At the joint meeting of the Circle of Seven and the Executive Council in July 2007 the following topics, among other things, were discussed:
- How are parishes financed?
- What is our ideal in dealing with money within the Christian Community?
- What do we think on the subject of: supplementary jobs for the clergy?
We arrived at the following conclusions:
- It appears to be the healthiest way to finance parishes by covering current expenditures with the funds that proceed from donations and (pledged) contributions. The continual necessity to take in revenues from investment markets or from renting property indicates that the parish is existing above its means (= overspending) and that the financial resources (“breathing process”) are out of balance.
- On the whole we consider the major aspects of the “three-fold” social ideas as primary in dealing with capital funds. We do not find it appropriate to use money entrusted to us for speculation on investment markets or in real estate properties. In addition we do not consider holdings on companies of whatever nature to be within the scope of responsibilities of the Christian Community.
We view it as an ideal always to lend money free of interest within the Christian Community. In order to utilize available funds as sensibly as possible and to do this directly where money is most needed, it seems to us that it would be helpful in the future to draw up a “consolidated total balance survey”; in this way an overall view of the entire obligations to the clergy and to the parish members could lead to an increasingly joint consciousness and might present new possibilities for the development of the Christian Community.
- The existing ideal remains valid: The priests place themselves entirely at the dispense of their parish duties. They are then provided for from the congregations under the conditions of the state (they are working in).
The personal initiative of a priest to earn money may be permitted in single cases. It would be beneficial to the development of a parish, if sideline jobs would occur as an involvement with the parish. The supplementary job might serve the purpose of making it possible for a parish to afford a position for a priest. In single cases, after taking into account all of the circumstances involved, the Lenker and the Circle of Seven may approve of sideline jobs.
Berlin in December 2007
For the Executive Council and the Circle of Seven:
Christward Kröner, Armin Knabe