This is the second last Sunday of our six-week Capital Campaign for Our Church Home.
We now have a total of $84,000 in cash and pledges. This brings us two-thirds of the way toward our current repair needs of $125,000 and just shy of half-way to our overall goal of $175,000 for future repairs.
We hope to have most of the pledges in by next Sunday, but we will also pick up pledge envelopes from others during the following week. We know that people here love their church and the work we do in God’s service. We remain hopeful of reaching our goal.
We remember the words of Scripture: “Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus . . . you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
If you have volunteered to pick up pledge envelopes during the week of June 11-17 or would like to volunteer, we’re holding a short training session after the service today. You don’t have to make a sales pitch. You don’t have to review the donor’s pledge. You just have to know the basics of the campaign.
During this campaign, we have been emphasizing the link between the needed building repairs and the ministries and programs we offer.
This week we’re bringing back the monthly update on our church’s financial situation by Bill McKinstry, who is now our church treasurer. While the roof repair is obviously essential, we can’t forget that the regular financial needs to take care of the ministries we operate under the roof.
Good morning. I am glad to be back up here to share the good news of our financial journey.
Mary asked me a couple of weeks ago if I could start giving occasional financial updates and I said, “Sure, no problem.” May ended in the middle of the week so it would be easy to get everything processed before Sunday to make a report.
But then last Sunday happened and our computer system was infected with “ransomware”. It suddenly became way less easy to get prepared for today.
We thought our computer system was fairly safe and secure and for the most part it was. So instead of a catastrophic event, it became an irritating and work-creating event. But the attack showed where we needed to improve our security and storage of data and programs, and that is being implemented now.
I want to thank Philip Templeton and his associate Dan, Russ Braley and any others who work behind the scenes to keep our IT systems functioning so smoothly.
The timing was rather fortunate in that, for me at least, it provided a parallel experience to what we are experiencing right now.
Up until the end of March, we were going along just fine. We knew there were issues to be addressed but the urgency was not “code red” yet.
Then the heat exchanger exploded into our reality. We weren’t even close to being ready for this.
It is truly amazing how the members of this parish and our community and just everybody came together and ensured, through their generosity, that the repairs could be made immediately without having to borrow a cent!
And then the reaction to and support of the Capital Campaign have made it very clear to me that we have resources, that we have abundance, that we have commitment and that we have passion for this church and the work we do and the work we can do.
The successful Capital Campaign will be instrumental in ensuring that we have a facility in good shape to provide a home for all the programs and events we have and for all we plan to bring to fruition for many, many years to come.
But we cannot rest. Now is the time to look at what is happening under the roof.
After five months of 2017, income, including capital offerings, exceeds both 2016 and budget by $24,703.29 and $27,515.49 respectively. On the expense side of the ledger, we are performing beyond expectations. It is not that there are no blips, such as our gas costs that skyrocketed because of the leaking heat exchangers, but overall a really good first five months. If we keep going the way we are going, the deficit will be less than budgeted.
But to ensure the viability and the vitality of this parish, we need to begin moving to a balanced budget or, said another way, that we pay all our bills and meet all our obligations.
This doesn’t have to happen overnight, but we need to have a plan in place to achieve a balanced budget within 3 to 5 years and then maintain it going forward. And just like the Capital Campaign, there is a process and assistance available to make the journey easier.
It is not just about giving more, although that is certainly part of it, but about how to become more in a spiritual way, in a community way and to realize the abundance that surrounds and envelops us.
In September, there will be a lot more information coming to show how we can move forward to be financially healthy, robust and vibrant.
Because to me, brothers and sisters, it is so essential, after what has been accomplished to ensure the health and longevity of this building, that we maintain our integrity and our calling and our service as we have been charged to do.