- The Diocese
- Beliefs and Practices
- Christian Life
- News and Publications
- For Clergy
- For Parishes
Open/Download printable pdfs of:
The Adjustment Board’s mission is to support an important purpose of the Diocese – to help parishes to grow in the strength of their ministries of worship, nurture and mission.
As members of an Episcopal Diocese, we are a church catholic, bound together, not only by law and canon but by mutual agreement, in the body of Christ. The work of the Church and clergy orders stems from the Bishop.
Although the work is done mainly through the congregations, it is through the Bishop and the Diocese that we maintain our universality and union. Parishes are not, nor can they be, congregational entities. Not to pay a diocesan assessment clashes with this catholicity that binds us together. If we wish to eliminate diocesan missionary programs, if we wish to eliminate our apportioned share for the national church or any of the other things we do as a Diocese, we need to do that in Convention. We are tied to each other in Christ and bound to work together toward our mutual goals. These goals are represented in the Diocesan Budget we adopt each year.
A parish’s assessment represents its participation in those goals’ being achieved. The assessment is a basic parish operating expense as well as the way we engage in mission together. That is why every parish needs to pay the full assessment currently in quarterly installments or, if it believes it cannot do so, needs to be fully engaged in working with the Adjustment Board and the Diocese as described in these guidelines.
What Canon 18 of the Diocese Says About the Adjustment Board
Section 1. “3. Adjustment and Appeal Procedure: Any congregation may appeal to the Adjustment Board for a reduction in its apportioned share in accordance with the guidelines established by the Adjustment Board and approved by the Trustees.
“The Adjustment Board, which shall be a committee of the Trustees consisting of not fewer than seven members appointed by the Bishop, shall conduct all adjustment hearings and may affirm or reduce the apportioned share payable by any congregation requesting a hearing. The Adjustment Board shall inform each congregation requesting a hearing of its decision within a reasonable time after such hearing.
“Any congregation may appeal the decision of the Adjustment Board to the Trustees, which may affirm or modify any decision of the Adjustment Board. Appeals to the Trustees must be made within 30 days after receipt by such congregation of the decision of the Adjustment Board.”
A parish’s “apportioned share” is often referred to as its “assessment.” A parish that is a member of the Congregational Support Plan pays a “contribution” on a different basis, works with the Congregational Support Plan Committee and staff, does not pay an assessment and cannot appeal to the Adjustment Board.
The Adjustment Board and the Staff
The Bishop has appointed the Adjustment Board. One of its Co-Chairs is a Trustee of the Diocese. The Adjustment Board meets regularly throughout the year.
The CFO and the Controller serve as the staff liaison to the Adjustment Board.
For each parish not in the Congregational Support Plan, the Controller calculates its assessment toward the end of a year, based on the parish’s Normal Operating Income for the two preceding years. For example, a parish’s assessment for 2013 is calculated toward the end of 2012 based on the parish’s Normal Operating Income for 2010 and 2011.
Under Canon 18, the assessment is based on actual Normal Operating Income, calculated in the same manner as that term is defined from time to time in the Instructions for the Episcopal Church Parochial Report as set forth in the Manual of Business Methods in Church Affairs of The Episcopal Church.
To assure fairness for all parishes in the Diocese, the staff will continue to review parochial reports for consistency and appropriateness of the reporting of Normal Operating Income. Where there are questions about a parish’s reported NOI (for example, where reported NOI is materially less than Normal Operating Expenses), the staff will seek clarification from the parish. The Controller will calculate the assessment based on his or her determination of NOI, and any dispute will be reviewed immediately by the Adjustment Board.
What is a “Parish Not In Default In Assessments”
Assessments are due in four quarterly installments, on the fifth day of January, April, July and October.
In November 2009, the Diocesan Convention amended Canon 18 to add a new consequence for a parish in default in assessments – authorizing the name of the parish being read out at Convention and, after its name has been read out for two consecutive years, if the Bishop recommends it, authorizing Convention to vote to convert the parish into a mission of the Diocese. That portion of Section 4 of Canon 18 reads as follows:
Note that this definition is tied to being current in assessments (as they may be adjusted) through all but the most recently due quarterly installment. Thus, if the Annual Convention takes place in November, the parish, to be current, must have paid 100% of its assessments for prior years (as they may have been adjusted) and have paid the installments due on the fifth days of January, April and July, or 75% of its assessment for the calendar year (as it may have been adjusted), or must be working with the Adjustment Board.
"2. Parishes in Default in Assessments: Prior to each Annual Convention the Adjustment Board shall notify the Bishop of any Parish that does not satisfy any of the conditions listed in this subsection (2), noting that the Parish may be designated as a Parish In Default in Assessments. The Bishop, with the concurrence of the Trustees of the Diocese, may then designate the Parish as a Parish In Default in Assessments, and the Chancellor shall inform the Annual Convention that the Parish is a Parish In Default in Assessments. No Parish shall be designated as a Parish in Default in Assessments, and no Parish designated as a Parish In Default in Assessments shall remain a Parish In Default in Assessments, if the Parish satisfies any of the following conditions:“1. The Parish is current in the payment of its assessments through all but the most recently due quarterly installment, or
“2. The Parish has a completed application pending with the Adjustment Board, is actively participating in the Adjustment Board process by meeting with its members and representatives of the Diocese as requested by the Adjustment Board, and is making payments on account of assessments in a minimum amount specified by the Adjustment Board for Parishes that have applications pending, or
“3. If the Adjustment Board has made its decision and the Parish has chosen to appeal the decision, the Parish has a completed appeal pending with the Trustees, or
“4. If the Adjustment Board has made its decision on the application that, after any appeal to and any modification by the Trustees, is final and no longer subject to appeal, the Parish is current in its payment of all its assessments as they may have been adjusted through all but the most recently due installment and is in compliance with any conditions imposed by the Adjustment Board or the Trustees in approving any adjustment, which conditions may include participation in programs organized by the Diocese to help a Parish address problems in the Parish.
“3. Remedial Process for Certain Parishes In Default in Assessments: If two consecutive Annual Conventions have been informed that a Parish is In Default in Assessments, and the Parish continues to be In Default in Assessments, then upon the recommendation of the Adjustment Board and the concurrence of the Standing Committee and the Trustees of the Diocese, the Bishop may in the Bishop’s discretion initiate the remedial process described in this subsection (3), which may result in converting the Parish into a Mission Congregation of the Diocese.”
This definition is different from the criterion for denial of lay delegates’ votes at the Diocesan Convention—failure to pay the full assessment for one or more prior years. Under Canon 18, unless waived by vote of Convention, the lay delegates from a parish that has not paid its full assessment for one budget year can be seated at the next year’s Convention but cannot vote, and the lay delegates from a parish that has not paid its assessment for any two budget years cannot be seated (and therefore cannot vote) at the next year’s Convention.
How to Reach the Adjustment Board Staff
|Allen Barnett |
Chief of Finance and Operations
(212) 316 7536
Fax (212) 316 7481
If you submit an application for adjustment, please be sure it is complete and in accordance with these guidelines.
June 6, 2012
The Adjustment Board
|The Rev. Canon Susan C. Harriss, Co-Chair, |
Christ’s Church, Rye
The Rev. Charles H. Howell,
Christ Church, New Brighton, Staten Island
The Rev. Caroline Stacey,
St. Luke in the Field, Manhattan
The Rev. Eileen E. Weglarz,
St. Mark's, Mount Kisco
|Wolcott B. Dunham, Jr., Co-Chair, |
St. James’, Manhattan
Donald L. Bookal,
St. Luke’s, The Bronx
Gary A. Glynn,
St. Mary’s, Tuxedo Park