Greetings dear friends! This month I want to talk about offerings (and budgets). Over the next few months the Parish Planning Committee will be working on next year’s budget for Peace. Our budget year runs April to March, so the protocol will be to present the budget to the Voters for approval in March. Typically, we have it available for your review at least two Sundays prior to that Voters Meeting.
If you have had an opportunity to attend Voters Meetings, you may be familiar with Peace’s Three Tier Offerings. In short, the offerings we receive are categorized in Three Tiers: General Fund, Building Fund, and Other. Please see the chart below to view our current (6 month Year to Date) Three Tier position.
As you may know, Peace has a mortgage payment ($13,509/mo:$162,108/yr). Donations made to the Building Fund, allow us to use those dollars to assist in making that payment, which relieves our general budget. As you can see from the chart, in our current position 4% of our offerings, or $26,115, can be used to assist with the mortgage payment. This budget year, we have received enough Building Fund dollars to almost make two payments. The Mortgage Payment budget line item is the second largest (11.5%) item in our budget.
The “Other” Tier includes things like KOA Radio Broadcast, Social Ministry, Mission Trust Fund, Sunday School offerings, and other Voter approved designations that the church manages. To manage our Mission projects, we apply 10% of the total Three Tier offerings to designated recipients in our Mission Budgets. This includes things like the Rocky Mountain District (Synod), Lutheran Bible Translators, and both Lutheran High School Associations.
In closing, I would like to encourage you to consider electronic offerings through our website. There are a variety of options: you can designate the same amount every week, semi monthly, or monthly; if you prefer, you can log on as you are able and make a donation as your income allows. You can do a transfer from your bank account, or use a credit or debit card. As for contribution records, your bank or credit card statement serves as your receipt. This not only offers the highest level of confidentiality, it assists the church with less paperwork and expense. If you would want to give this way, but don’t have a lot of experience with computers, you could come to the church office and I would be happy to assist you with the learning curve. I can even walk you through it over the phone. If you have a problem with your bank and have to change accounts or credit card numbers, you can call me at the office and I can help you with that change over the phone as well.
Presenting our offerings is an important part of our Worship service and placing that envelope in the plate has been a part of worship for many of us, our entire lives. In Biblical times, gifts were often of food and even animals. So even our pass the plate offering system, is a change from the early church. If it is important to you to place an envelope in the plate, we have some laminated cards available for you to use as the plate goes by. They read “I give electronically” with a nice prayer on the reverse side. Currently, our online offerings have grown to 25%. This is an increase of 15% over past years. Nationally, churches are reporting 42% of their offerings being received online (2012 State of the Plate).
I hope I have been able to offer some clarity on the Kingdom Business at Peace. As always, if you have a topic you would like me to address, or any business question, please feel free to call or email me. Thank you for allowing me to serve our Lord in His church! May our Lord richly bless our gifts of offerings,
time, and talents!
Minding His Business,