Midweek Message

Update, Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Jim Hopkins

November 17, 2020


This Sunday in Zoom Church we will observe both Thanksgiving Sunday and Pledge Sunday. There will be time in the service for you to complete your financial pledge as well as your time and talent pledges. We invite you have your pledge cards, and even your check books, with you at the computer for this time of commitment and dedication.

Following worship we will hold our quarterly congregational meeting. The two major parts of the meeting will be the report from the Nominating Committee and election of 2021 officers as well as the first presentation of the 2021 budget from the Budget Committee. The hope is that you will give prelimary approval of the budget with final approval at the Annual Meeting on January 31, 2020.

Marie Johnson, the Nominated Moderator for 2021, shares this reflection on the work of the Budget Committee.

From the Budget Committee:

First a correction to the Stewardship pledge letter: envelope giving is down 9.3%, not 93%. What a difference a decimal point makes!

This message is to give you an introduction to the 2021 budget and how the budget committee approached the process this year and why. Our current reality is that 2020 has been a hard budget year for the church and we anticipate that 2021 will be as well. At this time we are not presenting you with a balanced budget because we want you, the congregation, to weigh in on your priorities before we go back and finalize the 2021 budget. We will go over the budget and the gaps that need to be addressed in the quarterly meeting on Sunday. We need you to think about what is most important to you – preserving staff salaries, what level of external mission giving should we have during these times, improving our ability to livestream and have better sound quality for our Zoom church events, etc… Your input is important because it will shape what we do for 2021.

The biggest factors affecting the 2020 budget have been loss of income from the people and organizations who use our facilities, loose offerings and miscellaneous gifts people put in the offering plate when they visit Lakeshore, and the LCC closure and current low enrollment. This will continue into 2021 until our life returns to whatever the new normal is and the church can be open again. At that time, most of these income streams will resume. However, in the meantime, the church is running primarily on pledges and special gifts from the congregation so pledge giving is particularly important for next year.

After the quarterly congregational meeting, the budget committee will take the congregation’s feedback and resume work on balancing the budget by the annual meeting in January. At the end of the day, we want to be good stewards of the gifts you give the church and manage them responsibly.

The budget committee’s priorities have been:

  • Transparency
  • Preserving staff salaries
  • Aligning mission giving with today’s priorities and make it transparent  

Regarding Mission giving, we are making a recommendation to handle mission giving differently, at least for 2021. Instead of using the current mission giving line items, we recommend taking the lump sum of what we have in the mission giving line items and using it as a placeholder until the current allocations can be reviewed since it has been many years since they were last reviewed. We need to see what still fits our Lakeshore identity and what needs to change to better reflect who we are as a congregation. Some mission giving will stay the same, however, some will change based on where the church is now, and there will likely be new mission work we will choose to support. The process for allocating the funds would be for the Social Concerns Committee to review the current allocations and any feedback from the congregation and then make recommendations to church council on how to allocate the money. Once approved through church council, the recommendations will be brought to the congregation for further discussion and eventual approval. This would be done in the first part of 2021. Until the congregation approves the allocations, the church would hold the money for mission giving in this new line item. 

We look forward to meeting with you Sunday! If you would like a copy of the budget before Sunday please contact Pastor Jim.

This Thursday evening there will be a Ceasefire Call-In in Barnett Hall, the first since February 13th of this year. As you likely know the number of homicides and shootings in Oakland has increased significantly this year. The reasons for this are many but among them is the fact that the call-ins have not been taking place. Please pray for all involved in the meeting this Thursday. May lives be saved.

Jim H.

No Soup, But Study meets tonight at 6:00. Church Council follows at 7:00.