Adjustments to the Calculated Apportioned Share
The Adjustment Board
For the Diocesan Canon relating to the Apportioned Share and the Adjustment Board (Canon 17), please click on the link n the right sidebar to view the Diocesan Canons.
The Diocesan Canons (17.4.1) state that “Any Congregation may appeal to the Adjustment Board for a reduction in or deferral of payment to a future year of part or all of its Apportioned Share for any year in accordance with the guidelines established by the Adjustment Board and approved by the Trustees.”
What is the Adjustment Board and what is its role?
The Adjustment Board is a committee of the Trustees consisting of not fewer than seven members appointed by the Bishop. Its job is to conduct all adjustment hearings, following which it “may affirm, temporarily reduce, or defer payment of part or all of the Apportioned Share payable for any year by any Congregation requesting a hearing.” (Canon 17.4.2)
First Steps for the Adjustment Board
When a congregation’s leadership believes that the congregation cannot pay its full apportioned share, it should contact the appropriate members of the Bishop’s staff to discuss the situation. Contact information is at the upper right of this page.
Applying for an Adjustment
A congregation that wishes an adjustment in the amount of its apportioned share or in its schedule for payment must submit an application in the form of a letter, together with supporting information, following the attached instructions (please see link in right sidebar). If the Adjustment Board has previously reduced or deferred the congregation’s apportioned share for a particular year and the congregation seeks further relief regarding the same apportioned share, the request is treated as a new application.
The Adjustment Board will review all completed applications and discuss them with staff, and hear from staff about their conversations with parish leadership. In some cases the Adjustment Board will make a tentative decision and ask staff to discuss a potential adjustment with parish leadership. The parish can then either accept the potential adjustment or ask that a hearing be scheduled. In other cases, the Adjustment Board will not make a tentative decision but will hold a hearing when it can be scheduled.
During discussions with staff, and during hearings with the Board, a parish may be asked to work with diocesan entities or staff toward the goal of strengthening the parish. An adjustment may be made conditional on the parish’s continuing to work with these diocesan entities and staff.
How the Adjustment Board Reaches a Decision
The Adjustment Board will make a decision that it believes to be fair in light of the circumstances – fair to the applicant congregation, fair to other congregations and fair to the Diocese.
Each appeal to the Adjustment Board is judged on its own merits. The Adjustment Board considers the congregation’s current circumstances and changes in its circumstances, and changes in its income, its expenses, its property, and its endowment, if any. A specific item of expense might be deemed essential in one case and discretionary in another. Level of endowment, effectiveness of ministry, continuity of program, and relative needs within the congregation community and the Diocese, and other adjustments the congregation has made in its budget to save money in light of its financial situation, are among the many considerations the Adjustment Board must weigh. The existence of sound fiscal and fiduciary practices is also a concern. In addition to reviewing the congregation audit and stewardship program, the Board must satisfy itself that, to the extent feasible, all necessary steps have been taken to prevent a recurrence of the situation or condition which has led the congregation to come to the Board. The Board may condition an adjustment on the congregation’s continuing to work with diocesan entities and staff toward strengthening the congregation and its mission. The Board will also refer to the Trustees or any other appropriate body, for review and assistance, those congregations where the Board feels further discussion would be helpful.
What Can the Board Decide?
The Board may
- reduce past, current and future apportioned shares
- forgive past apportioned shares
- defer payment of apportioned shares
- permit a congregation to pay an arrearage over time while remaining up-to-date with current apportioned share payments.
Staff will immediately inform the congregation of the Board’s decision.
Appeal to the Trustees
Within 30 days of receiving the Board’s decision, a congregation may appeal to the Trustees by giving written notice to the staff whose contact information appears to the right of this page. The notice of appeal should set forth the congregation’s basis for the appeal.
The Trustees will review any appeal, including the material originally submitted by the congregation, the decision by the Adjustment Board and material submitted by the congregation with its appeal to the Trustees, and will reach a decision as promptly as possible. The Trustees’ decision is final. Staff will immediately inform the congregation of the Trustees’ decision.