From Friedens’ Leadership Board & Finance Committee
In order to keep the congregation updated on Friedens’ finances beyond the weekly giving numbers reported in the bulletin, the Leadership Board and Finance Committee will begin providing a quarterly financial report. The schedule of these reports is based on Friedens’ fiscal year, which begins in August. Therefore, the first quarter of the current fiscal year ended on October 31.
Operating Budget Update
Congregational giving for the first quarter was $6,000 over the budgeted amount of $110,300. In addition, income from the Gunther Bequest arrived earlier in the fiscal year than expected. (The Gunther Bequest is money that was left to Friedens; investment income from this bequest is paid to Friedens twice per year.) These factors caused our income to be significantly higher than expected in the first quarter.
Expenses in the first quarter were $6,700 below budget due to Pastor Matt starting in September instead of August, along with other below-budget spending.
Therefore, Friedens had a budget surplus (net income) of $27,800 compared to the budget through the first three months of the fiscal year. This starts the church out with healthy cashflow in this new fiscal year.
Despite the current surplus, there is a longer-term downward trend that the Finance Committee and Board are monitoring. The total number of people who contributed to Friedens has declined by 13% in the past two years, even though involvement numbers have remained stable or even grown (between in-person, online, and those who consider themselves to be committed to Friedens). During the past year, week-to-week giving to the church has declined compared to prior years. This decline has been largely offset by periodic large contributions (for which we are grateful), but it would be healthier for Friedens’ giving base to expand, making us less dependent on periodic large contributions to meet the budget. There are multiple factors that contribute to this trend, mostly due to COVID ramifications such as lower in-person attendance, which leads some people to give on a more sporadic basis or not at all.
If you give online (via Realm) in an automated fashion, we recommend that you check to make sure your contributions are continuing in the manner that you intend. We have received reports from individuals who had “ending dates” set for their automatic contributions, but they didn’t realize the ending date passed and that their automatic contributions had stopped. Therefore, please check to ensure your online contributions are working as you intend.
Financial Update on the Building
As you probably noticed, Friedens has continued to update the church’s facility. During the first quarter, Friedens spent $18,000 on upgrades like the downstairs restrooms, the sanctuary projector, and outdoor furniture. The kitchen also received several upgrades. These expenses were paid through the Capital Reserve Fund, not through the operating budget.
Friedens currently holds a renovation loan of $977,083. The Finance Committee plans to explore the future state of this loan in the spring of 2022.
For the 2021 capital campaign, we are currently at 50% giving toward pledges and have received over $12,000 of non-pledge giving toward the renovation.
Thank you to everyone who has supported Friedens financially! Your contributions glorify God and enable Friedens to do what we do locally and globally. It is a blessing to be part of a church that has a strong history of financial stability, which is only possible through the generosity of the Friedens Family.