Bishop’s Discretionary Fund Spending, 2013

A Message from Bishop Benfield

Your Gifts to the Discretionary Fund at Work

When I visit a congregation, the cash offering is generally designated for the Bishop’s Discretionary Fund. Additionally, many individuals and some organizations (such as local Episcopal Church Women groups) donate to the fund each year.

Approximately $24,500 has been distributed from this fund so far this year. It goes to support individuals with financial needs, programs that would otherwise go unfunded, and work in the wider church beyond Arkansas. Here is how your gifts have been used so far in 2013 (numbers are rounded):

A medical mission in an Anglican diocese in Guatemala $3,000
Support a local construction project in
El Salvador
Leadership support in the Diocese of the Dominican Republic $1,000
Tornado relief in Oklahoma $1,500
Episcopal Church boards and related entities $1,000
Chapel rebuilding at Virginia Theological Seminary $2,000
Clergy assistance/support (active and retired) $6,700
Camp Mitchell program/employee support $2,200
Assistance for individuals (not clergy) $3,000
Diocesan program support $1,900
Extra seminarian support $750
Miscellaneous charitable organizations $450

One of the ways that we assure that the money from this fund is wisely spent is to make certain that someone on diocesan staff approves all donations. Even though it is called the Bishop’s Discretionary Fund, I do not not having signing authority on the account; Executive Council approves the signers, as does the Council for every checking account held in the name of the diocese. Expenditure details are always available for inspection by the diocesan treasurer, and an outside accountant annually reviews it.