Finance Update –
The finance committee met on Tuesday, July 18th, where a lot of Holy Covenant business was discussed. In our continuing efforts to increase transparency, we are providing the following updates.
- Run the Race – Retire the Debt Campaign – We continue to receive a few more pledge cards from people committing to retire our debt. As of June 30, 2017, the total debt outstanding for HCUMC was $116,314.26, and we have paid $27,380 in principal reduction since January. After tallying the pledge cards from the Run the Race campaign, around $64,000 has been pledged to further reduce the debt. The pledges represent commitments from 43 households, and represent over 55% of the current outstanding principal balance. We also continue to receive payments from people who did not complete a pledge card. Please see item 4 for additional information on our mortgage and a much-needed capital improvement. It is never too late to make a pledge. You can pick up a card in the narthex or just email Christine Perry (firstname.lastname@example.org) with the amount you would like to pledge.
- Stewardship – Operating Pledges – Last fall, 76 households made pledges to support the operating expenses of Holy Covenant, pledging $361,454. Our annual estimated budget for 2017 is $664,983. Our pledges represent only 55% of our estimated spending, but we also receive income from other sources (building use, auction, ECDP, and unpledged offering). If you’ve been reading the bulletin, you will notice that our expenses are greater than our income. As of last week, we’ve received $295,589 from pledges and other various sources, but have spent $335,899. Our research found that out of 76 pledges, 33 (this includes households who pay annually) are current or one month or less behind. The remaining pledgers are 2 or more months behind. This is typical for churches during summer months; however, we recognize there may be other reasons for the delays. We would like to encourage people to stay current or bring their pledges current, so that we can continue to pay our operating expenses. If situations have occurred which might require you to adjust your pledge, please feel free to reach out to Carol or me. Your pledge is a living amount, and can be adjusted at any time.
- Apportionment Payment – Our annual apportionment payment is the amount assessed to each church by the global United Methodist Organization. Our assessment in 2016 was around $57,000, and we paid $20,000. This was only the 2nd time in HCUMC history that we did not pay the full amount due. This year our payment due is $55,000. We have paid $1,891 to date. In our finance meeting, our committee set a goal of paying a minimum of $21,000 this year. We invite you to join us in our goal and commitment to make this happen in 2017. Through apportionment payments, the broader work of the global UMC can be done, like supporting UMCOR, who provides relief when there’s a crisis or disaster.
- Update to Fire Alarm System – In December 2016, the trustees committee was informed that our existing fire alarm and monitoring system would not pass the fire marshal’s inspection for 2017. We currently have two fire alarm systems – one covering the sanctuary and Education Building, and one in the Covenant Center. If we cannot pass the inspection, the buildings will be deemed unacceptable for occupancy or use. We must, therefore, bring our system up to the current code requirements before the next inspection. The upgrade requires rewiring and replacing some parts and panels. The trustees contacted 7 companies to get competitive bids. The lowest bid (and best one suited to our needs) comes from C-Tek our current fire monitoring company and was $32,000. Based on our current financial situation, the only way to fund this expense, is for us to borrow once again from the Texas Methodist Foundation (TMF), increasing our existing loan amount. The finance committee approved this plan and will be seeking the borrowed funds this week.
- Giving Options – HCUMC has several ways to give, besides putting a check in the offering plate. Our website (www.hcumc.org) has options for making payments using a debit or credit card. You may pay through your bank’s online bill pay options, and even set up a recurring payment system. Most recently, we have added an option to use an “App” in the finance office, that will allow you to use your credit or debit card to pay on Sunday – or any day that someone is in the office. You can use the app joyfully2umc anytime to give to Holy Covenant’s general fund. Gifts of stocks or bonds may also be made through our finance office. We can also receive donations from smile.amazon.com, Target, Kroger, Albertsons and other “reward” cards when you shop at those stores. If there are other ways to contribute that aren’t listed, please let us know, and we’ll explore those options.