THRIVE, parishioner perspective: Ann Ward

Ann Ward is a member of our Vestry and the finance committee and a past treasurer of the parish. In this Parishioner Perspective she deals with the nuts and bolts of what it takes for our parish to thrive in bearing fruit for Christ and his kingdom. 

How clueless can you be? In my case, pretty clueless.

I was St. John’s Treasurer for several years. Before then, I had no idea what our budget was; no clue what it cost to keep the place running. Financials were available at annual meetings, but the numbers went in one side of my head and out the other.

In pledging, I was not very astute. I made rudimentary calculations of the cost to the parish of my being here. You know — This much for bread and wine, this much for paper for bulletins . . . .

Well. The Treasurer experience was eye-opening. I learned we had expenses I hadn’t even considered. Insurance. Janitors. Repairs. Grounds maintenance. Office supplies. Postage. Nursery staff. A hefty payment to the Diocese every year. Way more than my self-focused calculation suggested.

In 2017, St. John’s bare-bones budget is $695,482. You can analyze that number in a couple of ways.

The $695,482 divided by the approximately 180 households in the parish suggests each household was responsible for $3,864 in 2017. Fortunately, some parishioners can and do make larger gifts, making up for the smaller gifts others can afford.

Or, $695,482 divided by 52 is (rounded) $13,375 a week to operate this parish in 2017. Because we don’t know the 2018 budget number yet, $13,375 a week is the amount to keep in mind. It’s nearly $75 per week per household, if everyone gave equally. Some can’t do that, and so others need to do more.

Now you know. During this stewardship season, everyone needs facts to inform their pledge decisions. $13,375 a week. $75 a week per household. More if we want to expand our ministries in 2018.

No one should be as clueless as I used to be.