At our Annual Budget Meeting we will decide our budget for the year. Most of the budget proposal is a continuation of our usual functions and activities. The significant difference is the inclusion of a new clergy position, Minister of Community Life.
We have described and discussed this new role in several forums, and heard your feedback and questions. Here is a summary of what we presented and responses to your questions:
Why do we need a Minister of Community Life?
We are a borderline one-minister church, with Pastoral needs that are greater than typical churches our size. The Senior Minister’s responsibilities include worship,pastoral care, administration and program development. As Reverend Todd Vetterbegan his second year with us, the Board and he discussed our progress and concluded that, while we are very happy with Todd’s accomplishments in the first three areas, he has not had sufficient time to devote to program development and delivery.
And while we can maintain our current state for a while, our longer term health and vitality as an institution will require bringing more people into our congregation. The primary purpose of the Minister of Community Life is to develop programs, both internal ministries (such as small groups, adult and inter-generational programs) and community outreach, to increase our presence and build our identity outside our walls. It will also support our traditional worship.
What is the budget impact?
To help minimize the cost, the position is seen as a ¾ time role, with a total annual cost of $80,000, which includes salary and benefits. In the first year, it will be prorated, depending on when it starts.
How will we pay for it?
While we have encouraged people to increase their pledges to fund the new position, and the response so far has been good, we do not expect to fully fund it from pledges alone. We estimate that partially funding it from our endowments will increase our draw by about one to two percentage points initially, which will decline as our membership grows. We
consider this an investment in our future, leading to our growing vitality and membership.
Due to good fund performance the past few years, we are fortunate at the present time to be able to make this investment in our future.
What if it does not produce the growth we expect?
As with all our programs and positions, the Board will evaluate our progress and make course corrections as needed. If our best efforts do not produce the result we seek, we will rethink or terminate the position.
What will happen if we decide not to adopt this proposal?
It’s a choice we can make. But there is a risk with this choice as well. The likely outcome of just maintaining what we have now, given our congregation’s demographicss an acceleration in our declining membership, and increased reliance on our endowments, which is unsustainable in the longer term.