Finance Update January 2018
God has blessed us through the playgroup ministry and over Christmas as we continue to make connections with families in our community with children under 5. Please join with us in giving thanks to God for answering our prayers, and ask Him to continue to bless our pathways strategy. This post provides an update on our financial position as a church.
We’ve raised $2689.05 in donations for the playgroup since we announced it at the annual meeting in August. $750 of that was from a grant from Clarence City Council and the rest has been from the generosity of parishioners and even some people not connected to our church who are excited by what God is doing at our church.
All the toys and equipment we purchased has so far cost us $1619.92, and we have a few more purchases for the launch of the ministry this year to complete.
Hall and Entrance Upgrade Costs
As part of starting the playgroup, but also because of the general need to make the hall and entrance to the church more welcoming to outsiders and young people we transferred $15,000 from our investment account from the sale of St Martins in Risdon Vale into our general account. So far we have spent $9786.41. This has included the installation of heat pumps, new blinds and the new front garden.
Thanks to some amazing generosity, we have received $8000 into our welfare account which allows us to be a blessing to our local community and also support overseas projects.
Each month the we pay the Diocese $8237.32. This covers our parish assessment (Diocesan Tax/donation), Rector’s stipend, and insurance. We then have a variety of other expenses for the running of the parish each month, Church and office supplies (eg. Wafers, wine, candles, pens, paper, print, etc), council rates, electricity bills, cleaning, assistant priest expenses, Tasmanian Anglican Paper subscription etc.
These expenses are covered from a variety of sources. We praise and thank God for the work of the Little Shop. So far we have received $15000 from their profits. We have also transferred $10,000 out of a general investment account we created in 2016 when we had excess money in our parish bank account in order to earn interest on that money. We have another $10,000 remaining in that account that we can draw on. Other small sources of income include interest from our investments, income from hiring our buildings, and money from fund raising activities.
Of course, the main source of income is the offerings. We currently average around $6,000 a month in offerings total from all our services. It is clear that for our church to grow we need our offerings to grow. There are two ways this happens, through our current members giving more and through new members joining our church.
If our church is going to continue to be a church for Lindisfarne, making disciples of Jesus then we need to grow numerically. We need people to join us who are committed to this vision and who then give sacrificially and generously to finance the vision.
God’s in control
I have no doubt that God will do this. He wants us to continue to shine the light and love of Jesus into our community and so just as he’s answered our prayers as we’ve stepped out in faith through the playgroup, so to he will answer our prayers and grow our giving. Please join me in this prayer.
I hope that you’ll see from this update that we are in a reasonably good place financially, but that we still need to trust God to continue to provide for us. If you would like to take a closer look at the overall financial picture for the parish please see parish treasurer Chris Berry who will be able to provide you with a profit and loss statement for the first 6 months of the financial year.
Finally, the new year is probably an appropriate time to consider your own giving and adjust it up or down accordingly. The Bible calls us to be cheerful generous givers. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 9:6-7:
“6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
We don’t give to because it’s the right thing to do, we don’t give because we feel like we have to, God wants us to want to give in response to all he has done for us, and to enjoy doing it! We have to come to a decision regarding our giving in our hearts after prayer, and then it’s something that should be done cheerfully. I pray as you consider your offerings here, you will do so generously and joyfully!
Parish Giving Options
Each week we pass the plate in church. If this is the easiest way for you to give, you can either place your money directly into the bowl as it is passed around or take a set of envelopes from the hall after morning tea (which allows for more privacy in giving).
Direct Debit/Electronic Transfer
For many people, we rarely have cash on us so if it’s easier for you, you can set up a direct debit or do a manual electronic transfer. To do so simply use our bank details as below.
Account Name: Parish of Lindisfarne
BSB: 037 001
Account Number: 710759