calendar May 8, 2014 in 2014 Assembly, Assembly, Finance

2015 Budget Approved Unanimously

The Synod Assembly unanimously approved a $3.14 million budget for 2015, which anticipates flat income from Mission Support and a $224,000 shortfall.

Congregations’ Mission Support giving held steady in 2013 after declining at a rate of 4 percent annually since the 1980s, said the Rev. Karl Richard, finance committee chair. The new budget holds the line on expenses and includes a modest increase for Synod staff – the first in seven years, he said.

The 2015 budget does not depend upon an increase in Mission Support, although Richard expressed optimism that giving would increase again this year. “We are hoping you will at least stay steady (with Mission Support) going forward,” Richard said. “We would love it if you also start increasing.”

The budget also reduces Mission Support to churchwide to 50 percent of congregations’ Mission Support giving.

The budget, Richard said, is not about they want my money, but about our budget. “It’s a plan for how we will use our resources…and a reflection of the people and lives that we touch.”

The expected shortfall will be reduced if congregations increase Mission Support and can be covered by restricted funds, such as those given for youth ministry and candidacy, and the Fund for Mission, which includes proceeds from the sale of unused church properties. In recent years the Synod has had five church properties under management.

“When we sell a church 15% of the proceeds go to the operating budget so that mission can happen,” Richard said. After property management expenses are paid back to the Synod, the remainder flows to the Fund for Mission. — John Kahler and Bob Fisher