by Catherine Pate
Diocesan Council reviewed the final “Transforming Futures” (name given to the fundraising initiative) Case for Support documents that will form the basis for the synod portion of the diocesan-wide fundraising efforts. As part of the roll-out of “Transforming Futures,” parishes will be supported in developing their own case for support documents.
In preparation for Synod, in June Esther Jang, senior consultant with Global Philanthropic, conducted a readiness assessment to determine how well prepared the diocese is to embark on a major fundraising effort. Jang met with senior synod staff and parishioners from ten parishes. After reviewing the feedback and applying fundraising best practices she provided a report to Diocesan Council in which she made the following recommendations: Create fundraising resources for the diocese; Continue to work with parishes to identify the impact of the campaign for their parish; Hire a part-time stewardship officer whose role would include being the synod’s fundraising contact; Continue to strengthen a culture of philanthropy and grow fundraising. Jang was on site to present her report and recommendations to Diocesan Council at its June 28 meeting held at St. Peter, Quamichan. Subsequently, a facilitated discussion was led by Bishop Logan.
The five-year financial plan prepared by Finance Committee was reviewed by Diocesan Council. It reflects an anticipated deficit for the first two years (2019 and 2020) and a balanced budget by 2021. In addition to the fundraising initiative, "Transforming Futures,” the plan includes providing vision fund grants totalling $100,000 for each of the five years. Indexing of expenses ranged from 0% to 3% and a reduction in synod office administrative costs of 15% by 2020. Diocesan Council approved the five-year financial plan including “Transforming Futures” and the recommendations made by Global Philanthropic. This plan will be brought forward to Synod for ratification.
In June, four workshops were held across the diocese to introduce to parish representatives the national stewardship program, giving our thanks and praise. The diocese has adopted this program for use in parishes and will provide support for its implementation ongoing; giving our thanks and praise will be key to developing a culture of giving throughout the diocese.
Using story, photos and video, Ian Alexander and Julie Poskitt updated Diocesan Council about the activities of the diocesan Vision Fund Jury and the projects that have received vision funding totalling $444,210 to date. This inspiring one-hour presentation, representing 50 projects across the diocese, demonstrated the breadth and depth to which the diocesan vision has been animated in the parishes of the diocese. These stories will also be shared at Synod. A complete list of projects is available here.
On October 20, a service of investiture will be held at Christ Church Cathedral at 10:30am. All are welcome. The bishop will invest 34 people as members of the Order—three honorary members, three officers and one honorary officer. Names of the nominees will be announced in the October issue of the Diocesan Post.
Asset Management spoke in support of Finance Committee recommendation to allow Dawson Heights, a housing corporation owned by the diocese, to form a new not-for-profit charitable society. With assistance from M’akola Development Services, Dawson Heights is planning to replace older cottages on one of its properties. BC Housing will only consider applications for funding from a society. Diocesan Council approved the request on condition that the constitution and bylaws of the society are approved by Council and that approval does not imply that the diocese will guarantee project debt at this time.
ST JOHN THE DIVINE VICTORIA Asset Management recommended approval for demolition of a small vacant building at 930 Mason Street, part of the St. John the Divine site. Diocesan Council approved.
SOMENOS CEMETERY Asset Management reported on research on property north of Duncan. Property fronting on Somenos Road is a cemetery with acreage behind the cemetery in the Agricultural Land Reserve. The property has been appraised and research on a lot line adjustment continues with the Regional District and the Land Commission.
BETHLEHEM INVESTMENT GROUP Asset Management recommended approval for Bethlehem Centre to refinance a mortgage on lands it owns and leases to Friends of Bethlehem Retreat Centre Society in Nanaimo. The diocese is one of four owners of this property. Council agreed to the recommendation for refinancing.
ST. PETER AND ST. PAUL, ESQUIMALT Asset Management reported on Rogers Court Society rezoning application that has received first and second reading from the Town of Esquimalt. This new building project will provide a new ministry centre and seniors’ affordable rental housing at St. Peter and St. Paul, Esquimalt. Please see the plans and video on the Diocese of BC website under “Resources” and “Asset Management.” The meeting with the Town of Esquimalt generated concerns from heritage interests on plans to connect the new building to the heritage designated church. The Times Colonist carried an article following the meeting (July 18, 2018) and Bishop Logan wrote a subsequent letter to the editor, published July 26, 2018. A third reading and public hearing in front of Town Council was to take place later in the summer. More information will be reported in the October issue of the Diocesan Post.