Dear Church Family,
As many of us travel this summer and enjoy the renewed freedom to travel and just live a more normal life, we are beginning to realize that things are not going back to the way they were. I am grateful to the persons who faithfully show up on Sunday mornings for Worship and Sunday School. However, many are continuing to join us online and we have a new crowd that we can’t see but join us just as faithfully. We have Bible Studies and small groups that use zoom to include people who can not attend in person or may not even live in the area. Things have changed and we have learned some new skills.
We need to make a couple of additional shifts in the way we do things. Many of us have been very generous in our giving through the pandemic and our church has survived financially. We are very blessed as a congregation and you generously share your blessings. I hope many of you will take the time to look at the financial data and quarterly statements that have been mailed out this week and should arrive late this week. If you do not receive your statement and mailing by Sunday, please contact the office so we can get you a new copy. When you look closely you will notice three parallel trends in the numbers. Income, expenses and apportionments have all gone down over the past several years. This is true for the last 9 or my 11 years as your pastor. The conference has been very proactive in reducing expenses to reduce the burden on churches in our conference. We are thankful for their leadership in this area of stewardship.
On the local church level each year we lose a couple of good givers to heaven and we simply are not replacing those giving units. To balance our books we have slowly reduced our staff budget and as most of you are aware we no longer have additional full time staff and each new hire has been for less money and less hours. You will also notice in the breakdown of expenses that the largest single area of expense for our church is maintenance and upkeep. The cost of utilities, services, and repairs to our building continue to increase each year. The building is not getting smaller.
As many of you know and are experiencing, building, supply and labor cost are all going up and labor is in very short supply. It’s a free market and right now we are feeling the pinch. Mike Kozlovsky and his brother Harley have been able to find full time work with benefits, so Mike is no longer able to work as our part-time maintenance person. We are very thankful for Mike’s time on staff with us and our prayers go with him in his new career. They are still mowing the lawn but that is all they are able to keep up with at this time. Our budget and the labor market do not match at the moment. We have three big projects up in the air right now waiting on people to get to us.
Today I’m asking if we can find a way to bridge the gap until the market corrects itself a little. I’m going to talk with a couple of people over the next week to help organize some work days for the church so that we can tackle a couple of the outside jobs that just need a little attention. Someone has already said they will step up to care for the flower beds around the drop off drive. We are hoping some others might want to do the same with some of the other flower beds. Renee is going to keep a running list in the office of items that need to be done around the property and you are asked to let her, Bryan, Freda or myself know if you see something that needs attention. We will work with Bryan to create some space and organize equipment so that we can have access to tools and supplies. Not everyone is able or has the time, I get that. However, this is a biblical understanding of everyone using their different gifts to accomplish the tasks that need to be done. As we get more organized and details become available we will keep you informed. Together we can solve this problem. Please contact me or Renee in the church office if you would like to help.
Thank you for your generous giving. Thank you for using your talents. Thank you for being a part of the Body of Christ at our church.