March 2017 Vestry Papers: Parish Finances

March 1, 2017

Dear Friends,

Working on parish finances is arguably the least glamorous and most necessary part of church administration. And for new vestry members with no experience in finance, working with budgets and audits can be a challenging task. In this issue of Vestry Papers we focus on basic church finance tasks and processes, while also highlighting the purpose that goes far beyond the money – relationship with each other, our mission in the world, serving God.

  • Does your church budget reflect the mission of the church? In Aligning Money with Mission, Susan Snook lays out the importance of looking outwards, re-focusing our money on God’s full mission for us and allowing ourselves to “be sent” where God leads us.
  • If you’re a new vestry member, beginning your role can be an overwhelming time of information overload. In Top 10 Finance and Administration Tips for Vestries, Julie Young highlights a few must-know pointers to help you get started on your journey.
  • In Digital Giving: A Practice of Hospitality, Kyle Oliver explains why digital giving is first and foremost an act of hospitality and relationship building, and shares basic principles to help any congregation start a digital giving program.
  • Financial reporting can be very intimidating for those who aren’t comfortable with numbers. In Basics of Church Financial Reporting - Part 1, the first of a two-part article, Jerry Keucher lays out the basics both for writing financial reports, and analyzing them correctly to present a clear reflection of a church’s financial health.

ECF offers a wide range of free online webinars for leaders across the Episcopal Church to develop the strategic, leadership, and financial capabilities that they need to pursue their mission and ministry. View ECF’s events calendar for details and to register for upcoming webinars as well as conferences and events at which ECF will be offering workshops and training.

In addition, ECF is doing a new thing in 2017: a book club! The first book we've selected is a classic, Living on the Border of the Holy: Renewing the Priesthood of All by ECF Fellow L. William Countryman. If you’d like to join, please read the book and tweet your questions, comments, and critiques to @EpisChFdtn with the hashtag #ECFBookClub. Also, save the date of May 18 at 7 PM ET for an online discussion of the book with ECF President Donald V. Romanik. Click here to learn more.

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


Charis Bhagianathan
Editor, ECFVP