This Week at St. Stephen’s–February 08, 2015

THE HEALTHY PARISHFeb 08a AND MONEY

We approach our Annual General Meeting this year with a worrisome projected deficit in excess of $30,000. It is not unusual for churches to carry deficits, but if it becomes a trend it jeopardizes many of our hopes and dreams for the ministries and outreach that are important to us.

What’s gone wrong? Givings are certainly up, the parish is lively, we enjoy a positive profile in the wider community, and new members continue to find their way to us. Expenses have risen since the renovations, especially for the additional care required for our new space, but we had anticipated that with increased rental income. So we don’t know exactly.

But Parish Council, even as it approved the budget for presentation to the AGM, committed itself in the coming year to addressing this issue and finding solutions. Feb 08bIn fact, Parish Council identified two concerns to tackle in the coming year: the deficit, and also the prospect of a sudden turnover in staff in a few years.

So sustainability and succession planning have emerged front and centre on our agenda. It is forward-thinking leadership to identify a trend while it is still manageable, and to correct it before it begins to manage us!

The members of Parish Council—which includes its six elected members, the lay delegates to Synod, and the rector and churchwardens—are assured our prayers and support as they help us find a way through. Together we will work to build a healthy parish for years to come.

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