Financial Update, November 2021

from Margaret Howe, NPUMC Financial Secretary

Greetings my friends – I have been talking with you about finances over the past several months – finances which are needed in order to continue for us to do the important missions and ministries here on the corner of Main and Grove.  Many of you have offered comments and questions and concerns – thank you for sharing. I think we need to understand that our current financial situation is not unlike many other churches.  However, how we handle the situation – how we work through it and move forward will make the difference.  We need to see with new eyes…..new opportunities…new adventures…and perhaps new missions and ministries – our lights will continue to shine bright.  More on that a bit later.

In the meantime – we need to get through this fiscal year 2021.  So…I am going to copy some of what I put in the Charge Conference booklet… Yes, we are all working around – through – and in COVID – and I think doing amazingly well in making sure we are providing worship opportunities on three platforms – in person, ZOOM and facebook.  Many of us attended a workshop “Both/And” to help us better understand what we needed to provide the best connections to one another.  We received a grant $800 from NYAC and a full $800 match to purchase the equipment.  You will begin to see some changes in our technology.  Thank you to the ReOpening/Technology Team!

I think we are all aware that the majority of our fun(d) raising events involve food – we have been blessed to be a church with ongoing food ministries.  Food Supplement and 4th Sunday Fresh Food Give-a-Way successfully continue.  Our in person feeding ministry/mission is what has been “on hold” – and will likely continue to be.  It is not safe to have people sitting around our tables and eating together – how sad.  Yes, there are churches serving meals – we at New Paltz UMC will not for the time being be one of them.  Yes, we have people together in worship with required masks.  Yes, we had worship on the lawn – socially distanced and everyone still wore masks.  We will err on the side of safety – yours – mine – our neighbors…one of the three simple rules – do no harm!  Not doing Soup or Black Diamond Dinner results in a loss of, after expenses, $4000 of income for our budget.  We talked about creative fund raising – what are they – when folks are already stressed and working beyond capacities just to exist.

We asked folks to think about “Adopting a Bill”. Thank you to those who answered the call.  Through September we received $4847 with gifts continuing to come.  This certainly helps.

The fall brings the annual cost of boiler maintenance and elevator maintenance contract – total cost $1222 – the elevator bill was adopted in October.

Through September we have met monthly expenses with the exception of Apportionments and quarterly payments to the Trustees. Apportionments are the money assessed to NPUMC for the costs of doing business as the United Methodist Church.  We have paid our Apportionments in full for the last 11 years. This money comes back to us in many ways – and one was the cost of the technology training.  In our next Newsletter I will talk more about Apportionments. The Trustees use the budget money for the day to day building work that is required to keep our plant running sufficiently.  This cost is $1250 per quarter and we have not paid any yet this year. The fall and winter will bring higher heating costs. 

Now a bit about Apportionments – it is about connectional giving – that is a uniqueness of Methodism.  It states in some of the Shared Apportionment Ministry material – Together we can accomplish more than any one individual can! That’s what connectional giving, known as Shared Ministry Apportionments, is all about. Apportionments are apportioned dollars to each local church to pay for its shared expenses – again sharing the load.  Each church is assessed based on a standard formula; therefore fair for each church.  Our Apportionments average between $15,000 and $16,000 per year and we have paid in full for over eleven years.  And because we have paid we are eligible for full benefits of those payments and able to apply for additional funding – and we have received grants! 

Apportionment dollars and funding provide for…

  • scholarship opportunities for our students within our conference and worldwide
  • resources through website, newspaper, social media and so much more to keep us informed across our district, conference and world
  • provide for our annual and general gatherings – virtual or in person –  where reports are heard, petitions  debated and voted on, missionaries are commissioned, clergy are ordained and retired and we witness to what it means to be a United Methodist
  • our archives and the commission on archives to create educational resources that share our stories and preserve our history
  • educational support to 13 United Methodist seminaries and 11 Methodist related historically black colleges, clergy continuing educational opportunities, support of Africa University where 1500 students from 22 countries can nurture their hope of becoming world leaders
  • cost effective health care and pension for retired clergy
  • annual health screenings and wellness initiatives for clergy
  • opportunities to underwrite the work of laity throughout our conference
  • opportunities for a quick response to disaster relief whether mucking out a basement or installing sheetrock or listening to a homeowner’s story
  • the staff and district superintendents of our annual conference

Now, that is a lot of stuff – which creates the Annual Conference Budget.  It is hard to write about it – we already live into much of this. 

My appeal over the next two months is to be able to pay our Apportionments.  If our commitments are fulfilled we can meet all other expenses.  One person committed their annual commitment to apportionments – a $6000 pledge which is on target.  That leaves $10,000 to raise – in the last two weeks we have received significant gifts for this line – would you be willing to help us meet this 2021 commitment?  Please reach out to me.

I mentioned in the first paragraph that we need to see with new eyes…..new opportunities…new adventures…and perhaps new missions and ministries – our lights will continue to shine bright…this is probably the most important statement!  You will all be invited to be part of that discussion – so stay alert – and remember together we can do so much more – always with love as the heart of the matter.

With Gratitude and Love,
Margaret Howe


Financial Update, September 2021

from Margaret Howe, NPUMC Financial Secretary

Heavy heart…

I begin this with a heavy heart – we thought we were coming out of COVID and perhaps could address our getting together and how we might do in person, new and loved missions and ministries here at New Paltz UMC. COVID is not gone – and has caused – in my opinion an even deeper divide – who is vaccinated – who is not – and all the anger that is revolving around what should be like getting the polio vaccine. You might find this report a bit rambling as the budget is what it is and the income is what it is and there are no areas to reduce. So my heart is heavy and yet my spirit is full!

Worship continues…

Yes, we are all working around – through – and in COVID – and I think doing amazingly well in making sure we are providing worship opportunities on three platforms – in person, ZOOM and Facebook. Many of us attended a workshop “Both/And” to help us better understand what we needed to provide the best connections to one another. We received a grant $800 from NYAC and a full $800 match to purchase the equipment. You will begin to see some changes in our technology. Thank you to the ReOpening/ Technology Team!

Fun(d) raising losses…

I think we are all aware that the majority of our fun(d) raising events involve food – we have been blessed to be a church with ongoing food ministries. Food Supplement and 4th Sunday Fresh Food Give-a-Way successfully continue. Our in person feeding ministry/mission is what has been “on hold” – and will likely continue to be. It is not safe to have people sitting around our tables and eating together – how sad. Yes, there are churches serving meals – we at New Paltz UMC will not for the time being be one of them. Yes, we have people together in worship with required masks. Yes, we have held worship on the lawn – socially distanced and everyone still wearing masks. We will err on the side of safety – yours – mine – our neighbors…one of the three simple rules – do no harm! Not doing Soup or Black Diamond Dinner results in a loss of, after expenses, $4000 of income for our budget. We talked about creative fund raising – it was mentioned in last newsletter – what could it be – during COVID time everything becomes so much more difficult to do.

Adopt-a-Bill…

We asked folks to think about “Adopting a Bill”. Thank you to those who answered the call. Through July we received $3822. This certainly helps. The fall brings the annual cost of annual boiler maintenance and elevator maintenance contract – total cost $1222 – does someone want to adopt a piece of that cost?

Apportionments…

Through July we have met monthly expenses with the exception of Apportionments and quarterly payments to the Trustees. Apportionments are the money assessed to NPUMC for the costs of doing business as the United Methodist Church. We have paid our Apportionments in full for the last 11 years. This money comes back to us in many ways – and one was the cost of the technology training. The Trustees use the budget money for the day to day building work that is required to keep our plant running sufficiently. This cost is $1250 per quarter and we have not paid any yet this year. The fall and winter will bring higher heating costs. We did receive a second PPP grant/loan which helps.

Commitments…

Stated before was that our budget suffered a loss in anticipated income in committed giving due to death, folks moving and changes in life. These changes were about $12,000 to the committed giving line. We very much appreciate those who made a commitment for 2021 and are keeping that commitment current – often hard to see on a month by month basis as some folks give monthly and others quarterly in addition to those who give weekly. Online giving continues to be the correct decision – several families give Online. A week does not go by without a gift from someone who is new to one of our remote platforms or has watched the Wednesday hymn-a-Long or monthly Taize. Here is the OnLine giving link if you want to make an extra gift – Online Giving.

Help us keep the light bright!

Our church finances at the moment are similar to many churches – large and small. Here on the corner of Main and Grove we want to keep the light bright; we want to continue to be in ministry and mission in our community. PlaySchool with lots of COVID precautions will open in September. 12 Step groups with COVID protocols will return in September. Repair Café with COVID protocols will return in September. Help us keep the light bright!

Full spirit…

I said my spirit is full – and it is – because so much still continues at NPUMC – Tai-chi, Vi Cole Book Study, Knitting Together, Fresh Food Give-a-Way, Food Supplement, Mitten Tree, Taize, Weekly Hymn-a-long, Worship on the Lawn, Prayer Blanket Ministry, Bible Studies, Small Group discussions, Confirmation Class, Weekly Worship. We have something to celebrate that we as a church continue to be disciples of God….and we as members of this congregation…will faithfully participate in its ministries by prayers, presence, gifts, service and witness.

Let it be so. Amen.