Witnessing Our Stewardship: Financial Priorities

Our 2021 Stewardship Campaign successfully resulted in 198 pledges totaling $997,256.  This is an increase of 2.2% over last year.  The generosity of our congregation provides reliable support for church programs, activities, and mission outreach.  One of the key components of a stewardship campaign is to identify financial priorities for the coming budget year and then convey the urgency of supporting these priorities to the congregation.   Each year the Session determines the next year’s priorities and communicates these priorities to the Finance Lay Ministry for budget development and to the Stewardship Lay Ministry for inclusion in the annual stewardship campaign. The 2021 Stewardship Campaign financial priorities are listed below with a summary of how our pledge dollars supported each one.

  • Maintain our mission and faith journey programs as a Christian community

All our Lay Ministry budget requests were met with a reduction to the 2020 lay ministry funds.  Each lay ministry was asked to develop a budget which was 75% or less of their 2020 budget for 2021.  In doing so, BHPC was able to meet each lay ministries’ request.   Our Mission outreach for 2021 was funded at 100% of the 2020 amount, allowing support to local, national, and global communities.

  • Offset decline in building use income due to COVID-19

Our church building remains temporarily closed due to a precaution we have taken to combat the pandemic.  The financial impact caused by our closed building in 2020 was a reduction of monetary contributions of approximately $262,000.  For 2021, our anticipated monetary shortfall will be $150,000.  The following actions were taken in our 2021 Budget to offset this shortfall. With the financial generosity of our congregation through increased annual pledges and by reducing our discretionary expenses, we can manage with the reduced building user income

  • Pay salary and benefits for new full-time associate pastor

Our new associate pastor’s annual salary and benefits were established at $80,000 and $38,826 in the 2021 Budget. These figures were prorated over seven (7) months for the 2021 budget planning.  

  • Increase Capital Reserve Fund to recommended level

Our church home is over 60 years old and needs the same tender loving care and maintenance that comes with age.  To ensure that adequate resources are available to provide this care in the future, we, the stewards of our church home, need to set aside the necessary funds in a Capital Reserve for building maintenance and upkeep now. 

The updated Capital Reserves Study shows that we are a long way from having a capital reserve fund sufficient to keep the building and property in good shape over the years to come. On an annual basis, we need to be transferring $100,000 to $120,000 from the operating fund to the capital reserve each year to cover the major maintenance needs of our beloved facility.  An annual goal of $120,000 is needed for our budget’s Capital Reserve Fund.  This year, we were able to budget $23,605.  We continue to try to raise this figure each year so we can assure our good stewardship of Bradley Hills’ church building.

By Todd McCreight, Financial Lay Ministry and Rick Arndt, Stewardship Lay Ministry