In last week’s newsletter I gave thanks for another strong year of growth and vitality at St. Dunstan’s Church. This week our newsletter gives specifics on how we have done (so far) in 2018 and lays out some of our plans for 2019.
How We Spend Your Contributions
The Missional Budget given this week describes the ways that your giving is used to meet the goals of our mission. In a traditional line item budget, the allocation of expenses to mission categories is not obvious, so our treasurer and vestry went through each line of the budget to allocate every dollar to mission work. This budget tells the story of who we are and how we respond to God.
How We Are Doing
The next section of this newsletter reports on how well we are doing financially in 2018. This report is created from the regular reports delivered to the vestry for our October meeting and shows the continued strength of our congregation.
What We Hope To Do Next
Finally, this week we are proposing new things we would like to add to our operations in 2019. These new objectives are a prayerful response to the growth of our programs and ministries this year.
Bring Your Pledge This Sunday
This Sunday, November 4th, we will observe All Saints Day with a beautiful remembrance of loved ones past. We will give thanks for all that they did to make this congregation possible today, and we will make our own pledges for 2019 to build on what we have received.
Please consider your pledge for 2019 prayerfully and bring your completed pledge card to the service on Sunday, November 4th. If you cannot make it to this service, please mail your pledge in by the 4th so that we can begin making plans for 2019. God bless you and thank you for your generous support of your congregation.
Yours in Christ,
What do we do with your contributions:
This is a Missional Budget written to tell the story of how our money goes to support our mission. We have taken the traditional line items and reallocated them to one of the three mission areas. These allocations are based on how our paid clergy and staff spend their time and who uses the building. While the allocation of expenses is somewhat arbitrary, it does more clearly reflect how our mission is supported by our spending.
Welcoming the Stranger
Feeding hungry bodies and spirits
Feeding is central to the identity of St. Dunstan’s Church. Many years ago, members created a food pantry program, gathering food donations. The St. Agnes Guild is famous for their wonderful dinner events to raise funds for worthy outreach causes. In recent years our feeding ministries have grown from feeding tent camps to feeding people at St. Dunstan’s Church.
We also recognize that once the stomach is full, there is much more a person needs. We seek to feed people’s spirits with beautiful worship, excellent adult formation classes, a first-class Sunday School program, and generous pastoral care.
We spend $134,848 of our budget to feed hungry bodies and spirits.
Giving of ourselves, and inviting others to join us in this journey of faith
There is a powerful and life-giving paradox at the heart of Christian faith: The more we give of ourselves, the more of God’s abundance we experience. St. Dunstan’s Church values caring for one another, with the entire congregation engaging in our Care Teams and pastoral care ministries, supported by our staff and clergy. On a given Sunday, as much as 25% of the congregation is involved in leading and supporting our worship, from participating in the choir to ushering, to serving at the altar. Our Sunday School teachers give generously of themselves as they pass our faith on to our children.
The life of faith is lived in community. We show up for one another in times of joy and in times of grief. We show up and give to one another in times of need and in times for fellowship. We give of ourselves and in doing so we are empowered to be God’s people in the world. A central value of this community is to invite others to join us and know Christ’s blessings.
We spend $90,038 of our budget on giving and inviting ministries.
How well are we doing in 2018?
2018 has been a strong year for St. Dunstan’s Church. Our pledge, non-pledged and plate collections year-to-date as of September 2018 are $25,887 more than 2017 at the same time. Pledged income is just 3% less than 9/12 of our 2018 budget. This is an improvement over previous years, where giving during the summer months has been lower than other months and we still have the higher income months to come.
Our expenses are well managed with most areas coming in very close to what we budgeted. There are a few areas where we have chosen, after careful consideration by the vestry, to spend more than was budgeted. These extra expenses include an additional water heater so that we can keep the water at the correct temperature for our dishwasher during Tuesday night dinner clean-up. We also added a gardening service to help keep the grounds weed-free and creating a better curb appeal.
We are confident in our ability to complete the year in healthy financial shape with these additional expenses and our projected income. Overall, our income is strong for 2018 and we expect to end the year in a surplus position.
New things we want to add to
operations in 2019
Our wish list, see below, would cost about $54,500. This would mean an increase to our pledged income of about 18%. For the average pledge of $3,400, it would mean an additional $50 per month.
- More buildings and grounds upkeep: As our congregation grows and we continue to use our building and grounds for outreach and parish activities, we find that we need to spend more money. Some projects require specialists, such as periodic safety inspections. We are still putting together estimates for these projects, but it would be reasonable to budget an additional $15,000.
- Staff raises: We have an excellent staff. While they have received cost-of-living increases for the past few years, we would like to able to offer merit raises. To give additional raises of about 5% would cost about $5,000.
- Hire a Feeding Program Coordinator: To add Josef Hinkofer to the staff as our Feeding Program Coordinator and pay him an appropriate salary will take about $30,000. This would be slightly less than half-time position. Josef has built a remarkable program as a volunteer leader. Bringing Josef onto the staff will allow us to continue the growth of our feeding program and hospitality ministries.
- Our Letter of Agreement with the Rev. David Marshall stipulates that he will be given a three-month sabbatical every 5 to 7 years. As it has been 9 years since David arrived, we need to plan for a sabbatical in 2019. This will cost the congregation about $4,500 for supply clergy