I am very happy that the Diocese of Western Pennsylvania elected both Gregory Nescott and Fr. John Reeves as both lay and clergy delegates, respectively.
The Diocese knows that both of these men are good, honest men to help the OCA get back onto the right path.
They are both honorable, caring, and selfless individuals who will do the heavy lifting in helping to create a better OCA.
May God be with you both in the upcomming trials ahead!
You both certainly have my vote of confidence!
It will be curious to see whether his Eminence decides to confirm Gregg Nescott for this position after the past refusal.
Perhaps the bishops were initally concerned that by seeming to respond to the people, they would violate a part of the third confession of faith, "I promise also to do nothing through constraint, whether coerced by powerful persons, or by a multitude of the people ...." It is possible that they are now coming to the realization that another provision has been coming into play ("... that no customs contrary to Christian piety and good morals may injure Christian conduct ...."), and as a result are becoming more willing to listen to the comments on this site and elsewhere. It is also possible that the bishops are realizing that the questions raised on this site (pointed though they may have been, but not without provocation) have been necessary for the OCA to move away from the past unpleasantness.
Archbishop Job is showing that it is possible to change; that a certain openness to people regarding finance is not a bad thing. It may be that the other bishops are starting to make a similar change within themselves (the habits of many years are difficult to shake off).
The pressure should continue --- in decent words and with knowledge of our eccelsiology, but pressure nonetheless. I believe it is having a positive affect.
This is even better news then the Midwest resolution! These are two of the most articulate and forceful leaders in the OCA, who can be counted on to fight for reform and a restoration of the MC's powers. Bravo!
Mark, please print this, I sincerely feel this way.
Shocking. Vote 29 - 13. I can't believe that it wasn't closer to unanimous.
I don't think the 13 were priests, but I would guess that there was a conflict of interest. Like friends of priests, or related to priests. Seems like everyone (including me) is related to priests. And they care about their job security and benefits.
The mess isn't cleared up yet, and the "CLERGY UNION" may have started setting up the next dynasty. They are looking for "yes" men, not someone like Greg who they can't control.
I just went to the OCA's website and once again there is the continual play on words. I was just reviewing the Budgeted Financial Statement that is listed on the website and it is grossly misleading.
As a priest and a CPA I find it disgraceful that the this information is presented in this manner. I am sure that most people that are looking at this will assume that it means actual revenues and expenditures. It absolutely does not! A budget is an estimate, a guesstimate, a made up number. How damn stupid do these people in Syosset think people are.
Here for the financially challenged in Long Island - why don't you include the REAL NUMBERS!!!!!!!
Come on financial people, speak up. Who on earth pays a CPA firm to compile a Budget with no actuals?
You know, it really is hard to fuse love and understanding/we're all one church when this type of arrogance and obfuscation continues. I really would like to know who the Bozo is that thought this was a good idea to release just a budget without any actuals 10 months into the year given everything that has transpired. Please stick to theology!
Yesterday the figures for the 1st half of 2006 were posted on the OCA Website - http://www.oca.org/PDF/news/10.16.06.statement.pdf
Good news is that Income exceeded Expenses by $129,933. Somebody appears to be holding down discretionary expenses. It will be interesting to see if this can continue until the end of the year. Perhaps the accounting is starting to catch up as it is stated that the 9 months figures will be available in November for the Council meeting
Thank you for pointing out the flaws in the "budget" as presented by OCA. Imagine presenting this budget, without actuals, to corporate shareholders. These bozos wouldn't survive longer than a day in the business world.
As for sticking to theology, they can only be effective if they practice what they exhort. That is what hurts so much. We should be able to look up to the heirarchs with admiration and respect. Instead, because of all the lies and deceptions, whatever comes from them now is suspect.
Thank you for pointing out this latest ruse for those of us who no longer bother looking at the OCA website. This just shows that all the accounting controls, not to mention other controls, in the world will ever work unless wrong doers are made accountable and removed from power. It also shows that smuge satisfaction with all the positive developments in the last few weeks is misplaced if it results in complacency and any lessening of effort or resolve!
This will be a long, and sometimes frustrating, effort to return the OCA to a righteous path. As Mrs. Thatcher used to say--no one had better go "wobbly."
Okay, Father Michael, calm down. My reading of the document is that the title, headings and some line items are misleading. I believe that the left column is actual cash receipts and expenditures thru June, 2006 and the right column is the annual budget.
A budget is a necessary control in the accounting process. This is the first budget I know of that has been released to the public ever by any OCA administration, Synod, or MC, and I'd appreciate if you'd not slam the effort. I'd like for any correction on this statement if prior budgets have been made public. The Bozo you refer to might just as well be me because I was the questioner that got the budget reported. The only criticism I have is that it was released many, many months later than it should have been, given all things, but change can be difficult for old men to grasp sometimes.
The current problem, which you are addressing correctly, is that there is no reporting against the budget to date. The OCA website said there would be a June 30, 2006 compilation reported against the budget after third party accountants completed it, but then it sounded like the church either waffled on delivering that publicly (see notes on Best Practices meetings on OCA website), or doesn't have it completed, yet. Typically, a June 30, 2006 compilation report would be presented against the budget, along with a end of year forecast, so you'd see 3 sets of numbers compared if you had a very competant staff.
What your posting should say, if I may, is simply:
Where is the June 30, 2006 compilation report versus 2006 budget with the 2006 forecast? Why hasn't it been reported publicly?
That would be a wise question, objective, and very reasonable, and would help the OCA (or in the words of a recent reflector, our church) return to a charity of choice for all of us. Not even the charity of choice, but a charity of choice.
I'm sorry if I'm sounding harsh, but the truth is that the administration shouldn't need a compilation report for a 4.2M entity from a third party. This should be something that could be done internally, without third party support. Unfortunately, your statement about "stick to theology" might be a bit on target, because it appears third party support is required. This fact bolsters my concerns about competancy of staff in the OCA. I absolutely hate to even say these things because I believe that most people are inherently good, but I also believe that priests should be priests and accountants accountants.
The compilation report is either dreadfully late, or it won't be reported to us and if it isn't reported to us... that... is beyond shameful, and the right response (in my opinion) should be minimizing contributions to the OCA that are above and beyond our obligations as members.
Quite simply, the compilation should be something the OCA staff does and puts up on the website on a quarterly basis.
If they did, they'd get more contributions, especially if the contributions were funded and funds were used as intended.
A follow up to my previous remarks: I reviewed the financial statement on the OCA web site in more detail. The report is simply not clear on what, exactly, it is. It clearly says that it is a budget yet it seems to imply that these are the actual figures through six months of the year. If so, it would appear to be good news that the bottom line is a positive $129,933. However, the report does not give the basis of accounting. If it is an accrual basis, this would be even better news. However, it is most likely a cash basis report and if they are behind in paying bills or have not received all of the legal and accounting bills, the bottom line figure is going to go down. Certainly one should expect more legal bills now that Fr. Bob has initiated his demand for payment.
I will give credit where credit is due, this is at least progress. It is a bit muddy but at least it's a start.
It appears to me that these are actual six month numbers compared to the 2006 budget. The heading of the report is misleading with the term budget probably included when it shouldn't have been.
I agree that you can't ascertain if this is cash basis or accrual. That is something which should be found out. I agree that accrual would be preferable, but my guess is that it's cash basis.
I do find it very interesting that almost 10% of the total budgeted department expense is listed as 'travel'. That seems like an awfully high percentage to me. Especially with the questions which have been raised regarding excessive travel and entertainment costs.