August 1, 2022
The 2021-22 church fiscal year ended on June 30, so we thought it’d be a good time to let you know where we are now and how the year went financially. It has been an up-and-down year for us in so many respects; our finances are no exception.
If we look back to the end of the stewardship drive in March, our picture looked bleak. We were facing a deficit for the 2022-23 fiscal year of over $100,000 and less pledge income than expected for the 2021-22 year. The good news is that we had a successful “second ask” and were able to present a balanced budget for 2022-23. 2021-22 pledge income also rebounded, and we finished the year with a loss lower than budgeted ($11,000 loss rather than $22,000). In addition to the generosity of our members, we spent a little less on salaries with the departure of our RE assistant, slightly less in childcare, and our tech coordinator was able to do her job in fewer hours than budgeted.
But it’s not time to pop the champagne. We are a long way from being sustainable in our finances. Some of the increased pledges were one-time, close-the-gap contributions which don’t add to the ongoing pledge base. We also received generous anonymous contributions (one for the tech coordinator) which can’t be counted on next year. This was fortunate because building costs were higher due to unexpected repairs and higher energy costs.
We also know that we will need to budget for the search for a settled minister, estimated to be $12,000. We also want to make things right with our hard-working staff who did not receive a cost of living adjustment and had cuts to their professional expenses.
So, while the savings and extra income were much needed and allowed us to have a smaller than expected loss, there is no guarantee they will be repeated. The higher costs of the building, however, are here to stay.
Where does that leave us as we begin the 2022-2023 church year?
We are still in a precarious place financially. It will be important to build up our available funds to more reliable and sustainable amounts. Things are planned to keep us secure for the coming year, but looking forward, we need to grow and find ways to build our income and support the church, its staff and members, and our work in the community. Volunteers are the backbone of CCUU. Find some activity or function you can join or assist. We truly are all in this together.
Above all, we are ALL so grateful for the increased contributions and fill-the-gap pledges. Thanks to everyone for stepping up. We are a healthy, and hopefully, very committed congregation. We have an incredible opportunity to grow as we welcome a new and dynamic interim minister. Let’s do it!
See you in church!
Tom & Debbie