From the Conversation about the Budget – January 2023

  1. The Church finished 2022 on a very positive financial note. Initial projections pointed to finishing with an operating deficit exceeding $100,000. Three very generous one-time gifts totaling $94,000 have greatly reduced that deficit and provided a much-needed cushion of Cash Reserves going into 2023.
  2. The Finance Committee projects nearly $50,000 less in pledge income this year from last year following recent trends for our church. This, along with other income and expense factors, has resulted in a projected $91,000 operating deficit in the proposed 2023 Budget.
  3. The Church has recently been balancing the budget with Cash Reserves but these will nearly run out by the end of this year.
  4. Going to a one-pastor church model did not alleviate our budget problems because these same problems existed when we hired the associate pastor.
  5. We are proposing a budget that provides funding to bring in new pastoral leadership and fully funding all current church programs but again, balancing by the use of Cash Reserves. This practice cannot be sustained beyond 2023. A 15% increase in General Pledge Income is needed to avoid the necessity of making painful expense reductions soon.
  6. The Committee and Church Board hold the expectation that more transparency about the budget and its funding of programs that reflect the values the congregation expressed in our recent survey will stimulate the needed 15% pledge increase.
  7. But, if there is not an increase in pledging to significantly reduce the dependency on Cash Reserves in the 2023 budget, we will need to begin a process this year to determine expense reductions for the 2024 budget.