Molly Reynolds, Treasurer
The year 2020 has been a challenge to us all in many ways, but we have continued supporting each other and St. Francis through online worship, fellowship, and funding. The church finances at this time remain stable and should continue to do so as parishioners continue to fulfill their pledges for 2020. We realize these are difficult times financially for many people and we deeply appreciate the faithful support of our parishioners If, however, you do not feel able to fulfill all of your annual pledge, please let me know so that we can budget accordingly as we approach year-end.
There are revenue areas such as Plate income and facility rentals that have fallen dramatically as we have worshipped and gathered virtually. Easter did not bring the usual abundance in giving from visitors or donations over and above pledge giving. Unfortunately, it appears that the approaching holidays will see the same decrease in offerings.
St. Francis was able to obtain a Payroll Protection Program loan which allowed us to retain all staff on the payroll through June including the Creche teachers, sexton, and nursery attendants. The loan will be fully forgiven if the funds are used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities which is exactly what we have done. Once forgiven, these funds should allow the church and Creche budgets to end their respective fiscal year without a deficit.
We ended 2019 with a surplus thanks to everyone’s continued giving. The Vestry decided to put that surplus into a Property Reserve Fund. Those funds were most beneficial in 2020 when one of 10 HVAC units needed to be replaced and the drainage system that runs under the driveway needed repairs. There will be more such unbudgeted expenses in the future as our facilities continue to age. By setting aside money to cover these costs we are able to avoid diverting operational funds to emergency projects thereby maintaining, without interruption, our regular programming.
Life at St. Francis continues but we are using a bit less electricity, a bit more hand sanitizer, fewer people are in the building which is much quieter without the squeals and joyful sounds of the Creche children. While, on the other hand, Outreach drives continue, Sunday School has gone virtual, coffee hour still brings chatter and laughter, Bible study is ongoing, more services each week are held via Zoom with Morning and Evening prayer. The Sunday service brings everyone from both the 8:00 and 10:00 services altogether for prayers and fellowship.
With the need for virtual services and all other gatherings, we have strengthened the church’s technology equipment and programs. The website has been redesigned and continues to provide information and connections to our various programs and services. These improvements will continue into 2021 as it is most important that we remain in touch and connected with each other and faithfully maintain our worship programs as best we can.
In order to continue and maintain all ministries and staffing levels as we are accustomed, it is vital that St. Francis parishioners continue their generosity and pledge giving in 2020 as well as prayerfully consider an increase with their 2021 pledge. St. Francis Outreach programs will be fully funded in 2020 and, hopefully, increased in 2021 with the support of everyone. Over and above the amount budgeted for Outreach for the year, Franciscans continue to display their generosity by giving to the Outreach drives for food, school supplies, diapers, and much more.
Each Vestry member has committed to making a pledge for 2021. Will you? Please join us with strong support for God’s work in the church and the world.
Remember that in order to receive credit for your donation in 2020, all pledge contributions and other donations to St. Francis must be processed within the required deadlines. Contributions must be physically received in the church office or postmarked by December 31, 2020. Online donations must be made before the end of day December 31, 2020.
Molly Reynolds, Treasurer