First Unitarian Church’s annual meeting is scheduled for May 31st after the 10:00 am Zoom service. Typically, at the annual meeting, a budget is presented and voted upon by the members of the congregation. I am writing on behalf of the Board in order to update you on our current financial situation and to explain why the Board has decided to provide a financial report to the Congregation at the annual meeting in lieu of a proposed budget.
First, our current financial condition is good. We have been able to meet all the church’s financial obligations without concern and we expect that will be the case through June. However, the situation is much less clear regarding the fiscal year that will begin July 1.
The stewardship committee was very diligent in contacting all members to seek renewal of their financial commitments for the coming year. However, there has been a significant decrease in the number and total dollar amount of pledges compared to last year. We also do not know the long-term financial effects COVID 19 will have on our members’ finances or on us as a church.
Due to these factors, the Board has decided not to present a budget at the annual meeting. Instead, the Board will report about the church’s financial condition and plan for moving forward into the next fiscal year. That plan will include the development of a budget over the summer with opportunities for input from all church members. We hope to be able to present a budget for the congregation’s consideration by early fall, at which time, we will have a better understanding of the amount we will be receiving from pledges and what the effect will be from the epidemic.
Between July 1 and the adoption of a budget we fully anticipate being able to continue to pay our staff and meet our other financial commitments. However, this means that we will not commit to any new expenditures or financial commitments during that interim period. We, as a Board, feel that this plan allows us, as a church, to be responsible stewards of our finances.
We also want to be transparent about the church’s financial condition and the anticipated income from the recent pledge campaign. There will be two Zoom budget informational sessions where we will share specific information and your questions can be answered and concerns can be recorded. These will be on Wednesday, May 13th at 6:30 and Sunday, May 17th after the Sunday service.
This once in a lifetime epidemic has placed a hold on our lives, and we, as a Board, want to ensure that we are doing the best we can for our Church, including our members and staff.
Peace to all,
President, Board of Trustees