Magazine article Anglican Journal

Philanthropy Department Develops Ambitious Stewardship Plan

Magazine article Anglican Journal

Philanthropy Department Develops Ambitious Stewardship Plan

Article excerpt

Toronto

The Council of General Synod (COGS) has endorsed "in principle" the newly-created department of philanthropy's plan to help the Anglican Church of Canada achieve "financial equilibrium" through fundraising efforts that will emphasize giving as "a faithful expression of Christian vocation."

CoGS also approved the establishment of a philanthropy committee that will provide "leadership and support" to General Synod's philanthropy work.

Before consensus was reached on the two items, however, some members expressed concern about the feasibility of the plan, given the global economic crisis. Others, like the diocesan bishop of Edmonton, Jane Alexander, questioned the idea of fundraising.

"We're not a secular, for-profit body. We don't fundraise, we do stewardship," said Bishop Alexander. "It's not that I'm not comfortable talking about money. I am. But this (plan)is against my ecclesiology. There's merit in it if it's for UNICEF or Oxfam, but I'm not hearing that we're a church--it's not in the language (of the document). It's a different theology of who we are as a church."

Holland Hendrix, director of the philanthropy department, said the development plan that he has articulated in a draft document distributed to CoGS "recognizes that building an operation of this magnitude and depth is a long-term endeavour." It would take at least three years "to begin to build a base for some dramatic increases in revenue development," he said. "We're not expecting results overnight."

Mr. Hendrix also urged CoGS to help his department come up with "a language (for the plan) that is more authentic to your faith and to the church."

The draft plan calls for the development of a "theology of philanthropy" that will emphasize "the bounty of God's creation and of God's gifts to us all." It will remind Anglicans of their "obligation to share with those in need."

The plan has four goals:

* to enhance the level of coordination and co-operation among various fundraising initiatives within and beyond General Synod;

* to establish a more "professionalized and productive" fundraising operation for the ministry of General Synod and incorporated partners (Anglican Foundation, Anglican Journal, Primate's World Relief and Development Fund), dioceses and parishes;

* to establish a permanent investment fund "that will provide sustainable financial stability for the ministry of General Synod into the indefinite future;"

* to launch "the most ambitious fundraising initiative in the church's history designed to reach a new level of support for the ministry of General Synod," its partners, dioceses and parishes of the Anglican Church of Canada. …

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