Our property is owned by our congregation and the financial decisions affecting our life here are made by members of the congregation, so in that spirit, we strive to be open about our financial life. Our members have been very generous over the years, not only in supporting the work of Memorial UCC, but is contributing to projects locally, nationally and around the world.
On this page, you will find a few basic facts about the finances of Memorial UCC and a few thoughts about what we call stewardship – the way individual members and the congregation as a whole tends to money and time.
Operating budget for 2015
Total 2015 budgeted income – $258,000
Pledged income – $237,100
Non-pledged contributions – $5,000
Loose change offerings – $5,500
Other smaller sources – $10,400
Total 2015 expense budget – $258,839
Administration – $39,037
Pastor Salary and Benefits – $86,011
Other staff costs – $72,937
Building and Grounds – $27,630
Other Committees – $25,330
Our Church’s Wider Mission – $7,894
Giving to others
In 2014, members and friends of Memorial UCC gave about $22,138 outside our budget and through separate contributions to organizations beyond the boundaries of our congregation. These include:
International efforts like Church World Service, UNICEF and our partnership with Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem;
National projects like the Back Bay Mission in Biloxi, Miss., the UCC’s Neighbors in Need campaign,and support for the work of our denomination;
Local projects like the Good Neighbors Personal Essentials Pantry, Domestic Abuse Intervention Services, the Prison Ministry Project, organizations that work with the disabled, the Community Meal Program at Luke House, and individual families in need.
In addition to the financial contributions of our members to specific causes during the year, we have an Endowment Fund that gives 10 percent of its balance each year in grants to a number of community projects. In 2014, the Endowment Fund distributed $10,071 in grants. One of our deceased members, Henry Ahrsbrak, left a bequest that, among other things, provides funds for families in need in the community. You can read more here about our special funds that help with our Outreach efforts.
“Stewardship” is the term we use for how we relate our understanding of the message of Jesus to the way we use our time and money. This is something individuals wrestle with, but it also a principle that applies to us collectively as a congregation.
There are no entry fees to join Memorial UCC, there is no required annual contribution of money or time. We do ask people when they become members to make a commitment to support the work and ministries of this congregation in whatever ways they are able. In the fall, we ask members to give an indication of how much they intend to give financially in the following year to help the church leadership develop a responsible budget. We also ask members to consider ways they might give of their time to help with the work of our congregation. We invite people during the year to consider donating money or time to a wide variety of projects.
Members may chose to give money through at automatic withdrawal plan. Members and friends may have their church giving accomplished through automatic withdrawal from either a checking or savings account and deposited directly into the church account. The system is secure, accurate and efficient. If you would like to sign up for and participate in the Automatic Withdraw System, or would like more information about it, please get in touch with our financial secretary, John Van Overbeke.
We also consider stewardship to relate how we tend the planet on which we live. We have a wide range of environmental stewardship initiatives as a congregation and we continually look for ways to improve our role in being good stewards of the earth.