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As we lean into Advent, a time of expectant waiting for the greatest gift of all, Jesus, we ask you to give back to God by giving a gift to your beloved faith community. This year, we are asking you to donate to the Bishop’s Discretionary Fund. This Bishop’s Discretionary Fund is a restricted fund that is intended to give the bishop complete discretion and authority to provide confidential financial support to people in need. In our synod these monies have often been used to assist rostered leaders in times of crisis, such as was done recently to provide emergency funds for travel surrounding the unexpected death of a family member. They are also used for expenses related to the exercise of ministry not otherwise provided in the synod’s budget. Much like a Pastor’s Discretionary Fund in a congregation are disbursed by the pastor, the Bishop’s Discretionary Funds are disbursed at the direction of the Bishop who is the chief pastor of the congregations, rostered leaders and institutions of the synod.
In the congregation, sources for discretionary funds vary. Some set aside days when loose offerings are designated for the fund. Often clergy deposit monies received from baptisms, weddings and funerals to the fund. As the Bishop does not have these sources for the fund, at times we seek a special offering at an event to replenish the fund. We are at such a time as the Fund has less than a $300 balance.
A gift to the Bishop’s Discretionary Fund is a gift to the Synod and not a gift to the Bishop. The Bishop is to be
considered to be in a position very similar to that of a trustee, managing funds that belong to the synod. On this
Giving Tuesday we invite you to give to the Bishop’s Discretionary Fund. This is one way to be church together
caring for siblings in Christ.
Thank you for your prayerful consideration!