calendar June 22, 2010 in ELCA

ELCA looks to revise budget, restructure

Leaders of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) will prepare a revised 2010 budget and spending plan for consideration in August, and they will create a plan to restructure the churchwide organization in 2011 in response to continuing declines in income, said the Rev. M. Wyvetta Bullock, ELCA executive for administration, in a June 21 e-mail to churchwide staff.

"As of the end of May, mission support income continues to decline," Bullock wrote. "You may recall that mission support represents approximately 80 percent of our churchwide organization’s general operating budget." Mission support is income sent by congregations through synods to the churchwide organization.

Christina Jackson-Skelton, ELCA treasurer, said in an April 30 report that declines in mission support income in 56 of the ELCA’s 65 synods, compared to the first quarter of 2009, "merits careful attention."

"The annual mission support budget for 2010 was reduced by $4.6 million or 7.7 percent from the amount received in 2009," Jackson-Skelton’s report said. "The decline of 12.5 percent in the first quarter 2010 compared to the same period in 2009 exceeds the rate anticipated in the budget proposal and is unfavorable to budget by 3.5 percent."

Jackson-Skelton added that in 35 synods, mission support at the end of April was down by more than 10 percent compared to the same period in 2009. In the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod, as of the end of May, congregational support was 2.9 percent below the same period in 2009. — From the ELCA News Service and local reports.