Letter From Congregational President Laine Gen
May 18, 2022
Dear Elim family,
I would like to thank the 66 members who attended our Annual Congregation Meeting both in person and online. To recap for those who missed it: we celebrated the many achievements of the past year, debated and passed a budget, and then elected new officers. Your new Leadership Team for the coming year will be: Laine Gen, president; Walt Griffith, vice president; Andrea Nortz, treasurer; Maria Svinth, secretary; and members-at-large Tom Harris, Ian Labberton, and Becky Wyrick. We are all excited to serve the church!
Now, back to the budget. The congregation voiced overwhelming appreciation for Pastor Kathryn’s work and a desire to employ her at 100% as soon as possible. Given our current fiscal situation, though, we passed a budget that returns her to 80% until we raise our revenue. Even that budget leaves us with a $45,000 yearly deficit if we receive 100% of what was pledged in February. To be clear, we need to raise our current income by almost $4,000 per month to decrease our projected deficit to $0. In order to employ Pastor Kathryn at 100%, we would need to raise our current income by at least $6500/month.
So, what does this mean for all of us? The Leadership Team is committed to several actions. First, we want to educate the congregation about the importance of remembering Elim in your estate planning. You may be on a fixed income now but have assets that could help Elim significantly in the future. Secondly, we are researching possible ways to get income from the 504 and 506 Baker St. properties that we own. In today’s real estate market, they have a lot of value and are currently untapped. Third, we can increase rental income from our church building as well. We have significant amounts of unused space that other groups could use for worship or meetings.
And as for you, the members of Elim? We need you to be open to new ways of doing things. Clearly, the status quo isn’t paying the bills. Pray. Remind yourself of our common goal: to keep Elim growing, thriving and relevant so we can serve others and be an example of God’s love for all people. So, if you hear a new idea and think, “That couldn’t work because ___! We’ve never done it that way!” Let’s take a deep breath and remain open to new possibilities. And if you have the means and the desire to help eliminate our deficit, please send our bookkeeper Richard Maxon a note to revise your pledge and increase your giving.
I want to thank everyone at Elim for your support and prayers this past year. Please continue to pray for your new Leadership Team, that we may be wise stewards of our precious church. My personal motto for the coming year is Romans 8:31, “If God is for us, who can be against us? ”Indeed.
Thanks be to God!