Treasurer’s Letter – February 2024


Back in September, I provided some assessment of SCF’s financial health and some reasons to remain hopeful. Thanks to the generosity of many, our financial health continues to be good after a full year in our New Church Home.

Below are a few highlights from the latest Annual Meeting Financial Report.

How Did We Fare in 2023?

We realized an increase in the Total Pledge Amount from 91 Pledging Family Units with an average pledge amount of $2,981.00. The increased stewardship is in addition to the tremendous support to the Capital Campaign Building Fund.

We took in a Total Income of $307,310.00, with ~17.5% being from “Non-Pledge” and Miscellaneous Donations. The Pledge Income was attributed to 74.7% for “General”, 17.7% for “Episcopalian”, and 7.6% to “Lutheran” membership. Some of the miscellaneous income resulted from the Parking Lot Usage Agreement with the Sunriver Service District and shared with SFAC, our contiguous neighbor. Overall, the financial performance was better than the budget plan, with some of the cost savings resulting from not having to incur Senior/Interim Pastor expenses in the second half of the year. Additionally, we were blessed with ~$76K in Operating Surplus Funds accumulated over the past few years to help offset the projected budget shortfall in 2023. We ended the year on a positive note with about $34,000.00 in Operating Funds Surplus to carry over into 2024.

What Lies Ahead for 2024?

A strong Stewardship Drive resulted in about the same Total Pledge Amount from 80 Pledging Family Units (12% decrease from 2023) with an average pledge amount of $3,237.00, an 8.6% increase over the previous year. The increased generosity is a great testament to the character and optimism as we look ahead, providing the needed flexibility in the budget planning by the Finance Committee and the Managing Board.

We are expecting a Total Income of ~$305,480.00 and Projected Expenses of ~$345,720.00, covering a wide range of scenarios. This includes some possible role changes at the end of our Search/Call process for a Senior Pastor while maintaining the continuity of our Worship and Music Ministry. The budget maintains and/or expands SCF’s Outreach Ministry, and is exclusive of the additional $30K+ in proceeds from the Annual Bake Sale/Visions of Sugar Plums (VSP) for UPCAP. A new budget area is an enhanced Community Exposure/Promotion Program for active pursuit of congregational growth now that we are fully settled in. The forward-looking budget includes a substantial allowance for the ongoing Search process as well as an attractive Compensation and Benefits Package for a new Senior Pastor. The challenges and opportunities of the budget are being addressed in a fiscally-responsible and compassionate way. We have attempted to apply the “S.M.A.R.T.” principle [Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Timely] to the budget plan for the needed flexibility ahead. More details on the 2024 Budget are available in the Financial Report Highlights (pages 6-13) of the Annual Report.

An Optimistic Horizon

Below are some focus areas and opportunities as we journey ahead.

  1. Paying down the Mortgage Debt on the new Church Home will reduce recurring interest expense. The planned repayment of the Capital Campaign Loan in 2024 and 2025 will provide the means to reduce the Facility Ownership Expenses.
  2. We are exploring cost reduction opportunities in controllable Expense Categories such as Office/ Administrative. For example, the e-mailing of donation statements for those who opt in will save preparation and postage costs. Another is a renewed Office Copier Machine Lease to reduce the labor intensiveness for document production such as the Service Bulletins and Directory.
  3. The systematic replacement of the old HVAC Units and energy-saving initiatives should result in improved efficiency and reduced utility costs.
  4. We are hopeful and equipped to act as we anticipate the successful arrival a faithful Pastor in the not too distant future. An additional blessing is the dedication and quality of the Supply Pastors who continue to guide our Worship Services during our continuing transition/sojourn, at a minimal cost.

In summary, we have the sources of funds to balance the 2024 budget for the projected scenarios without dipping into the Reserve Fund of ~$120,000.00.

In closing, there is a great deal of gratitude for your continued generosity and faithfulness as evidenced by the significant increase in average giving over the last few years from a reduced number of Family Giving Units. The Finance Committee will continue to work with the Managing Board on being good stewards of your financial support.

Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or just curious about other details of our financials. SCF’s financial books are open to all, with the appropriate confidentiality safeguards.

Joe Amos, Treasurer