Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Elim is widely known for the love shown to others through its ministries and the care with which we nurture all who enter our doors. The huge heart of this congregation is reflected in our deep connection with local nonprofits, our steadfast dedication to service ministries across the country and around the globe, and the ways in which we care for one another. Our General Fund is the lifeblood of all Elim ministries. It is indispensable to their existence, because it pays for the support structure that makes these ministries possible.
At various times during this fiscal year – and with particular urgency in our April Source article – Elim’s Leadership Team has brought to your attention a shortfall in giving to our general fund, which is now forecast to end the year $22,000 below the budget we approved together last May, and is expected to fall $12,000 below last year’s actual giving.
As explained in April’s Source, the fact that the General Manager position approved by the congregation at our May 2016 annual meeting, remains unfilled has enabled the Leadership Team to avoid a serious operating deficit, but the operational consequences have been serious. Elim urgently needs a General Manager to supervise the staff, handle accounting and provide administrative oversight for our operations, and, importantly, our solo-pastor call was predicated on the restructuring of responsibilities that allowed his role to be focused on the Ministry of Word and Sacrament and not administration.
Our April Source article also alerted you that our current draft budget for 2017–18, which includes filling the General Manager position, is approximately $26,000 in deficit after factoring in a modest 2.5% giving increase. Failing our collective resolution of the current giving shortfall, the Leadership Team will need to balance the 2017–18 budget through some combination of eliminating staff positions, breaking the congregation’s promise to Pastor Patrick that his call would focus on ministry, and/or reducing our commitment to supported ministries.
On recent Sundays, members of our Elim community have shared their personal reasons for participating in and valuing our life together, and described what motivates them to give to Elim. In addition, a series of “Did You Know?” questions has appeared in bulletin inserts and in Elim Express, zeroing-in on various aspects of the subject and inviting you to prayerfully consider your own giving.
If you do not currently give to Elim’s general fund, we invite you to step into the joy of giving. If you are already giving to Elim, we ask you to commit to an increase in your giving to Elim’s general fund of at least $5 per week if possible. If you have already increased your general-fund giving in response to our call for support, thank you!
Your financial pledge to Elim’s general fund promotes the mission and vision we all share, supports all that we care about in our local community and around the world, and is an expression of your core values as a follower of Jesus. Your pledge is also a vital planning tool that will enable the Leadership Team to prepare Elim’s 2017-18 budget with confidence.
Pledge cards were mailed April 11. Please complete the pledge card and return it by Sunday, April 30, via US mail; deliver to Doris at the church office; place in the offering plate on Sunday; or complete the form online.
Consider scheduling a recurring electronic contribution today – no need to write out checks and prepare envelopes every week. Your electronic contributions will continue to be received on an uninterrupted basis.
Send a text to 707-317-6431 with the amount you would like to contribute (make sure to include the dollar sign before the amount, example: $25). You will then receive a text with a link to register. Register your cardholder name and credit or debit card information. Once your registration is complete, you will receive a text verification and emailed receipt. For future giving, simply send a text with the amount you wish to give and it will process automatically.