A Blogger in Upper South Carolina Writes About His Parish’s Financial Meeting

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Today we had a pre-church meeting about last year's deficit of $53,127.86, the previous year's loss of $46,104.05 today's operating funds of only $8,000, and a 2008budget that includes a $56,076.11 deficit. Where to begin? Since the sermon was shortand sweet by Mary Cat, we can spend the next week solving the financial problems of the Church.
It looks like two years of deficit spending finally generated some interest in the workings of this small corner of the Episcopal Church. The budget numbers presented were sufficient for the pewsters to formulate many theories for the causes, and a number of possible solutions.

Cutting expenses was urged by many today. Expenses in 2005 were $525,310 and had risen to $589,437.11 in 2007. In fact expenses rose $23,000 from 2006-2007 after a deficit of $46,104 in 2006. Seems like belt tightening should have started last year.

Read it all.

(Hat tip: Stand Firm)

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship

Posted February 25, 2008 at 6:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Doug Martin wrote:

As a person not directly involved in the process here, there is a total absence of information which would allow a “blog reader” to make any sensible evaluation of the position of this church.  It seems to be primarily an opportunity for the blogger to vent.  Simple solution in the Episcopal Church.  If you aren’t happy with the church you are in, move over one.  The church is spending more than it takes in?  Reduce expenses, clearly.  Take that money out of the diocesan contribution?  That may be the only place where your congregation spends money to do something other than provide expensive Sunday entertainment for the congregants (building, music, salaries, insurance, etc.).  Rather than blaming the Rector for not bringing in more folks with money, take a look at your vestry who allowed this situation to continue to exist.  Bishop Henderson is promoting a process to help parishes understand who they are and to reach out to their community “in Christ’s Name” (the HCI).  Are you involved?  I attend my local church because it is the local Episcopal Church, a member of the diocese, TEC, and incidentally the Anglican Communion.  When that church has difficulty deciding that it wants to be an Episcopal Church, I have difficulty deciding to be a member and contribute.  Are you feeding this dissension in your own congregation?

February 26, 10:39 am | [comment link]
2. Sarah1 wrote:

Kudos to Underground Pewster for honestly dealing with the stuff going on in his parish.  Good to see that he’s wrestling with these issues, rather than simply avoiding or obscuring them.

I’m glad that the pewster is staying at his parish, rather than taking a congregational attitude and simply leaving.

February 26, 11:54 am | [comment link]
3. dwstroudmd+ wrote:

A blog is a blog, Doug.  IF you want to make a sensible evaluation, get researching.  Since this is my hometown Episcopal Church, I followed the entry with interest and fact-finding.  It’s also in the diocese in which I was confirmed, btw.  What I gather is that the Diocese has followed the current bishop into the morass of the ECUSA/TEC/GCC and the consequences to the diocese and this parish are self-evident.  But your mileage may differ.

I became an Anglican FIRST (too much CS Lewis, Dorothy L Sayers, JRR Tolkien, Charles Williams, and GK Chesterton for a SBC boy!), joined the PECUSA, and have watched it morph into the
(P)ECUSA/TEC/GCC/American Imperialist Church of Whaz Up.  I have never been incidentally a member of the Anglican Communion, but apparently that’s what the (P)ECUSA/TEC/GCC/AICoWU wants to be, when it’s not having grandiose delusions of becoming its own association of dying whaz-upp-ites.  But, your mileage may differ, again.

February 26, 12:00 pm | [comment link]
4. Matthew25 wrote:

Time, talent, and treasure follows positive energy and ideas.  Too often the Rector and Vestry get into a “group think” mode.  People are encouraged to get involved and participate (what this really means is we want your time, talent and treasure, but we want you to keep our mouth shut and go along to get along), but they soon figure out that nobody is really listening or doing anything responsive.

Cutting expenses is usually very difficult when 80% of the expenses are fixed and not variable.  This means you end up getting rid of the asst Rector and the secretary and the Sunday school planner/coordinator—and the organizational downward death spiral begins.

If the Rector is a sit behind the desk awaiting you to appear, or can’t look you in the eye when you try to have a heart felt discussion, it really seals the deal.

Basically, many of the Episcopal churches have become like the classic dysfunctional family:  denial, people avoiding each other, polite chit chat, etc.  Who needs it on a sunny Sunday?

February 26, 7:00 pm | [comment link]
5. Undergroundpewster wrote:

Dear Sarah, we just lost another family, and despite some of the comments, I am not taking the blame.
Not Another Episcopal Church Blog

February 26, 8:43 pm | [comment link]
6. Matthew25 wrote:

Dear Pewster…..

Read this and then reflect upon the dynamics of your parish.


February 27, 12:06 pm | [comment link]
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