2022 Budget Commentary

The 2022 budget for Shepherd of the Valley (attached to this email) shows a deficit of $30,000. Please keep in mind that we have had significant deficit budgets in three of the past four years. The pandemic has clearly affected our financial well-being. The number of families that give (and give generously!) to our church has diminished and it is particularly difficult to attract new members during these trying times. Consideration was given by the Church Council to further reducing our expenses, but it was decided that doing so would imperil our ability to grow membership as we come out of the pandemic. This budget will allow us to fund our pastor’s pension, but does not permit us to make any payments toward our $30,000 mission shares commitment (the non-pension piece) to the New England Conference. Any betterment of this budget will go toward Mission Shares payments. (Mission shares is our contribution to the larger church. Combined with mission shares from other churches, they fund mission projects at the local, New England, national, and international levels.)

The attached exhibit displays details for the 2022 budget including the projection for 2021 and actual 2020 data for comparison purposes. In 2022 revenues are expected to be about equal to prior year. Giving to the general fund is based on pledges and historical giving by those that opt not to pledge. Other revenue sources are expected to be consistent with recent history.

Expenses are budgeted to increase by $13,000 over 2021. The most significant increases are for leadership of the music ministry and expense reimbursement (travel and professional development) for the pastor and Sandy, our Certified Lay Minister. There are a host of modest increases in a variety of expense categories that are contributing to the overall increase. Those increases are principally inflationary.

The Finance Committee

2022 Budget Summary

“Giving Up” For Lent

We often talk about “giving up” something for Lent, usually in the form of a non-essential pleasure such as chocolate, dessert, alcohol, etc. However, these sacrifices can also be in the form of prayer, fasting, and giving. This Lent, let’s think about the giving option. Think about how you can make your giving this Lent a spiritual practice versus the superficial “giving up” of something you can easily live without. Do this prayerfully, offering a gift to God and your church in remembrance of all Jesus “gave.” In giving to SOV (where our 2022 budget is being balanced by shorting our mission shares), you will know that your gift will go to the greater church and the good we do locally and in the world. Make this the Lent you “give up” in a deeper, more meaningful way.

You can simply increase your regular giving by 10%, or here are some other ideas of how you can increase your regular gift for the six weeks of Lent: Add up the cost of that daily cup of coffee you buy at the local coffee shop or convenience store and give that amount to the church. Since some of our activities may still be limited by the pandemic, give the money you might have spent on going out, shopping, or other non-essential purchases. Or, throw your spare change, even singles, into a jar and make that your Lenten gift. Make your gift by writing a check to SOV, or by using the Lenten Fund on your Vanco account. Thank you for thinking about the Giving Option for this Lent this year.

Stewardship Administrative Notes

You can give electronically through our Give Now web page, by mobile app, by mail to the church at 604 Seven Mile Road, Hope, RI, 02831, or by electronic funds transfer (contact the office for the EFT form). All electronic giving is safe and secure.

The Give Plus Mobile app that members use to donate securely by phone is transitioning to the VANCO Mobile app this month. If you currently use EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer) to donate regularly, nothing changes. However, if you have been using Give+ to donate conveniently to SOVUMC’s missions and ministry (or would like to), converting over is not difficult. Check out the short video on our YouTube channel showing the steps. (Go to minute 33:30 in the September 26 service video.)