Board of Stewards Update: November 2022

Board of Stewards Update: November 2022

Kitty Meyers, Board Chair


The November Board of Stewards meeting began with a welcoming of all and an opening prayer by Pastor Janet. Valerie Slade, Executive Director, provided the finance report to the board with the news that October closed with a revenue surplus of $50K.  Gross receipts were 15% higher than October of last year with healthy household giving. The general revenue gifts were $68K behind projections and the total revenue was off by $48K. The overall picture is a positive when compared to October of 2021. The church made a $30K apportionment payment. Expenses continue to be closely monitored as we approach the busiest time of the year. As a note, the monthly budget projections are forecasted to be in the negative for all months of the year until December. This is also the strongest giving time.  


Finance chair Diane Dorsett presented the 2023 budget. With 2022 general revenue tracking 97% of 2022 projections, the 2023 revenue will be the same as this past year. The exciting news is the plate cash from 2022 Sunday collections is outperforming expectations. This is reflected in the 2023 budget. The church will ask the AHUMC Foundation for the full contribution in support of the operations activities and mission work.


Salaries and expenses will continue to be closely monitored. Staffing and related expenses were re-evaluated in 2022 and aligned with operational needs. These are reflected in the 2023 budget. The church apportionment to the district will be fully funded. As anticipated, the various insurance premium costs are anticipated to increase and thus budgeted accordingly. Overall, the staff is ensuring quality programs while monitoring the expenses for maximum use.


A question arose concerning giving to the Foundation and whether it is possible to give to the foundation and establish restrictions as to how those funds can be dispersed. Foundation Board Chair Roger Lind confirmed that it is possible to establish restrictions as to how the proceeds from a particular gift to the foundation can be dispersed while also insuring the corpus of the gift would never be diminished. 


Pastor Jason expressed his excitement about the AHUMC Christmas events. He is also heartened by the emphasis the church has historically placed on prayer. He talked about ways that prayer can continue to be a vital part of our community. He talked about growing the opportunities to be open and transparent by not only continuing the board listening sessions but also developing other opportunities to dialogue and learn. He talked about the good beginning of the November 16 board listening session. These are positive first steps to ensure that people are informed and involved. These positive first steps to focus on a common ground, working together, listening, hearing, disagreeing in fellowship, and living together in the love of Jesus Christ. A particular focus will be to reach young families, linking the day school activities with those of the church. 


The meeting then opened to questions or comments from those attending. Tom Spurgeon spoke regarding the petition initiative to enter the process of discernment toward disafilliating from the UMC. Tom spoke of his support for Pastor Jason. He also conveyed that the petition initiative did not meet the minimum threshold outlined in the UMC Book of Discipline. He expressed the hope that all could work together moving forward. 


There was also a question regarding a budget line item regarding a landscaping project. This project is to beautify the area immediately outside of the Atrium. The lack of sunlight to this area has killed the little grass that has survived the drought. The project, with starting funds from an anonymous donor, will create a gathering area to be enjoyed. News of this will be forthcoming from Kacey Brewer, director of facilities.


The meeting closed with a prayer by Pastor Jason. 


As a footnote, the board is committed to creating more listening opportunities as we move forward. The final session for 2022 will be at 6pm on Wednesday, November 30. The board is planning on quarterly town hall events as well as other listening opportunities for starters. Look for communications as we close 2022 and move into 2023.  Best wishes to all for a wonderful Christmas and a very happy new year. 


In Christ,


Kitty Meyers

Chair of the AHUMC Board of Stewards