Parish Finance Council
The St Luke’s Finance Council represents parishioners to assist the pastor in the financial matters of the parish. The Council focuses its work in several areas:
- Ensures strong discipline by reviewing parish finances on a monthly and annual basis and approving any significant expenses
- Aligns parish resources to advance the priorities of the parish and school by managing the annual budgeting process
- Consults on facilities projects and fundraising needs to support those projects
- Educates and communicates the finances of the parish to all parishioners.
The St. Luke’s Finance Council is made up of six to eight individuals appointed by the pastor to serve no more than two, three-year terms. One third of the terms expire each July-to-June fiscal year. Meetings are held on the 3rd Thursday of the month at 7:00pm.
Fr. Larry Hoffmann
Ryan Schon (Chair, 1st term, 19)
Kathy Johnson (Trustee, Secretary, 2nd term, 18)
Wayne Johnson (Trustee, 2nd term, 19)
Michael Fitzpatrick (2nd term, 19)
Aaron Shell (1st term, 18)
Jim Roths (1st term, 19)
Craig Oberreuter (1st term, 19)
Kathy Lickteig (1st term, 20)
*(office, term, end of fiscal year term)
Contact Ryan Schon at 515-868-6214 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
The current year financials continue to improve as parish and school staff manage expenses tightly. Tithing is growing but still lags the budget by $80,000. We reviewed the draft FY19 budget and staff has proposed great new ministries and services for all of you. But at our current tithing we have a significant shortfall of $200,000. We suggested targeted expense reductions for each major group within the parish. We will continue an ongoing discussion about cost management as well as how to engage every family in tithing something, and to inspire St Luke’s to grow together as a parish of stewardship.
THANK YOU! We are turning the tide on tithing and have made up much of the gap compared to a year ago. BUT we still have a long way to go to meet the budget. Tithing, like most money matters, is more about our heart and understanding human behavior than it is about math. The 5 P's of tithing:
- PRAY About sharing God's gifts to carry out St Luke's mission to worship, teach and care.
- PLAN Commit to giving in your budget.
- PRIORITY Give first, not last.
- PERCENT Start by giving 1%*.
- PROGRESSIVE Add 1%* when you get a raise, tax refund or other windfall.
- *Example: "Ann & Kenny" make $75,000 and want to give or add 1% --> Sign up for auto-giving for $75/month at www.slte.org/give.
We reviewed the next FY19 budget update from the school and did not take action. Budgeting work will continue through June.
We reviewed the current parish financials and the alarming trend in tithing continues - tithing continues to be significantly lower than budget and even lower than last year at this same time. The church and school are managing expenses tightly but most of our expenses are fixed - church and school staff, mortgage principal and interest payments, and utilities. Budgeting for FY19 is just beginning and will continue through June. We discussed how new members are selected for the finance council and the need to make the process as transparent and aligned with parish council and school board as much as possible. More to come later this spring.
We met in special session to hear and formally accept the findings of the Feasibility Study from SP&R. Then we voted to request approval from Bishop Pates to proceed with a capital campaign for Phase 2 construction. At our regular meeting we reviewed the November financials. Tithing collections continue to be behind last year's giving in spite of our large growth in families. We will continue to monitor and investigate this concerning trend. Thank you to all givers and please consider giving if you aren't. The recent capital appeal was successful and will reduce our current debt by 3-4 months of payments. The church, school and facilities continue to manage expenses tightly. School representatives shared a draft of their FY19 budget and work will continue through the spring.
We had a quick meeting in November to review the October financials. Tithing collections are lagging behind the prior year so we will investigate further before our December meeting. We received positive feedback from the Diocesan Building Commission to continue with a carpeting project and a feasibility study for Phase 2 construction and fundraising. We are still waiting on their formal approval. In the coming months we will begin the budgeting process for FY19 and will be heavily involved in the Phase 2 process.
We're now one quarter of the way through our fiscal year. Overall the finances are strong. Everyone has been managing costs well. Tithing collections are behind budget and, more concerning, are behind last year. Building fund contributions are ahead of budget but we can only use those funds for facilities. We reviewed and approved the annual snow removal contract and a proposal to add carpet to much of the parish facilities for improved safety and acoustics. We also held a special session meeting to interview firms to help with our upcoming tithing and capital campaigns. We selected Bill Cordaro from SP&R Consulting. The carpeting and campaign firm decisions will be presented to the Diocesan Building Commission for approval in November. And finally we congratulate Aaron Shell who was elected to become chair-elect for the remainder of FY18 and will serve as your finance council chair starting next July.
The parish and school are both managing expenses very well early in this fiscal year. Overall revenues are strong due to prepaid tuition and capital campaign gifts. This early positive position is typical if we look at the past few years and usually balances out as we move through the fiscal/school year. Tithing collections are slightly ahead of last year but they will need to continue to grow to hit our annual budget. We reviewed a Request for Proposal for capital campaign firms to assist the parish in planning our next capital campaign starting in 2018. We will be interviewing and selecting a firm in October. And already in this 2nd month of the fiscal year we started discussing the budgeting process for FY19 which will begin over the next few months.
The new fiscal year that started July 1st is off to a good start. We are working on the parish’s annual report and cover letter which we’ll be publishing soon. Autopay has been updated. Attend mass at another parish when you travel, forget your checkbook, and leave your envelopes at home. Go to slte.org/autopay, complete the form for both collection and campaign gifts, and drop them off at the parish office. Last, the council initiated the very early stages of planning for our next capital campaign which will begin when the current campaign ends in June of 2018. This work coincides with the Phase 2 Committee’s work to identify the facilities needs of our growing parish and school. Pray for wisdom for all of us as we plan for the future growth of St Luke’s.
The Finance Council recently approved the purchase and installation of two portable buildings that will add four new multi-purpose rooms to support parish activities. In July the council approved the FY18 budget that includes expansion of the Faith Formation director to full time, our new associate pastor and two new school teachers. Increases in parish families, school enrollment and collections will fund this growth. The Finance Council will be increasing our communications about St. Luke’s financial status and direction in support of our parish mission. You should see more from us in the bulletin, on the web and occasionally at mass. Please let us know how we’re doing.
Ryan Schon, Chair email@example.com