A revised 2003 spending plan for the ELCA churchwide offices released in April resulted in staff and program cuts equaling $1,181,000. Six full-time staff, three contract staff and three vacant positions were eliminated.
Other cuts were:
• Department for Communication support for The Protestant Hour radio program, the print version of Voices for Congregational Life and Resource Information Service temporary staff.
• Division for Global Mission support for The Rural Mission Center in Panama.
• Churchwide budget support for The Lutheran magazine.
• Office of the Bishop internal grants.
•Division for Outreach program funds for mission opportunities and fast growth congregations.
• Division for Higher Education and Schools college and university grants.
• Division for Church in Society program funds for education and program resources.
• Commission for Multicultural Ministries program funds. Funding for the director for racial justice ministries was moved to a designated fund.
• Department for Management Services budget.
Units also were asked to underspend their 2003 budgets for a total reduction of $555,000. This was done by not filling vacant positions and cutting back on office supplies, printing and staff travel.
Total reductions, temporary and permanent, equal $1,736,000, said Charles Miller, ELCA executive for administration. He blamed the cuts on "the harsh realities of the struggling domestic economy and a projected drop in income."
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