Pledging, Provision and Praise

Dear Courageous Contributors:

I’m musing this Monday morning about money. My Friday ended like an old joke: “An accountant, a treasurer and a Presbyterian minister walk into an office...,” except it wasn’t a joke; we were talking about FPCLG’s 2019 budget. You’ll see everything in mind-numbing detail in the Annual Report distributed at the end of February, but in the meantime, I thought you would like some highlights.

First, some things you should know about 2018. Our return on pledging, which is the difference between what people pledge and what they actually give, is at a record high. Usually, there’s about a 5% shrinkage between what people plan to contribute and what they are finally able to present. That difference is reflected in how the Session sets the contributions budget; we set the budget at 95% of pledging. So, for 2018 we budgeted $509K from pledging of $535.8K. What happened, however, was unusual. 2018 pledgers contributed 97.5%, which provided over $13,000 in gifts over budget. The 2018 budget projected a $13K deficit, and the extra giving combined with some expense items that came in under budget created a small year-end surplus.

Looking forward to 2019, total pledging is anticipated to be very close to 2018 levels, meaning little change in our projections for 2019 giving and correspondingly few changes projected for ongoing expenses.   

The other reason my mind is fixated on finances comes from my annual review of year-end giving statements. It is my practice as pastor to say thank you to every individual or household to whom we send a statement of contributions. Confidentiality prohibits me from sharing this wonderful experience, but as I hold some of these statements in my hand, I am often in tears discovering great generosity from folks whose circumstances I know. They love their church, and so out of their limited resources they provide great generosity. You, all of you, are to be commended as people who inspire.

Grateful to God for calling me to such a generous people, I remain,

With Love,
Jonathan Krogh
Your Pastor