The Episcopal Church is offering supporters an opportunity “to support the Church’s unity” — by footing some of the denomination’s multi-million-dollar lawsuit tab against breakaway parishes and dioceses. According to this description on the church’s Web site:
“The St. Ives Fund
The St. Ives Fund, named in honor of the patron saint of lawyers, was established to support the Church’s unity, to preserve the Church’s heritage, to provide financial support for the legal costs associated with property litigations, and to decrease demands on the Church’s budgets for mission and ministry. In addition, the Fund serves as a vehicle for the support of the Church, generally, by lawyers, judges, law professors and others who may wish to participate.
In the past few years, the Church has been forced to pursue litigations to defend and protect Church property against those who wish to secure the property on behalf of a foreign province. In each case, the Church takes this action in order to ensure that the heritage of the Church will be preserved for the Church’s service to God’s mission, both now and for generations to come. The cost of such litigation can be significant, and the St. Ives Fund is an effort to alleviate the pressure that these legal actions has placed on the Church’s financial resources.”
The St. Ives Fund is classified as part of the Episcopal Church’s “Mission Funding.”