Minutes of the Finance Committee
First United Methodist Church, Santa Rosa
Wednesday, October 8, 2014--Carriage House
Present: Pamala Stephens (Chair), Mary Brunet, Ryan Comiskey, Jack Dupre, Greg Roth, Larry Schmidt, Larry Thompson and Trustee Claudia Ward.
Absent: Marjorie Noble and Steve Zwick.
Pamala Stephens called the meeting to order at 7:06 p.m. and began with a prayer.
Approval of Minutes
Minutes of the Finance Committee meeting of September 10, 2014 were approved by Pamala Stephens as written by Pamala Stephens. (No other eligible voting members of the Finance Committee attended both the October 8 meeting and the September 10 meeting.)
Larry Schmidt reviewed the financial statements for September 2014. During the month the main checking account balance fell by $13,032.43 to a new balance of $19,140.06. The operating fund balance decreased $5,388.34 to a new balance of -$5,354.95.
Year-to-date (YTD) pledges and gifts were $510,334.30, which is 91.69% of the YTD budgeted amount of $556,610.53. Pledges were at 90.80% of the budgeted amount for the month of September. Total YTD income was 95.5% of the YTD budgeted amount. YTD total expenses were 99.45% of the YTD budgeted amount. Overall, YTD total expenses have exceeded YTD total income by $23,008.90.
In the discussion that followed, multiple Committee members expressed their beliefs that the Church was currently not on a sustainable financial path. Committee members believe that, going forward, Church revenues must increase or Church expenses must decrease.
Suggested Change in Monies Collections
Larry Schmidt expressed his view that Church money collections security needed enhancement. After some discussion, most Committee members concluded that it may be advantageous to have a formal, written protocol for collections at both Stony Point and Montgomery campuses. Larry Schmidt and Larry Thompson agreed to write an initial draft of procedures for money collections that would cover all Church services. This draft will then be circulated among interested parties, especially those responsible for handling money, at both campuses. After an appropriate opportunity for comments and suggestions from all interested parties, the Committee expects to vote on a revised proposal.
Suggested Reading for Committee Members
Pamala Stevens has provided each Committee member with a copy of the book, Shift: Helping Congregations Back Into The Game Of Effective Ministry, by Dr. Phil Maynard. Dr. Maynard’s book notes the declining membership and financial health of many church congregations across the U.S. and then suggests key changes he believes churches must make to remain vibrant in the future. Pamala has asked all Committee members to read Chapters 1 and 5 for a discussion to be held at the November meeting.
Stewardship Campaign Update
Pamala provided the Committee with draft materials that will be used for the upcoming Stewardship Campaign. The materials include estimated revenues and expenses for 2015 and the remainder of 2014. These estimates were developed by Mary Brunet and Larry Thompson. The upcoming campaign will challenge the congregation to: (1) increase operational pledges for 2015 (if possible); and (2) pledge additional money for the Mortgage Fund (if possible). Kick-off Sunday will be October 26th, and Consecration Sunday will be November 23rd.
Pamala asked for volunteers from the Committee for a variety of activities related to the Stewardship Campaign.
Claudia Ward reported that recent fundraising efforts for Fellowship Hall furnishings have been very successful. Congregation members have now pledged enough money to purchase all of the 100 new chairs needed to furnish the Hall.
The meeting adjourned at 8:57 p.m. with a prayer by Mary Brunet.
Next meeting: 7:00 p.m. November 12, 2014, Carriage House
Respectfully submitted by Greg Roth