From Your COO/CFO and Financial Development Team
Living into our learnings from our Discerning Our Common Call process about the importance of communications between our Bishop and his staff, committees and commissions of our Diocese and our congregations, we hope to bring you actionable ideas on a periodic basis, and invite your feedback, questions and topics for future newsletters.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT:
“We have one purpose:
To form people as disciples of Jesus Christ so that they can participate in God’s mission of reconciliation in the world.”
Bishop Chip Stokes, Diocesan Leadership Retreat Presentation
June 2, 2018
One purpose. A common call. God’s own mission calling us outside ourselves, outside the walls of our buildings, across man-made boundaries into wider, stronger community with each other. Given our history and tradition, one might think this would be a natural for us. We profess in both the Apostles and Nicene creeds to believe in ourselves as “one holy catholic and apostolic church”. What images do those words conjure up in your mind when you say them? How do (or don’t) you see that being lived out in your faith community?
At our October 2017 and March 2018 conventions, our diocesan community committed to reclaiming our sense of common call. We asked a number of groups to take creative, constructive and critical looks at how we might model that from a diocesan perspective and, most importantly, how we resource and coach our congregations in doing likewise. Those groups have been wrestling ever since with the challenge of implementing that in their particular area of focus, through the lens of discipleship.
NOW GO AND DO:
On September 8th, many of those groups named above will meet to compare notes, wrestle together and live into the vision of working towards our unified purpose. Their ministries demand the best of all the gifts they bring to the table. The names of the teams appear below and are linked to the list of team members. BOOKMARK THIS LINK AND REVISIT IT AS MANY TIMES AS POSSIBLE BETWEEN NOW AND SEPTEMBER 8TH, CLICK ON ONE OF THE LINKS BELOW AND PRAY FOR THAT GROUP AND ITS MEMBERS!
- Discerning Our Common Call Steering Committee
- Board of Consultation
- Resource & Revenue Task Force
- Mission, Structure & Budget Task Force
- Marks of Mission Giving Task Force
- Project Resource (Stewardship) Committee
And for those of you in a position to do so, CONSIDER INCLUDING ALL OF US IN YOUR PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE DURING CORPORATE WORSHIP AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE.
BATTLE AGAINST HUNGER BIKE RIDE: REGISTER NOW!
The 16th annual Battle Against Hunger Bike Ride is September 14-16–find out more!
Click on the image below for a printable flier suitable for bulletin boards everywhere!
Benefits Corner – Annual Enrollment Workshop October 13th
Mandatory Annual Enrollment for Health Insurance!
This year CPG is requiring that everyone who is covered by a Church Medical Trust health plan participate in Annual Enrollment. Annual Enrollment materials will be mailed to your home address in mint green colored envelopes. While it is important for those with an Anthem healthcare plan to update their personal information and confirm their enrollment, it is crucial for those with a Cigna healthcare plan to select a new plan for 2019. The Cigna Open Access Plus and Cigna Open Access Plus In-Network plans will not be available for 2019 but there will be similar plans available that utilize the Cigna network of providers. To learn more about the changes and how to choose the best plan to meet your needs, come to the free Benefits Workshop that will be held on October 13, 9:30 am to 1:00 pm at Trinity Cathedral. You can find more information and a link to the registration on our website here. Please register by October 5 and let us what information is most important to you when you register.
Can’t attend the workshop? Contact Pat Hawkins at firstname.lastname@example.org or 609-349-0210 for information about a webinar version of the workshop.
News You Can Use (and share with members of your congregation!)
The Mid-Year Financial Checkup
We all know that every church has to prepare a budget for the coming year which is typically presented at the annual meeting along with the prior year financial results of the congregation. But, how many churches do a mid-year review to see how their results are stacking up against their budget on a year-to-date basis? Treasurers and Finance Committee members can work with their clergy and vestry to show whether or not revenues are on track for the year and expense areas which may be going over budget. By knowing this information, a church can better plan out its cash flow for the rest of the year, and even coordinate with their Stewardship Committee during the annual stewardship campaign.
What is a Balance Sheet?
In a new feature we’ll call “Accounting terms for non-accounting-major finance parishioners”, we’ll look at some common accounting terminology to help your financial presentations. I’ve fielded a number of questions as Treasurer of the Diocese about accounting methods, and when I inquire about the church’s Balance Sheet have gotten either blank stares or the reply “We don’t have a Balance Sheet.”
My response to this has always been “Well, you may not present it, but every church has got one.” So, then, what exactly is it?
A Balance Sheet, most simply, is a snapshot at a moment in time, that shows the value of the assets, liabilities and equity (or net assets) of an entity (like a church). We’ll do more detail on these categories in our upcoming Resources for Mission newsletters, but I’ll teach you one of the universal truths in the accounting world (not to digress, but did you know that accounting is actually a science?)—
Assets = Liabilities + Equity (or Net Assets)
If you think about Assets as things you own, Liabilities as things you owe and Equity (or Net Assets) as the balance you’d have left over when all the bills are paid, then you’re already well on your way to understanding how to construct your Balance Sheet.
Next time around, we’ll take a deeper dive into what sort of assets a church typically has.
Questions or comments? As always, I am here to try to assist with your questions or to hear your comments (particularly as it may help other readers, too). To reach me, you can use either email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
ANNOUNCING THE NEXT PROJECT RESOURCE WORKSHOP!
Your Stewardship Toolkit: Coming Soon!
Building off of June’s successful Project Resource workshop, we invite you to learn new and engaging fundamentals of stewardship that meet a variety of needs. From creative and meaningful ways to conclude your fall campaign to scheduling your season of giving to effective biblical storytelling about stewardship and beyond, this day of learning presents a vital collection of resources for al congregations. Whether you attended our June workshop or not, there’s something here for you – mark your calendars and stay tuned for further details!
Here are a few interesting things we came across since our last issue.
Do you have an HSA (or Health Savings Account)? If so, make sure you’ve named a beneficiary—which, preferably, would be your spouse, if married, but could be anyone including your church or the diocese. Generally, failing to name a beneficiary means that any remaining HSA balance when you die will be included in your estate and will be taxed on your final income tax return.
Did you know most automobile insurance companies will give you a discount for completing a defensive driving course? Check with your auto insurer to see what types of courses qualify (live versus online, for example), and what your savings would be. You can even take some of your savings and pass it on to your church or the diocese!
UNTIL NEXT TIME—
This month’s quote comes from legendary comedian, George Burns—
I’d rather be a failure at something I love than a success at something I hate.