Southwest Florida diocese offers rebate to congregations

By ENS staff
Posted Feb 20, 2012

[Episcopal News Service] The Episcopal Diocese of Southwest Florida has decided to refund $175,000 to its 76 congregations.

The decision, Bishop Dabney Smith said in a recent letter to vestries and bishop’s committees, was prompted by nearly 100 percent parish giving to the diocese in 2011.

“We have attained a new culminating point in this ongoing labor towards maintaining a healthy, well-functioning diocese,” Smith said. “In 2011 alone, our congregations prioritized their participation by contributing apportionment on a monthly basis, with all but 2 percent paid by year’s end.”

The diocese normally bases its annual budget in part on up to 10 percent in uncollectable apportionments.

The $175,000 is roughly 75 percent of one month’s assessment, according to a diocesan press release.

The Diocesan Council decided during its January meeting to make a “celebratory, one-time decision to share the joy of this financial reality,” Smith added.

The rebate will be available to any congregation that paid its full assessment for 2011 and congregations have been given until Feb. 29 to pay that amount in full. Congregations must apply for the rebate, which will be calculated based on its percentage of the total operating 2011 apportionment.

Comments (9)

  1. This is probably the best thing I’ve heard in years, a diocese actually giving back some money to congregations. Perhaps this will stimulate congregational development and help grow the church on the local level, a process mostly ignored or forgotten by many dioceses. Thank you, Diocesan Council of South Florida.

  2. Chris Yaw says:

    What a breath of fresh air. It sounds very generous – and an investment in good will that will be remembered for some time.

  3. Katerina Whitley says:

    Such encouraging news from a faithful diocese. I am planning to visit the diocese this weekend at their Dayspring Conference Center, and I rejoice with them in their faithfulness.

    1. Zandy Jordan says:

      Looking forward to seeing you at DaySpring for Believe In A Miracle 2012. Yes, a well run Diocese is an added joy to our faith experience…

      1. Katerina Whitley says:

        I had such a wonderful and blessed time with all of you at Dayspring. I keep the glow of your love and response.

  4. Randolph V.N. Albano says:

    Congratulations to the Bishop, the Clergy and People! This is my first time to hear such wonderful and great good news. Inded, it is a manifestation of hard labors, faithfulness and love of God, by his faithful people through his Church. (How about if, a small percentage/amount of such rebate be shared to poorer Parishes and Missions, like my Mission Church. Of course this has to be decided by the assessed Parishes and Missions in that Diocese. Again our congratulations and continued prayers for a job well done. Well done good and faithful stewards…… Keep up the good work.

  5. Zona Tounsley says:

    This is great news, but not surprising. The Diocese of Southwest Florida has traditionally been a blessed and thankful diocese and one of TEC’s most benevolent supporters of the United Thank Offering.

  6. Virginia Clarihew says:

    As treasurer of St. Giles in Pinellas Park, I am interested in finding out how to apply for the rebate. Sounds like a great idea (see, we do read these items …)

  7. Roy Crippen says:

    I am Treasurer of St Mary’s, Dade City, and need instructions on how to apply.

Comments are closed.