Last Thursday, the Church Council approved and adopted the 2018 Ministry & Operations Budget. The Committee of Finance, aka Finance Committee, began the process for developing this financial tool soon after the formal stewardship campaign ended in mid-November. The different ministries and department heads developed specific budgets for their areas and presented them to the Budget sub-committee throughout January. In February, all the information was organized into one budget and a proposed draft was formally presented and discussed at the monthly Finance Committee. It was approved and then presented to Church Council with a recommendation for approval and adoption. Let me assure you that in both settings, good and positive discussion occurred with your lay representatives practicing due diligence on your behalf.
The resulting $5 million budget is lower than 2017 actual costs and more than adequate to provide for the high-quality ministries and programs expected.
Now that the Finance Committee has done their part, it is up to each of us to do our part. The clergy and the lay staff will practice good and conscientious stewardship as they implement their programs and ministries.
The Finance Committee will be looking to the church members to raise $4 million or 78% of the total budget through their personal giving. The good news is that $2.5 million has been committed as a result of the 2018 Stewardship Campaign. Due to advanced giving, as well as the first six weeks of offering, over $1 million or 26% of the $4 million has been raised.
Business Administrator Larry Ammerman is quick to remind us that the most robust months financially for any church happen at the beginning of the year and at the very end of the year. So, the fact that First Church looks financially secure right now is a typical trend. My request and challenge to each of us as members is to continue to be faithful and generous in the upcoming months so to finish the year even stronger.
I, along with the Finance Committee and Larry, will keep you up to date on our progress and more significantly, what remarkable ministries are happening here at First Church in the name of Christ because of your unbounded generosity. I look forward to sharing those impactful stories with you.
As always, I welcome your comments and questions.
Again, thank you for all that you do in the way of time, talent, and treasures.