During the Summer months, this column will be highlighting the good work and parishioners involved in one of our various Parish Ministries. Each week, we will feature an article from a different ministry, written by one if its members, as a reflection on the generosity and stewardship of the SMOS community.
Finance Committee Reflection
by Patty Hendrickson
It may seem odd that I begin this article thinking that the Parish Finance Committee is Mission Focused rather than money focus. Our work ensures parish financial resources are used to fulfill our mission in our neighborhood, city, and beyond. Our meetings start with prayer and then the reading and reflecting on our parish mission statement. Money follows Mission.
The Finance Committee advises and assists the pastor in the administration and stewardship of the parish’s financial resources and assets. We are a diverse group, bringing different professional and technical expertise together in financial planning, audit, analysis, forecasting, and operations in service to the parish. Members work closely with parish and school administrative staff to develop annual budgets and monitor financial performance, cash flow, and short and long-term savings. The Archdiocese recognizes our stable financial position.
St Margaret’s financial health has improved over time. Our viability has grown, which has allowed us to leverage loans from the Archdiocese to accomplish major capital investments like building Purcell Hall and adding air conditioning to the school. Each loan we received we paid back in about 3 years. The maintenance of our beautiful buildings and systems is up to date.
The Finance Committee is made up of 8-10 parishioners whom the pastor appoints. A member of the school board who is a parishioner and is recommended by the school board president serves on the Finance Committee as well. The Parish Administrator and an Accountant from the Archdiocese Shared Accounting Services support the committee with technical and administrative support.
Challenges that the parish faces are the percentage of parishioners and school families that make regular contributions to the offertory. The consistency in giving allows for more programming support and growth in ministries and to support it. Electronic giving has been available for about 10 years now. The number of parishioners and school families using electronic giving has grown, and only about 25% of parishioners have their recurring gifts set up. Less than 50% of our parish households contributed financially to the parish each year. Take a few minutes and consider what you receive as a member of our vibrant parish community and consider your gifts of time, talent, and treasure. Sign up for electronic giving on our parish website.
The work of our mission is dependent on the generosity of our community. Your contributions support us in spreading our faith to our dear neighbors. Focus on our Mission to bring generous giving and gratitude.
If you have questions or want more information, please get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 314-477-8472.