First United Methodist Church - Wausau Wisconsin
Tuesday, October 23, 2018
Live and Share God's Love



A Financial Narrative for October 2018


The Budget Process

This is the time of the year when we need to start looking toward the finances of 2019. So what is our process?

There are two things we need to figure out: How much income we can expect and, based on that, how much money we can afford to spend.

How do we determine our income? The most important portion of our church’s income comes from you, our members and constituents. We’ll be holding our stewardship campaign this fall to provide you an opportunity to decide how much you are able to share with the church. The more generous you are able to be, the more we will be able to put into our programs and ministries. We do take in a small, but relatively stable, amount from our building users, and increasing this would help cover our building maintenance expenses better. You will also soon be learning about an additional income source we are planning to implement this fall called SCRIP. It is essentially an opportunity for you to buy gift cards for businesses you already patronize, with the church receiving a portion of the profit from the businesses. It probably will be only a small part of our income for this year, but it has the potential to be a helpful addition to our budget. As of this writing, the various committees and program areas are submitting their spending proposals for the upcoming year. The finance committee will then need to look critically at these and set the church’s overall budget.

The last several years have been pretty stable financially. With income close to that expected (with some support from the endowment, which I’ll write about later) and everyone carefully watching their expenses, we’ve been able to meet our budget. With your prayerful support, we hope to do even better in the future.

Some of you have faithfully been writing checks to pay down the loan on the church’s parking lot. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Yes, we’re still taking funds for this excellent cause. You can write a separate check, or write a single one and identify how the money is to be split. Either way, we appreciate your contribution toward the physical structures of our church. Thank you, again!

Our Ministries

Last month, I talked about how our ministries at First Church depend upon many people. I talked about the Lay Leadership Committee whose member s work to discern people’s gifts and graces, trying to envision ways in which different people might serve. True, we also need to fill certain required committees with committed people (as opposed to warm bodies) yet our goal is for those who serve to be able to grow spiritually and to feel good about the work that they do. This month I talk about the Board of Trustees. Yes, it’s a board rather than a committee. Similarly, the leader is officially the Board president although we usually just say chair.

Effective trustees function as stewards of property God has entrusted to the church, supervising and maintaining both the physical property and gifts made so that the church’s ministries can be effective. This team and its members need to engage in spiritual practices that build attentiveness to God’s will and direction and to hold one another accountable to the mission and vision of the church.

Trustees annually review the church’s insurance coverage including personnel insurance. They conduct annual accessibility audits of the building and grounds to discover and then work toward eliminating barriers that impede full participation of all people. The team also submits budget requests to the finance committee for property maintenance and improvement and new property purchases. Through the efforts of the Trustees we are all able to do ministry trusting that our building and grounds are in good hands.

Pastor Jayneann