Happy New Year Faithful Followers,
This past month has gone by so quickly. There is one thing that I forgot to update you on and I apologize for that. We had a special Voter’s meeting about placing a Called Worker for kindergarten and I didn’t update you on that situation. Sadly, she decided not to accept the placement, so I quickly worked on my Plan B, which I talked a bit about during that voters’ meeting. We have a student from Concordia University Ann Arbor doing her student teaching with us and she is our full-time kindergarten teacher. Her name is Abbey Bentz. She is from the Fort Wayne area, where she was in Lutheran Schools her entire life. She ran cross country and track at CUAA and is engaged to a pre-seminary student that grew up downriver and they are getting married at the beginning of June. She has already put in a week and a half (at the time of this writing) and is doing a marvelous job. The teachers have welcomed her with open arms and are helping her out as much as possible to be successful. Bre Moody is still in there as our aide. With her fiance going to the Seminary next year, there won’t be an opportunity to keep her on board after this year. I have started gathering names from the District office to start our search for the Fall. Please keep that process in your prayers. If we find a candidate that needs to be called, we will come once again to you for approval.
We hope everyone had a great Christmas break. It was so nice seeing some of you here during our Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve services. Of course, we would love to have seen more of you in person or online. Just a reminder that if you can’t join us in person, we do Livestream the services online on YouTube.
With Lent just around the corner, we are going to try once again to have only one service, but this time at 6:30 pm each week. We will be partnering with a few local churches to pulpit-share. More info will come out soon!
With the extra services and end of year giving, December was a good month, despite the normal lower than usual Tuition payments (usually due to being December and not having that many days in school).
It also helped that we were able to reach our first FFF goal of $20,000 and getting our first match. We are also already really close to our second goal, so thank you to those who gave above your normal giving.
At the end of December, we were $18,000 higher than our budgeted income. It is important to know that we still need to work on our giving each week and be more consistent in meeting the $10,000 in the offering plate plus our other sources of income.
Expenses We continue to work hard on being good stewards of God’s money. Utilities were a little higher than we originally budgeted for, as well as some maintenance needs (and worker’s compensation insurance payment). We went over our expense budget by $4,000. This is still giving us a positive $27,000 total for the month.
As this now compares to our year-to-date budget, we are still behind on income. We have spent $15,558 less than budgeted expenses year-to-date. The offering plate is behind our budgeted goal by $33,000. Tuition is ahead of budgeted income by $20,000, while ELC is right on target. With that said, Mrs. Jamie has been giving tours and picked up a few more students this past month. On the school side, we have had a lot of calls from parents looking for kindergarten and fourth grade (which are both full right now). We are in the process of starting registration for next year. With our income accounts, we are behind a little making us at 93.84% of our YTD budget. Here is where faith comes into play and where we as a congregation need to pray and step up. With COVID still being a huge presence in our lives, we are looking at pushing our auction to the Fall. Although we did a good job with the two online auctions we had last year, it wasn’t the same as the in-person auction. So what does that mean? 1) We have to wait until having a great night of fellowship and raising money 2) The auction income will be on NEXT YEAR FISCAL YEAR 3). We budget the auction to bring in $40,000 and that money goes towards our financial stability for the year. In laymen’s terms, in this fiscal year, we need to make up for the potential $40,000 that we will not receive from the auction. This is a huge step of Faith and will take prayers and members stepping up to help us continue to do God’s work.
God does bless us every day.