March 25, 2021: All Souls Budget Approved

By Dale Lewis, Senior Warden

I want to let you know that your Vestry approved a budget last Sunday which was nearly identical to the budget that I had discussed at the reconciliation session on March 14th.  Starting from a difficult situation (a roughly $207K budget gap), we worked to pass a budget that closes the difference between income and expenses while reflecting our values as closely as possible. 

We closed the budget gap by increasing our draw from the Endowment from 3% to 5% (from $74,400 to $124,000), making $33,823 in further budget cuts, and planning on a $142,250 withdrawal from the Rectory Fund (in addition to the usual Rectory Fund withdrawal for the Rector’s housing allowance).

I hope we can draw less from the Rectory Fund than we have budgeted.  I never like drawing down reserves but, given a choice between making cuts that would damage the parish or using reserves, your vestry has chosen to use reserves. 

By the Endowment Board Charter, there are limits on how funds from the Endowment Board can be spent: “Distributions from the FUND shall be primarily limited to: (1) capital improvements to the Parish; (2) outreach ministries and grants; (3) seed money for new ministries or special one-time Parish ministry projects; (4) and such other purpose as are specifically designated by donors to the Parish whose gifts are included in the FUND.”   We are able to use those funds in a way that is consistent with our priorities and values. 

We will fund the entire amount of the reconciliation process from the Endowment (including the use of new ministry funds from last year).  We must make progress on reconciliation before we will be ready to welcome an Interim Rector (see these NOTES describing the reconciliation process), and getting an Interim Rector on board is absolutely critical to moving All Souls toward a successful future.

We have been investing in our facility for the past several years.  We urgently need to paint the exterior of the church (it’s been more than 20 years since there was a complete paint job), continue foundation work to stop water infiltration, and replace a failing grate (a potential safety issue) between the church and the alley.  While it would be tempting to leave the facility alone given our current budget, not investing in the facility could result in the need for much larger investments in future years, so the Vestry chose to move an additional $25,000 into the Capital Improvements Reserve. 

The Endowment draw will also fund our Diocesan Pledge.  We did vote to reduce our Diocesan pledge from 10% of the 2019 Parochial Report income to 10% of the 2020 Parochial Report income—a reduction from $58,953 to $53,540. As difficult as our budget is, we do not want to lose sight of the fact that we are part of the broader church, and we need to support it.

Consistent with our new emphasis on outreach, we set aside $27,500 from the Endowment for outreach grants. This will allow us to back some of our outreach efforts with funding.

I won’t spend time on all the other budget cuts, but I do want to point out that we will reduce staff singers from 4 to 2 when we reopen. Music is important at All Souls and staff singers do a lot to shape the sound of our choir. We remind you that there are opportunities to make additional contributions to the music program to restore the staff singers.  I am mindful of a conversation I had several years ago with Jane Woodall when she told me that it was the music program that got All Souls through some of the most difficult moments when All Souls was at a low point in the 1980s.

I want to close by thanking everyone who is supporting All Souls.  It is my prayer that, over the next months, pledges and giving will increase to further mitigate our budget shortfall.  

 

Last Published: March 25, 2021 7:40 PM
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