As we move into November, we approach that time of year that can bring so much joy and yet, so much trepidation. It happens every year, and we are always caught off guard, unprepared for the hustle and bustle.
I refer, of course, to the annual church budget.
Each year, the congregation must look closely at how much money was raised
through our Stewardship Campaign and figure out how to make our budget work.
And each year, decisions must be made about where our priorities lie. Many thanks to Laura Geiger-Reed and her leadership of the Stewardship Campaign.
The committee worked so hard to contact every member of the congregation and to share with each one the message of generosity.
But once the pledges are collected, the next step can be challenging. The Finance
Committee must make decisions about how that money is spent. And sometimes, those decisions can be difficult.
As the committee prepares for those number-crunching sessions, we must remember that we are a church. We can operate like a business, but our bottom line is not the same. We are not about profit, but about our principles. And we have to use our budget to live our principles.
Throughout the month of November, we are asked to Remember Thanksgiving. We have an entire month to contemplate thankfulness, good fortune, and how to be mindful of the wealth of luxury we experience each and every day. In the light of a peaceful presidential election, one that took place after a devastating storm, we can be thankful for the democratic process; as we watch those who struggle to rebuild their lives in the hurricane’s aftermath, we can be thankful for the little conveniences of everyday life: Hot water. A warm house. Enough to eat. No lines at the filling station.
We have so much for which to be grateful. As we prepare to debate how to best
budget for our church year, we can be mindful of how lucky we really are.
The Finance Committee is working on a preliminary budget, which will be presented to the congregation at the December 16 Congregational Meeting. Committee chairs, your input is welcome.