Dear Partners in Synod Ministry,
I would like to share with you how the synod is doing financially for this current year.
As of December 31, 2014 the Synod was financially stable with a good level of equity, no long term debt, and all payables were current.
We ended the year with a small surplus, thanks, in part, to several large donations (outside of congregational giving) received during the year. Our expenses were somewhat higher because of transitional costs and these donations helped to cover them.
Congregational giving in 2014 increased by 3.4% over the previous year but was still 9.16% below what had been budgeted. We were thankful for the increase and hope to see further increases this year.
The budget for benevolence or congregational giving to the synod is set by the synod convention. The budget for 2015 was set at $612,000. Synod Council looked at what was received in 2014 ($ 549,700) and felt it was unrealistic and unwise to set our revenues too high and base our expenses on an inflated figure. The Council decided to set the congregational giving target at $575,000 and plan the expenditures within that limit. That meant that some of the expenditures had to be reduced – giving to the National Church was reduced to 25% of congregational giving from 28% and our grant to the Lutheran Theological Seminary was reduced to $72,000.
Our budget for congregational giving is 4.6% higher than what was received last year. What we are asking you to do is review what you are sending to the synod. We know that some congregations have already increased their giving this year and we are truly appreciative for the increase. At July 31st we had received $318,500 which is 55.4% of the budget. This is still below what we will need to reach our target but is 1.4% above the previous year so we are hopeful that our budget can be met.
Again I want to thank you for your support. The theme of the new strategic plan for the synod is “Strengthening Faith Communities for Service”. Together, we can continue to share the good news of God’s love and to be a servant to those around us.
Yours in Christ,
Treasurer, Saskatchewan Synod