This Treasurer’s Report is not about dollars. It’s about Church policy for using dollars. The Finance Committee is in the process of reviewing financial policy and practices. It is particularly important as the Church has been through significant change in the past couple of years. Assessing our financial policies prepares us for future changes.

Historically, financial matters were handled more centrally, with the senior pastor leading most of the decisions. The Church is transitioning to a more congregational lay-led form of leadership. Updating our financial practices document is part of this transition. It will link together the elements of church leadership responsible for managing finances. Central to this work is the Finance Committee itself, which is responsible for advising the FCC Church Board. The committee has representation from various church committees that have fiscal responsibilities: Personnel, Facilities, Stewardship, and Endowment plus pastoral and church staff.

Creating a comprehensive financial policies and practices document is a beginning. A well thought out plan is useless if not followed. Atul Gawande, surgeon and author, was struck by how some hospitals out-performed other hospitals in delivering healthcare. All had trained physicians, access to the same research and equipment, and goals for delivering quality patient care. Yet a few simply performed better. He documented the policies and practices of a group of hospitals. The high performers had procedures in place to make sure that they did what they said they would do; had systems in place to make sure they delivered treatments and care effectively. (Gawande book in church library.)

How a church manages and uses its resources is one way of assessing how well it is delivering on its expressed goals. First Congregational Church of Eugene is at work creating an effective, transparent policy that assures support for all our cherished missions.