There is lots of planning going on, and it’s time to start making committee budget requests for fiscal year 2020/2021. The financial and construction feasibility teams for the addition are continuing their work and on January 12th will be seeking congregational approval for their suggestions. This is not the final approval for the plans or the addition. The final decision comes at the annual meeting in June. The meeting on January 12th is an intermediary step to make sure the congregation is informed of all that has happened, what the plans are to go forward, and to seek the congregations assent to continue. The goal is to be open and transparent with the entire process. Likewise, in the effort to be open and transparent, those who work with the annual appeal like to include a tentative budget with the information they send out in the middle of March. This is so that when you are considering your annual gift to the general fund of the church, you can see how the funds you contribute plan to be spent.
While it isn’t always easy to anticipate what needs may arise a year from now, the committees do a very good job with their crystal ball gazing. This also reminds members what funds are available for projects that need to be done, or would like to be accomplished. This means that over the next few weeks, committee members should review and start to think about any budget changes they would like to make for the next fiscal year.
Is there something special or out of the ordinary the committee would like to accomplish? Or is the committee satisfied with the funds allotted? Some of the committees that have more potential to change their budget requests are Building and Grounds, Children’s Religion Education, and the Environmental Action and Advocacy Team, as well as any projects that might come under the “social justice” category for our church. Examples of committees that usually spend the same amount from year to year are Worship and Membership. For those committee meetings that I attend, I will make sure to include it on the next agenda. For those meetings I do not attend, or I am unable to attend, I will be contacting the chairs.
The financial committee is planning to meet at the end of January, so the more information that can be provided to them, the more accurate the tentative budget will be. And as with everything at our church, nothing is ever permanently set in stone, especially at such an early stage. However, it is always good to be aware and able to participate in the processes that govern our church.