April 2017 Vestry Papers: Parish Finances

April 6, 2017

Dear Friends,

Honest conversations about money are the first step to creating a healthy and sustainable financial environment. Building trust, educating ourselves about the importance of stewardship, and learning to simplify documents so they are accessible by all are the building blocks of financial literacy within a congregation. Once we’re comfortable with the basics, the results can often be surprisingly powerful and transformative.

Does talking about money make you uncomfortable? How can we begin to talk about money in an honest way that builds trust? In Authentic Tough Talk, Dick Kurth shares his experience of learning the importance of authenticity and directness when tackling money matters in the church.

In Basics of Church Financial Reporting – Part II, Jerry Keucher unpacks the basics of simple budget reporting, sharing the fundamentals you need to create and decipher a church financial report.

If you’re thinking about educating your congregation on stewardship and financial generosity, it can be hard to know where to begin. In Money Minutes, Sandra Montes shares six one-minute videos to help start the conversation in a meaningful and memorable way. This article and the videos are available in both English and Spanish.

In Transforming Church Communities: a 25% Solution, Kelly Sundberg Seaman, recipient of ECF’s Ministerial Excellence Fund, shares her experience of becoming full-time, the many benefits it brought her and her congregation(s), and the most powerful lesson she learned: being proactively-partnership minded.

April is financial literacy month and ECF has many different programs to help your congregation strengthen its financial capabilities. Click here to find one that suits your needs and learn how ECF can work with you to organize, invest and grow financial resources for your church.

We also want to share some exciting news – later this month, we will be launching a new and improved ECF Vital Practices website! Your feedback played a big part in helping us design this new site, so we’re looking forward to hearing your thoughts once you see it. Keep an eye out for it!

To learn more about ECF and our programs, please visit our website.

Faithfully,
Charis Bhagianathan
Editor, ECFVP