By John Lien and Ann Hackett, on behalf of the Finance Committee
The vestry and members of Grace Church are to be commended for the current financial status of the parish. Tough and timely decisions were made earlier in the year which now result in a favorable condition. Halfway through the fiscal year (June 30, 2016), Grace posted the best financial statements in several years.
Reduced personnel = reduced expenses
Vacated positions for Rector, Associate Rector, Administrative Assistant and Youth Ministry Coordinator for portions of the first six months of 2016 reduced personnel expenses by about $75,000 compared to the first six months of 2015.
Parishioners took a Leap of Faith
Despite the projected reduced personnel expenses, the congregation responded to a short term campaign in February to fully fund the budget presented at the annual meeting. The Leap of Faith campaign resulted in $40,880 in donations, new pledges and increased pledges.
Churches in transition = changes in giving
Changes occurred in other areas of the budget. Income for general expenses totaled $241,887, which is about $18,000 less than 2015. Restricted income totaled $25,202, or about $7847 less than 2015. Churches in transition and churches in summer time often experience this.
The church still hums
Your contributions are at work. The doors open every day at Grace. Services and celebrations continue. Visitors seek us out. Volunteers answer the phones, pack food in the pantry, serve lunch to the community and offer respite to the homeless. Copies are made, utility costs accumulate and repairs are made as cash flow allows. All ministries and the office staff are keeping a conscientious eye on expenses. Total operational expenses of $191,114 were $79,498 less than the first six months of 2015. At the end of June 2016, Grace had $73,713 in checking or general savings and another $61,056 in restricted savings (Restricted Income, the Rector’s Discretionary Fund and Building Fund income are restricted dollars that can only be used for certain designated purposes).
Average weekly income from pledges and unpledged giving comes to about $8,375 a week with a high of $14,536 and a low of $4,609. Your regular weekly or monthly giving enables all of us to meet current expenses without resorting to savings. As of June 30, no transfers from savings have occurred to fund operational expenses.
What to expect
During the second half of the fiscal year, far less in savings can be achieved because the positions of Administrative Assistant and Youth Ministry Coordinator are filled, and Grace has a full-time Interim Rector. Alleluia! God has provided skilled and passionate people to fill these roles. The weather will turn cooler and parishioners will gather at Grace after friends and houseguests leave town. Church School will renew with its full curriculum in the fall and study opportunities will emerge on the calendar.
As we come to embrace each other anew, let us give thanks for God’s provisions. On behalf of the vestry and finance committee, gratitude is extended to each person for their generous stewardship of this place called Grace.