Minutes and financial reports are both posted monthly on the bulletin board outside the sanctuary. We welcome you to attend the Church Council meetings which occur the 4th Thursday of the month at 6:30 pm.
2014 Annual Report ~ Pastor Jeff Hansen ~ “After Six Months… A Peek Ahead”
It was a bit of a rocky take-off, but we made it! You were able to say good bye, before you were ready to do so, to Pastor Ed DuBose. Acknowledging the grief your let, the loss his departure was and is to you, you let go. that is no small thing.
You have also received my family and me and given us a place in your midst. It’s not the place that Pastor Ed occupied; it’s a new place and I am grateful. Thank you for your openness, your flexibility, your generous grace, and your warm hospitality. It truly is good to be with you.
Through the second half of 2014 we have received a wonderful group of new members, completed both a 3 year (Abundant Generosity) capital campaign and the annual stewardship drive, settled on a budget for the new year, finished the past year in the black – with all apportionments paid, celebrated 9 years as a Reconciling Congregation, and today, after this meeting, will begin a “visioning” process that will open us up to the challenge of what God is calling us to do and become as Spirit of Hope United Methodist Church in the next five years and beyond. We’re calling it “20/20 Vision.” This process should help us to clarify and better align our various areas of ministry under a common vision for mission.
Now, I know Pastor Ed made it a practice to set out his goals for the coming year. You have come to see I’m sure that he and I do things rather differently. We are different persons! So, I will do a similar thing, with a twist. Following are the goals I have for 2015 and the foreseeable future (as well as the un-foreseeable future!):
I hope (in the Spirit of Hope) to stick around here for a while.
I hope to be with you long enough to get to know you well, to be able to see and appreciate the gifts and goodness you bring to this community.
I hope and will work to be open to God in and through you, and in those who are beyond these walls, as we learn and grow and become more alive together.
I hope to enjoy my time with you, to enjoy you, to have fun in the work we do and the life we live together.
I hope to help you become more awake and to deepen your life in God, to do the same myself, and with you to help this church grow, as we bring blessed change and healing to the world we share, with all our sisters and brothers, and the whole creation!
Okay. Those are my goals. What do you think? Will you join me in them? I plan to put these up on newsprint and have them posted so that you can literally sign on! Thank you!
God bless, in Christ,
2013 Annual Report ~ Pastor Ed DuBose
2013 was a wonderful year for Spirit of Hope. The evidence of God’s blessings for this congregation was all around us.
The numbers tell a part of the story. This was a year when we had nine funerals, about twice as many as usual. It was also the year we had four baptisms, including one adult baptism. No one was confirmed this year, but next year we should have five and the year after that seven! We took in 21 new members in 2013.
Although our worship attendance is strong, for the last three years it has leveled off. This was the reason we formed a task force to study a second major service at Spirit of Hope. Although the details were not all worked out, it was recommended that we begin a second service as early as Rally Day of 2014.
Rosie and I will always remember this as the year we were able to take an extended leave. Thanks to the hard work of the staff and many volunteers we were able to travel to Europe and the Balkans for seven weeks. We will always remember this trip and we want to thank the many people who helped make it possible. Special thanks to Pastor Dean Wolf for serving as a visiting consultant pastor during this time.
This was also a year when we were able to make many improvements to the building and to the property. We were able to refinance our 1.3 million dollar debt and reduce the monthly payments by about $1,700 (from$9,353 to $7,661).
As we have every year since I arrived, we created and signed a covenant between me and the Church leadership. An important part of this covenant is to have a balanced budget each year. That has proven to be very difficult, as expenses have often exceeded income. In the last two years we have had about $22,000 in deficits. These deficits have been covered by using designated funds to pay for ministry operating expenses. It is important to the Council that we put this money back into these funds in 2014.
The reason for the shortfall is that offerings fr the ministry operating fund have remained relatively stable while the expenses have continued to climb. The good news is that the Church has received a lot of money over and above the operating income. Our Abundant Generosity campaign hs been very successful. With that money we have been able to pay for the city assessments to Harold Avenue, repair our sewer lines, build our beautiful new office space and pay down the mortgage. We have reduced the mortgage on our building by $136,038 in two years. The current mortgage is $1,181,997. The Church Council has just approved another $50,000 payment.
The irony is tat in the midst of the success of the Abundant Generosity Program our operating income has remained relatively flat.
In order to balance the budget in 2014 the Council has opted to go back to the congregation a second time and ask for people to increase their pledge or transfer some of their future Abundant Generosity funds to the ministry operating budget. Rosie and I have decline my raise for 2014 and all of the committees have worked hard to keep all increases to the smallest possible amounts.
I’m confident 2014 will be one of our best years at Spirit of Hope. We are blessed by a talented staff and many wonderful volunteers. I thank you for all that you do to make this congregation great.