"And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching."
Hebrews 10:24-25

My Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Over the past nine months, the pilgrimage has allowed for listening, learning, praying and growing.  Some of the best ideas for outreach, ministry, and envisioning have come from what you shared with me during this sacred time.  For instance, the realigning of staff positions and the respective job positions are a response to the needs of our congregations.  As mentioned previously - there is no singular vision apart from our collective vision to build up the Kingdom of God.

Over the past four months, the Office of the Diocese has been working with the Treasurer, Finance Committee and Budget Committee on the 2018 draft budget.  The budget process has been prayerful, open and the groups have received input from clergy, laity, and congregations from throughout the Diocese. During a recent meeting, a hopeful, healthy and transparent discussion occurred regarding how we can encourage greater participation and opportunities for input into the budget process.  The staff of the Offices of the Diocese immediately set in motion a plan to provide opportunities for input.  In less than 24 hours, we booked five additional budget meetings (in addition to the regular deanery meetings) during the summer months.  Dates and locations were identified, taking into consideration geographic location, public transportation and parking.

As your Bishop, I am prayerfully committed to expanding the opportunities for both listening and input.  While the budget serves as a guideline and path in which to engage our sacred ministry, it also shapes our journey and further builds our faith community.  That makes the budget a sacred document and as such, it needs your voice, input, and prayers.

In addition to the regular diocesan hearings that occur in July and August, we are offering five times and locations to review the draft budget and provide input.

I would like to thank the Finance Committee, the Budget Committee, Staff of the Office of the Bishop, Standing Committee and Diocesan Council for their faithfulness in this work.  I would also like to express my gratitude to the clergy and laity in our congregations for their assistance in creating the draft budget document.  I will be at each of the hearings. Additionally, various members of the Budget Committee and staff from the Office of the Diocese will also attend.   Below is a list of the dates, times and locations:

Monday,  June 19 - 6:30 pm: St. Mary's, Chester

Thursday,  July 6 - 6:30 pm: St. Paul's, Chestnut Hill

Wednesday, July 26 - 6:30 pm: Grace Church, Hulmeville

Thursday,  August 10 - 6:30 pm: Holy Apostles and the Mediator

Saturday,  August 26 - 10:00 am: Church of the Good Samaritan, Paoli

I ask for your continued prayers for the budget process and those involved.

In Christ,

The Rt. Rev. Daniel G. P. GutiƩrrez
XVI Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania

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