Budgets are set by the biennial churchwide assembly. During the two year biennium between assemblies, the church council may act to make revisions as necessary or appropriate. News out of the recent council meeting is that a mid-year adjustment upwards is in the works.
The church council chair said, “This is very good news. We are in a position to grow our ministries.” He added that the increases are a result of good stewardship and faithful giving.
The annual budget has two main components: general fund and world hunger. The general fund budget will be increased $1.3 million and the world hunger budget increased by $1.4 million. Overall, this represents about a 4% increase. The increases follow a fiscal year-end report (January 31) that showed a $4 million surplus in operating funds.
These increases follow several years of austerity measures due to the recession economy and the reaction of certain congregations to withhold funds or withdraw from the ELCA after the denomination adopted gay-friendly policies in 2009. The current report indicates that these negative factors may have bottomed out, and the church finances are again growing.