With summer flying by, and with it the end of the first half of 2016, the Admin SLG thought it a good time to update the Old First community on our financial situation.
Here is a narrative summary of where we are financially:
1. For most of the first half, our income, mainly member giving, was running a little bit behind budget, but this was offset by savings across a range of our non-personnel expenses. These savings were due to the new boiler (lower gas bills), but also lower water bills, lower copying expenses, lower office supplies, etc… The net was that we were doing fine.
2. May and June, however, saw a bit of a slowdown in our member giving, to the point where we are now $15K behind the YTD budget and $11K behind YTD actuals from 2015, for member giving. On its own this would be manageable, but…
3. The air conditioning in the sanctuary broke and the total repair bill came to $9K. The part that failed had a useful life of 7 years and we had to replace it after 5. While not ideal, it should be remembered that we just replaced a boiler that lasted 20 years beyond its service life.
4. These issues, together with the other minor and normal ups and downs of the budget, leave us at the half-way point of our financial year, looking at a $28K shortfall.
What can we do?
1. Catch up on our pledges. Summer is a wonderful time of year when many of us are blessed to enjoy places, experiences, friends, and family, that keep us from coming to church every Sunday. Summer does not bless the church with a respite from our bills. Log on to Realm and see where you are with your pledge, and mail in a check if you are so moved. Also, look for your half year giving statements in the mail soon.
2. Hold off on the expenses that can wait. All but a tiny sliver of the church’s budget is devoted to personnel, programs, and keeping the building warm, in winter, and cool, in summer. But for that sliver that is spent on other items, we are going to put those expenses on hold, for now.
3. Remember that the church is in real financial health. Everything I have written has been about the annual operating budget, but in addition to that the Old First community has been very generously supporting the Capital Campaign, giving to which continues ahead of forecast. Also our endowment is well ahead of its 5 year average (that’s a good thing and a good indicator for coming years). And thanks to the Capital Campaign we are completely debt-free.
Thank you for taking the time to read this note.
As always, if you have any comments, questions, or concerns, please speak with me or anyone on the Admin SLG. Lastly, if you feel so called, it would be wonderful to have you join our SLG, please speak to me after church.
Yours in Christ,