Saturday, April 17, 2010

ELCA Giving Matches ELCA Stewardship Principles


The Lutheran School of Theology, Chicago, ELCA, blessed the compost bin in a recent chapel service. They said: "It's the Gospel."


ALPB

$76.7 million was the 2010 budget approved at the August Churchwide Assembly. As a voting member at the assembly, I voted against this budget because I considered it to be wildly unrealistic. And sure enough, at the November Church Council meeting, the "spending authorization" was reduced considerably to $69.0 million with concommitant cuts in personnel and activity. This was increased slightly to $69.3 million in April - which is what is mentioned in the press release.

The "spending authorization" is the amount the churchwide offices plan to actually spend of the budget based on estimates of giving. The estimates for 2010 include another 7.8% decrease in mission support (from $59.7 to $55.1 million) on top of the 8.6% decrease experienced from 2008 to 2009. Personally, I believe this is still optimistic, but this is based on the mission support estimated figures given from the synods. And, in fact, the church council was told that the treasurer's office is making plans to work with actual income that is 96% of these estimates, based on activity from the last few years in which these estimates needed to be reduced during the year. If realized, 96% would mean mission support of $52.9 million. It is only a guess, but I think the ELCA will be fortunate to receive $50 million in mission support in 2010.

Marshall Hahn

jrubyaz
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Re: ELCA Council Revises Spending
« Reply #4 on: Yesterday at 10:44:13 AM »

Here is the key in the press release....

"For 2009 mission support income decreased from $62 million to $59.7 million, a reduction of $5.6 million or 8.6 percent from 2008, said Jackson-Skelton"

If you recall, the staff layoffs came last year AFTER the 2009 budget was already in place. So the expenses for last year were reduced dramatically, and income was down 8.5%, and going into 2010 the staff overhead was cut.

Despite the fact that a year ago several of us predicated this scenario, I don't believe it is over. Q 3 this year will be critical as the summer slump hits income already weakening. Remember, we are only 8 months after CWA, and most congregations just decided on their mission support a month or two ago. I am afraid the reduction in income will continue dramatically. THat is why it is a false equation to look only at the 300 congregations voting to leave as a sign of the schism.

As congregations go through conflict, income will keep coming down. What was at one time the fifth largest ELCA church in Arizona just had 35% of their congregation leave and the pastor resign to begin an LCMC mission-that won't show up until summer.



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Marshall_Hahn
ALPB Contribution Leader
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Re: ELCA Council Revises Spending
« Reply #5 on: Yesterday at 10:47:07 AM »

And, in case you are wondering, the rest of the $69.3 million (besides the $55.1 million in mission support) comes from investment income, "vision for mission", bequests and trusts, missionary sponsorship, and other designated direct giving.

Marshall Hahn
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