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First Things, April 2015

March 28, 2015

April is the month when First Church starts to create our church budget for the coming fiscal year. The Finance Committee creates a draft. The Board approves the draft at their May meeting. All church members approve a final budget at the June congregational meeting.

You’re welcome to learn as much detail about the budget as you like. Here is what all church members need to know.

Our annual expenses are $315,000. By far our biggest expense is staff. We spend about $225,000 annually for a full time minister, two almost-full time office staff, a half time custodian, and two very part time music persons and a translator. Everyone is paid fairly.   Half time staff also get paid time off, medical insurance and retirement benefits.

The other $90,000 of our expenses goes mostly to the building and administration, and a smaller amount to programs and denominational support.

Our income last year was $215,000. About a quarter of that comes from member pledges. Almost three-quarters comes from renters. We took about $100,000 out of our savings to pay for the rest of our expenses.

We have only about $150,000 left in our savings, so very quickly now we need to increase our income by attracting more renters and growing our membership. Reducing expenses would require cutting staff. But cutting staff would reduce our ability to attract renters and grow membership – so that’s not a good option.

Several years ago our church decided to invest our money in strategies that would help us attract renters and grow membership. That is still the right idea. Now’s the year to make it happen.

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