ECUSA ponders $1M gift

Published June 1, 2003

Canon Stephen Lane, ECUSA partner to CoGS, announced that his church is considering a $1 million US gift to the Canadian church.


Canon Stephen Lane, partner to CoGS from the Episcopal Church of the United States (ECUSA), stunned the Canadian primate, Archbishop Michael Peers, when he announced that the executive council of ECUSA had introduced a motion to give $1 million US to the Canadian church.

Mr. Lane said the motion came spontaneously from Dean Cynthia Black, dean of the Cathedral of Christ the King in Kalamazoo, Mich., after Archdeacon Helena-Rose Houldcroft, Canadian partner to the U.S. church, had given a presentation on the native residential schools settlement at the ECUSA executive meeting in Ellicott City, Md.

Archbishop Peers, said he was taken by surprise by Mr. Lane’s announcement, “and naturally I am quite delighted.” He said he would confer with the Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples about the gift.

In an interview, Dean Black said her motion was in part inspired by Archdeacon Houldcroft’s report. “I was moved by a comment she made about the abundance we have in the Episcopal church, that we enjoy different standards in the way our churches operate and even in the places where we meet,” Dean Black said.

“She didn’t mean it as a value judgment, but I was thinking that we had done our budget for the general convention and we had spent between $24 and $26 million (U.S.) renovating our headquarters in New York.”

“I was thinking ‘holy cow,’ the settlement fund in Canada is about what we use to renovate a building, for heaven’s sake. The reality is that we are a very wealthy church.”

The motion, she added, “was about solidarity.”

Right after she made the motion at the ECUSA meeting to give the Canadian church $1 million, the chair called a recess, the dean said. It was referred for consultation with Archbishop Peers to determine the most helpful way the American church can support the Canadian church.

The issue will come up at the next ECUSA Executive Council meeting in October, Mr. Lane said.

He added, “The odds are very good about a proposal coming back then. There will be some debate about the particulars. It’s on the table. There was a very warm reception.”


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