Most parishes in the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh will be charged a lower diocesan assessment next year, according to a proposed budget approved August 24th by Diocesan Council.

The budget plan for 2010 eliminates a longstanding, but complicated three-tiered assessment formula (one stage was calculated at a percentage with five decimal places, i.e. to the one-hundred thousandth place), in favor of a simpler scale: 5% on the first $35,000 of parish income; 11% on all income over that amount.

Twenty-three of the diocese’s parishes could realize savings in the lower assessment rate. The assessment on the remaining parishes would remain unchanged.

To take effect, the budget must be adopted by the diocesan Convention, which will be held on October 17. A detailed budget plan will be released by mid-September, along with other business to be considered at Convention.

Health Care Bridge Grants Awarded
At its August 24th meeting, Council also approved grants totaling $10,000 to help eight parishes cover the cost of higher health insurance premiums for their clergy or employees. Consideration can still be given to other parishes with similar needs. Application forms are available on the diocesan website.

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