Gray Southern opened this report with the question, “Why do we continue to budget and to maintain an Episcopal Residence?” As with all parsonages, keeping the diverse goals of providing housing for our bishop and being good stewards of our finances create the question.
Why sell the house? Southern explained that the present home has served 15 years as our episcopal residence. It has been enjoyed by our bishops; however, it will need maintenance and repairs. It has a value of over $900,000; the proceeds of a sale will fund a residence for years. Explaining the pros and cons, Southern walked the conference through each, and concluded that providing a housing allowance will reduce the annual budget as well as follow the trends and norms of housing.
This proposal came with unanimous support by both the Committee on the Episcopacy and the Board of Trustees. The report and the motion to sell the Episcopal residence was overwhelmingly approved.