2020 Budget Update: Preparing for Our Stewardship Campaign

Christ the King 2019

Dear Friends, 

In Advent, we will conduct our 2020 Stewardship Campaign, the 14th that I’ve been involved in since our parish re-invigorated its annual stewardship campaigns. During that time, we have learned from each other and grown in our understanding of how each of us is called to use the gifts of God’s creation entrusted to us to do God’s work here on earth.

This year, our stewardship campaign will be especially important, because our goal is to raise enough pledges for 2020 that we do not have to balance the budget with large, unsustainable withdrawals from our investments. Because meeting this goal will require prayerful consideration from all of us, I want first to share with you some background on our parish’s budget.

Church of Our Saviour’s day-to-day operations rely on income from stewardship pledges and on income generated from our endowments, which are assets that earn interest to help fund our operations. For nearly our congregation’s entire history, we have been blessed with endowments and have relied on the principal—the core of the investments—continuing to grow so that it can provide a perpetual stream of interest income.

The plan, of course, is that the revenue generated from our annual stewardship campaigns and our endowments would exceed our expenses. However, in a world where the cost of health insurance seems at times to be spiraling out of control, utility expenses can be erratic, and our entire building, even the “new” addition, is over a century old, balancing the budget is easier said than done. 

For nearly 20 years, we have balanced the budget and handled unexpected building expenses with gifts from the estates of generous members who have gone on before us. We also did a capital campaign to replace most of the roofs of our parish buildings and make essential structural repairs to the west-facing wall of the parish house. These repairs have made a difference, but our building still requires constant care and attention.

 With this set of circumstances before us, at our 2019 Annual Meeting, the Vestry and Finance Committee committed to use 2019 to bring our budget into balance. During the year, a joint Vestry/Finance Committee work group has reviewed the budget to find places where we can find better and less expensive ways of doing things. We’ve also put a more broadly inclusive method of budgeting in place, asking not only that our parish’s ministries make an annual budget request, but also that they share their priorities for the coming year and identify opportunities and areas of concern in the coming year which may impact their ministry.

I respectfully request that you prepare prayerfully to complete and submit your 2020 pledge card by the fourth Sunday in Advent, December 22. In addition, we ask that you consider basing your financial pledge on the biblical standard of the tithe, 10% of your income, or by practicing proportional giving by identifying a percentage of your income that is achievable and meaningful.

I am grateful for your care and commitment to our parish, its ministries and the role that it plays in our neighborhood, city, country, greater church and world.

Sincerely, 
Jim Simon, Stewardship Chair