The following is the first of several upcoming reports that will keep you, the laity and clergy of the Louisiana Conference, informed as to the work of the Episcopal Residence Committee.
The committee was appointed last year in accordance with the Book of Discipline (paragraph 638) to oversee the functions of the Episcopal residence. Through inspections and careful study of the current Episcopal residence, the committee determined that the current Episcopal residence needed extensive repairs and modifications. The committee reported these finding to conference members during the 2013 Louisiana Annual Conference in June and recommended that the existing Episcopal residence be sold along with the Episcopal residence in Shreveport and a new residence be built or purchased in Baton Rouge. The majority of the delegates voted to concur with the recommendations of the Episcopal Residence Committee.
The committee listened carefully to the input received from delegates during the 2013 Annual Conference, and has held a series of meetings to address concerns and suggestions. Since our gathering in June, the committee proceeded with placing the Episcopal residence in Shreveport on the market. As a result of this action, the conference has an offer on the residence that is in line with the projections presented at Annual Conference. If all goes as expected, the sale of the Shreveport Episcopal residence will be completed before the end of this summer.
The committee also carefully researched recommendations for appraisers familiar with the Baton Rouge housing market. To facilitate the sale of the Baton Rouge Episcopal residence, the Episcopal Residence Committee selected an appraiser and has commissioned an appraisal of the Baton Rouge residence. In continued efforts to find the best representation possible, the committee has issued a request for proposals through the Baton Rouge District area churches for real estate agents to represent the Louisiana Annual Conference in the selling of the existing Episcopal residence and/or the purchase of a new Episcopal residence.
The Bishop has recommended to the Episcopal Residence Committee to strive to use as little of the annual conference contingency funds for this project as possible.
The Episcopal Residence Committee is working diligently to respond to the input of the annual conference, seeking the most expert information and guidance during this process. We will continue to keep you informed as the committee moves forward in its work.
Blessings in Christ,
Episcopal Residence Committee