April 2018 Vestry Papers: Church Finances for Uncertain Times

April 4, 2018

Dear Friends,

While working with church finances it is often easy to slip into a routine, never stopping to ask ‘why’ and continuing to do something because that’s the way it’s always been done. Pausing, re-assessing and looking at things from a new perspective, however, can begin to transform numbers into meaningful data that we can use to do God’s work effectively. In this issue, we share ideas to help reinvigorate financial processes in your context.

Before putting together financial statements, it’s important to ask the question – who is reading this? In the Purpose of Basic Financial Statements, Nancy Fritschner shares four goals on presenting financial data that is clear, accurate and meets the needs of those who read it.

How is an endowment managed effectively and who is responsible for it? In Church Endowments: Blessing or Curse, Kenneth Quigley details the roles of those responsible as fiduciaries, explains the goals of an endowment committee and shares simple steps to help achieve those goals.

What does a healthy approach to finance involve? And what steps can we take to improve both our personal and church finances immediately? In Healthy Finances, Wendy Pineda gives us easy tips to move towards sound financial management in all spheres of our life. This article is available in English and Spanish.

The Diocese of Maine has taken the lead in securing a fair minimum wage for its lay employees. In Maine Puts its Money Where its Mouth Is, Heidi Shott describes the diocese’s path toward economic justice for lay employees.

In 2016, ECF received a three-year grant as part of the Lilly Endowment’s National Initiative to Address the Economic Challenges Facing Pastoral Leaders. ECF’s grant proposal entitled “From Economic Challenges to Transformational Opportunities” continues to provide lay and clergy leaders of the Episcopal Church with resources, tools and other support to help address the financial and leadership challenges of congregational ministry in the 21st century. To learn more about the ECF Lilly Endowment National Initiative, click here.

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

Faithfully,

Charis Bhagianathan
Editor, ECF Vital Practices