Got questions about this year’s Annual Meeting? We’ll answer them here.
Email all your questions about the 2020 Annual Meeting to email@example.com. We’ll be answering them daily here.
Q1. In the Income box at the top of the page, I’m wondering where the income comes from? (outside of General Revenue, Financial Management, and Buildings and Grounds). $68,141 was a lot of money and I was wondering if we are still expecting that money to come in? For instance: Connection and Community is going from $2,627.00 forecast to $15,000 for next year. Where does that money come from if not General Revenue? Foundation, perhaps?
A1. The $60,500 that isn’t related to General Revenue (Giving), Financial Management (Interest income) and facilities (rent and user fees) relates to amounts paid by participants in mission trips, bible studies, retreats, church dinners and other activities with some kind of user fee. We’ve scaled these amounts back in this year’s budget due to the ways we’ve had to alter programming for a time. These items also have costs associated with them that were also adjusted downward in the budgeted expenses. If we’re unable to do as many of the things we hope to be able to do this year, we may have less income than budgeted, but will also have lower expenses than budgeted
Q2. Transfer from Reserves: We are taking over 1/2 a million out of our reserves to cover our 2020-21 budget. We are committing ourselves to an ‘Investment’ budget (which, I understand to mean, is taking our savings and spending it on the mission of the church instead of financial investment). Please help reassure us all that this is in the best interest of Colonial given these uncertain times.
A2. The best reassurance we can give is that Colonial feels called to move boldly into these uncertain times and that includes the staffing and programming included in the budget. If we hold our reserve investment to only investing the $595k shown on the budget we will still have ample reserves as a cushion going forward. Most churches of our size would love to have $600,000 in reserves let alone ~$6ml in the Foundation. The Council, Fin Comm and Treasurer will assess our budget quarterly to see if changes need to be made either to giving or spending assumptions
Q3. Giving Analysis: A more accurate Giving Analysis should follow our fiscal year and not our calendar year. Is there a reason we can’t do this?
Does this giving include anonymous cash donations (cash in the plate or given from other sources)? If not, what is that amount (both actual and average)?
A3. We’ve been doing reporting on giving on the calendar year for some time. Because we have to prepare the financial information for the annual report in late March/early April, we aren’t able to present giving information for the current church fiscal year since we are operating off of a forecast and wouldn’t be able to compare the current year to prior years, so we have historically used the calendar year for this comparison. As the stewardship committee is just now starting its work, I think we’ll see some additional analysis and communication around giving over the next year. The amounts in the table only include those who identified themselves when giving and does not include cash from anonymous sources (like cash in the offering bag). Through March 2020, our we had $18,000 of loose offering. This is similar to other years.
Q4. I also would like to express my excitement for the prospect of an additional worship service. I know of many Colonial Church members who are active, connected members who would love an alternative to a traditional worship experience (and NOT just defined by “loud Rock and Roll music” 😉). We don’t want to go to ‘Upper Room’ or elsewhere, Upper Room is not Colonial. I am committed to Colonial and it’s community. Charlie and I became members of Colonial mainly because of the contemporary worship service. We were disappointed when it was taken away from us. Those of us worshipping at that service did not have a say in the fate of that service; we like the idea that we may have more ‘ownership’ of that experience when it comes into being.
A4. Hear you loud and clear on the second service. We will have a second service, hopefully sooner rather than later. It has full support from Jeff and Council. Sara is leading that initiative and welcomes engagement from those who want to help her “build” a contemporary worship service.
I would also like to add, as the volunteer coordinator of weekly backpack filling at Bethune Elementary (A Sheridan Story school) (which I am sorely missing right now 😟), I am so pleased to see that we are planning to support their incredible effort to keep kids and their families fed during this challenging time! Thank you!
Reply: Our ability to send $$ to Sheridan Story and others, right in the middle of this uncertain time for non-profits, is spirit-led in my opinion and hopefully is gratifying to every Colonial member.
Thanks for taking the time to write and also thanks for volunteering at Sheridan!
- The budget presented indicates a big spend on personnel and initiatives.
Can you provide more specifics on what those initiatives might be (besides a second service) and how will they be evaluated as to their success and over what time frame?
A goal of increased new members, worship attendance, or financial contributions?
- Thanks for this very good question. The initiatives below reflect the budget being prepared with a mindset of Being the Church, whether in a Pre-COVID, Intra-COVID or Post-COVID world. As we see how our giving income progresses in the year ahead we’ll manage spending appropriately. The key initiatives requiring additional investment are:
Increase in local mission partners budget
Youth (Middle and High School) program increases
Meeting House Conversations
Increase in Communications around key church events (Kickoff/Lent/Easter/Christmas)
Faith Formation Workshops
Additional Community Events for Women & Seniors
Some of these initiatives will go forward in spite of COVID and social-distancing requirements. Others will be pushed out until we can revert to gathering together in our church building.
Regarding the goals associated with the initiatives; they are reflective of Jeff’s vision of revitalizing our overall offerings in the areas of Youth/Young Adult, Children, Worship and Community Engagement. The overall goal is of course to change people’s lives for the better via a closer walk with God. The belief is that if we can get better at Being Church in all dimensions, we’ll attract more members who feel the spiritual need. And if we can discern, given COVID, how to best be “spiritual first-responders” we will be filling an immediate need in our broader community. So bottom line is “growth”, because not only will it better fill our pews and offering plates, but also better fulfill our mission of “Grow in Christ and Serve the World”.