Episcopal Diocese of Rochester
Joy in Christ, a way of life

Convention 82

Beloved Community: Love Beyond Similarities. Faith Lived Together.
November 9, 2013
Asbury First United Methodist Church, Rochester, N.Y.

A Message from Our Presiding Bishop

What a joy to have (ELCA) Bishop Marie Jerge and Pastor Susan Shafer of Asbury First Methodist Church (our host for Convention) present and worshipping with the Convention, as well as Presbytery Leader Amy Williams. That witness speaks loudly to the kinds of partnerships that have been, and are being, built in Rochester. And yes, there is more of this happening across the Church – and God must certainly be well pleased!

I am delighted to see the level of health in the Diocese of Rochester, characterized by joy and willingness to try new ways, as well as significant comfort with diversity of opinion. I give thanks for the leadership you enjoy and support in Bishop Singh, and for the great collaboration I see happening around the Diocese. Well done!

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori (right) with Rochester Bishop Prince G. Singh (left). Photo by Dave Burnet.

Jefferts Schori Preaches 'Beloved Community' at Convention Worship

“It takes hard work and continued collaboration – negotiation, even – to build a community of blessing. Recognizing our own wounds as well as the dignity with which we’ve been created lies at the root of that growth in community. Economic challenges in this part of the world have brought depression if not despair to many. Yet even that experience of loss can aid the journey, as the grieving discover hope through the companions who stand with them. We can’t know what it is to be beloved in isolation – we have to show and remind each other.”


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Jefferts Schori, Special Guests Discuss Impact of Violence on Youth

Held Friday, Nov. 8, 2013 - 6:00 p.m. - Asbury First United Methodist

Adults and youth gathered at Asbury First United Methodist Church, Rochester, on Nov. 8 to discuss how to advocate effectively and help youth affected by trauma, violence, and loss. Held before the 82nd Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester, the discussion featured Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and was moderated by Ray Mayoliz of Pathways to Peace, a gang violence intervention program.

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Thanks to all of the delegates, staff, volunteers and guests who made Convention 82 possible. We give special thanks to the Most Rev. Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, for her presence with us. We also express our heartfelt gratitude to Asbury First United Methodist Church for hosting our Convention. The support that Senior Pastor Susan Shafer, her staff and Asbury First volunteers provided cannot be overstated.

2014 Budget Passed by Convention

At the 82nd Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester, delegates approved the proposed budget for 2014 without amendment.


Resolution Voting Results

Election Results

Rev. Paul Frolick St. George's Hilton
Rev. Catherine L. Tatem St. Peter's Henrietta
Rev. Tom McCart  
Rev. Peter Harter St. Paul's Rochester
John Biemiller St. Paul's Rochester
Douglass Lyon St. Thomas Rochester
Christopher Moore St. Paul's Rochester
Rev. Mary Mroczka, Ph. D St. Peter's Dansville
Dr. Patricia Wheelhouse St. Luke's & St. Simon Cyrene
Susan Dow St. Paul's Rochester
Rev. Suzanne Johnston Epiphany/Ephphatha
Rev. Lesley Adams St. John's Chapel HWS
Ms. Nadene B. Hunter Christ Church Hornell
4 CLERGY and 4 LAY  
Rev. Canon Dr. C. Denise Yarbrough St. Peter's Blooomfield
Very Rev. J. Brad Benson St. Thomas'  Bath
Very Rev. Michael Hopkins St. Luke's & St. Simon Cyrene
Very Rev. Lance Robbins Good Shepherd  Webster
Susan Woodhouse St. Peter's  Henrietta
Karen Noble Hanson St. Paul's Rochester
Neil D. Houghton St. John's  Honeoye Falls
Susan B. Hartney Episcopal Parishes of Schuyler County

2014 Budget - 2nd Draft (Passed at Convention)

Passed at Convention

Monday, September 23, 2013

To: Wardens, Treasurers and Convention Delegates
From: Todd Rubiano
CC: Diocesan Council, Trustees, Standing Committee, C.O.M., HR Committee
RE: Proposed 2014 Budget:

On September 17th, the Diocesan Council approved a proposed budget for 2014 (summarized in EXHIBIT 3). In addition to updating administrative cost estimates (including health insurance costs), the Council approved the following changes to the First Draft budget, communicated on June 7th:

Apportionment:  As we implement the resolution adopted at our last Convention (EXHIBIT 2), Council approved lowering apportionment rates by 1% point in each band.  We will continue to utilize a “5% cap & floor” to limit the short term impact of changes on individual parishes.  This change reduces available income by almost $25,000 in 2014.

Domestic & Foreign Missionary Society (D&FMS) Asking:  In the First Draft of our 2014 Budget, the Diocesan contribution to the D&FMS Asking was increased by 10%, in order to make progress towards the full asking.  Given the decrease in total Diocesan income, it seems practical to limit the increase in our contribution to 5%, thereby reducing the impact on our expenses by over $10,000 (EXHIBIT 3 & EXHIBIT 6).

Congregational Development: In 2010 we spent about $225,000 in this category.  In 2012 we increased this investment to over $416,000, using the savings generated from administrative cost reductions to fund new grants.  At the same time, Council began implementing a new grant process predicated on decreasing grants over time, as well as reviewing all existing grants.  In 2013 we have committed to funding of almost $364,000 against an original budget of $419,000.  While it’s not yet certain how much of the remaining budget may be utilized over the next few months, it seems reasonable to reduce funding levels as long as there are funds available for new grant requests.  The proposed budget of $346,000 provides almost $50,000 for new grants, while reducing the impact on expenses by more than $14,000 (EXHIBIT 3 & EXHIBIT 4)

The 5-Year Budget Projections in EXHIBIT 1 are based on Total Parish Operating Income (basis for apportionment) remaining at 2012 levels and average annual returns of 7% on our invested funds.  In order to reduce our draw from investments closer to 5%, we will need to reduce spending about 5% annually over the next five years. 

In total, the proposed 2014 budget is an effort to balance sound “investments in growth” with good stewardship of our resources for the long term.  The Trustees of the Diocese clearly recognize the need to reduce our draw from investments over the next several years - and yet do so in a manner that does not undermine long-term growth.  There will always be tension between calls for “austerity” vs. “stimulus”, but neither extreme is likely to further our mission.

Best Regards,


View all budget drafts for this year »