Posted on Mon, Feb 11, 2013
Dear members of Elliston Zion:
I'm writing this month to update the congregation on our financial situation. I don't think it ever surprises a congregation when they hear "the church is in need of more money". It is something we are accustomed to hearing. But I ask you to please listen closely.
This is the start of my third year as Zion's treasurer. I've refrained from making repeated pleas for money because I wasn't comfortable with it. I believe I have stood up once in that time to ask the congregation to please consider giving more. I have decided I must make that request again.
The finance committee has worked diligently the past couple years to trim our budget to a point, where I honestly believe, we cannot cut anymore and still run a viable church. With our current levels of giving (based on the past two years) and the costs we have associated with operating a church (propane gas, electric, insurance, paper for the copier and the copier, etc) we will be $20,000 short again this year. We have repeatedly dipped into the memorial fund to make up the difference and ensure that our bills are paid. Since January, 2011, we have used $24,000 from the memorial fund. That amount would have been more except we received $6,000 from the insurance company for the basement flooding last year.
Yes, we can continue to use that money. But at the rate we are using it, the money will be completely gone in 3 years. At that point, we then have no choice but to figure something out, and our options are limited. As of now, we see only two: 1) Hire a pastor who works fewer hours than Pastor Larry. This is the only of our larger expenses that we can control. I don't think anyone in this congregation is interested in having a "bare-bones" minister. 2) We readdress the situation in three years. At that time, the treasurer (it won't be me) will send another letter similar to this. Not the best planning method.
It costs significantly more to run a church or any business now than it did 10 years ago. The cost of insurance and health insurance have skyrocketed. The cost of propane has gone up signficantly. Last year we spent almost $7,000 on propane. I have already paid out $4,600 this year for propane, and it is only February.
Please consider giving more if you can. Encourage those inactive members that you know to become active again and to invite someone new to our church. We must grow to survive.
Thank you so much for listening!
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