she is afraid of what might happen if a parallel Anglican jurisdiction really gets off the ground in the US.  So she’s trying to nip it in the bud, strangle the baby in the crib, so to speak.

And midwestnorwegian (#31), thanks for that interesting personal anecdote about all your cousins who used to be part of the Diocese of COL leaving, without exception.  A fascinating glimpse into the devastating toll that this terrible crisis is taking, at the family level.

Finally, I appreciate Greg pointing out the obvious at the start of this thread for some of us who might perhaps overlook it in our haste.  By spending down the endowment in this reckless fashion, O’Neill and his cronies are cutting their own throats by depriving the diocese of all the future income that the wasted $3 mil would’ve generated.  What fools.

Hmmm.  How about some mad laypeople deciding to sue the bishop for malpractice? 

Oh yeah, Christians don’t do that.

David Handy+

[37] Posted by New Reformation Advocate on 9-22-2009 at 01:33 PM · [top]

OOPS! meant how LONG   before TEC fails…. but howling… well yes perhaps some are howling !!

[38] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 9-22-2009 at 01:33 PM · [top]

ASP #12:

“The Lord laughs at the wicked, for He knows their time will come. It is gratifying to see such speedy payback. “

WRONG WRONG WRONG!

He Weeps for them, for He knows their time is coming, and yet they do not repent.

Gratifying?  No, Tragic!

[39] Posted by Marty the Baptist on 9-22-2009 at 03:22 PM · [top]

#28, Concerned Parishioner:  Probably more of the same!

[40] Posted by athan-asi-us on 9-22-2009 at 04:56 PM · [top]

#28: Interesting. Rev. Stephen Zimmerman has been rector of the Chapel of St. Andrews in Boca Raton, Florida since 1987. For the past few years, the parish has been in large decline. See http://tinyurl.com/nt9woa (attendance has dropped by half since 2003).

He was a candidate for a bishop search recently. (I can’t remember where, (Northwest Texas?).) He looks like a great guy. The parish offers Alpha.

[41] Posted by robroy on 9-22-2009 at 05:55 PM · [top]

#41, robroy. A Fr. Stephen Zimmerman was recently a candidate in the Georgia election. If this is the same person who is going to Colorado, well, I sincerely pray that he will flourish there. And that’s all I’m gonna say, because there is a lot written about him in other places on this blog.

[42] Posted by Ralph on 9-22-2009 at 06:27 PM · [top]

I do not pray that any Episcopal church flourish UNLESS they are being led into orthodox, scriptural Anglican worship.

[43] Posted by athan-asi-us on 9-23-2009 at 09:41 PM · [top]

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