Monday, August 19, 2013
So how important are Spiritual Direction, the Second Three Years, the Center for Anglican Communion Studies, the Butterfly House, and the Field Education program? I hope the answer is "very important." If so, then we need to make sure we have a strong Annual Fund to pay for these programs.
To stand still as a Seminary, I need the income from the endowment to grow by about 5 percent. This percentage growth enables a small cost of living increase and covers increases in medical insurance. When the endowment doesn't grow by 5 percent, then programs have to be reduced. Fortunately, there are areas where we can do this: we can eliminate free Spiritual Direction and we could reduce our $200,000 subsidy on the Butterfly House by increasing the fees. But the effectiveness and quality of our education would be reduced.
So the Annual Fund is crucial. For this academic year, the endowment income actually fell. So tough decisions were made. We decided not to proceed with the Spanish intensive program; VTS Press was not fully rolled out; and the Center for Music and Liturgy was delayed. To make sure this isn't a problem next year, the focus of our team in development is the Annual Fund.
Please take a look at the Annual Fund video. It is an introduction to our friends for "Investing in the Future of the Church." The video identifies certain programs that depend on the Annual Fund. After watching the video, then please make a gift to the Annual Fund. And please share the video on your Facebook page, on Twitter, and with your sending Church.
The Very Rev Ian Markham
Dean and President