Finance – Kyle Hetrick, chair
As the church Treasurer, to say that I muse on the church’s finances is an understatement, especially over the past year or so. Our faith community’s financial situation is more precarious than it has been in recent history, as our annual expense budget has been slow to catch up to the reality of decreasing income sources and amounts. Here’s how we ended 2022:
- Total income: $327,800, or 93% of what was budgeted.
- Total expenses: $363,800, or 96% of what was budgeted.
- Difference: $36,000 deficit
We have been fortunate the past several years with operating under a planned deficit budget, in that the actual expenses in prior years consistently stayed at or below the actual income levels for those same years. In other words, the deficit never materialized. But this balance has now shifted. The Finance Committee and the Church Council have discussed how to bring expenses more in line with projected income, and that has resulted in some challenging decisions being made regarding funding priorities for this year. We are not supporting everything that we have in the past and that we still may want to support in the future.
Yet more such discussions are in the near future, as we still have a deficit budget planned for 2023 that, to the sensibilities of many, is over-reliant on the church’s endowment (a topic for another musing, perhaps). These discussions do not solely focus on what expenses to reduce, but also on how to actively pursue new sources of income – both will be essential if our congregation wishes to move towards financial sustainability that can support the church and its many meaningful ministries over the long term.