Dear friends of the CLB: Greetings from the Finance Office. It is indeed a pleasure to greet you post-convention. We had a great time gathering together under the theme of UNDONE. I trust that you are able to get a flavor of the events in this issue of Faith & Fellowship.
During the convention business sessions, we were able to once again acquaint your delegates with the current CLBA financial situation. First of all, we want to give glory to our Lord for his provisions. As you may know, our contribution budget was very much challenged this past year and the receipts were quite under our anticipated budget needs. We as a Mission Team and you as churches prayed and sought the Lord’s will in the matter. He did answer, and the fiscal year ended better than anticipated.
Let me inform you how the fiscal year ended. We began the year with a $475,000 Fund Balance for all joint ministries combined. When we ended the fiscal year we had a Fund Balance of $325,000. During the course of the year we were blessed with several small estate gifts from our church family and also some added operation income, mainly in our Seminary tuition. In February at our Mission Team meeting, it was very much decided that we should look at our spending and consider freezing spending in certain areas. So, with the accumulation of these areas, we were able to bring our $391,000 contribution shortage down to a loss for the year of $150,000. Thus the ending Fund Balance of $325,000.
As we looked forward to the Fiscal Year of 2016-17, we were challenged with how to proceed with our joint ministries. Where should we go forward and where should we reduce? In our session of looking forward (budget FY2016-17) we spoke about our ministries and how we implemented reductions in areas that had less direct effect on outreach ministry, such as: travel, meetings, added tuition in our Seminary, and some part-time employees. We did however move forward in our outreach ministries. We have issued a call to the Narvesen family to serve among the Fulbe people group in our mission in Chad, Africa. We continue to support the two church plants (Epiphany in Manhattan and Redemption in Pasadena), as we did last year. Then, of course, we have stepped forward with a new Associate for Advancement Ministry. Overall, our budget for FY2016-17 is set at $3,691,113. This is $83,330 less than the previous year.
We look forward to the coming fiscal year, and what the Lord has in store for the CLB. Our receipts for May were good. We probably had some carryover from April, but still did very well. Then in June we fell behind, ending up $13,700 behind our anticipated receipts for the two months combined. July (at this writing) is doing quite well. We should be ending the month close to our anticipated goal.
Will you join with us in the calling God has placed before us? Reaching the lost for the Lord is our ultimate goal. We would love to have your church—and you—as an individual partner with us in this endeavor. May the Lord richly bless you and the Church of the Lutheran Brethren!
LaWayne Rogness serves the Church of the Lutheran Brethren as Director of Finance and Personnel.