2023 Budget Guide - Introduction

This guide has been created to give all members and regular attenders of Bethel Community a way to navigate and understand our current financial picture and budget priorities.
Voting members should especially pay attention to the 2023 Terms of Commissioning, which outlines the compensation package for CLPs Michael and Erina Kim-Eubanks. We will be taking a vote on these terms at our congregational meeting on January 22, 2023.
In addition to the summary below, you can follow the links above to look at:
(called “terms of commission”) for Erina and Michael Kim-Eubanks
As we look back on the 2022 budget, there are some themes about our current financial picture that are worth mentioning:
Sustained and Increased Giving
In 2022, we budgeted $16,000 per month for our giving, for a total goal of $192,000. Due to a sizeable, but expected, increase in December giving, our giving exceeded our budget by $32,610. Also, we received $32,669 in new giving in 2022, outpacing our $20,000 goal.
Diverse Income Sources
We are seeing a connection between developing community partnerships that do good in our community and the addition of income sources to our church. For instance, adding the community garden meant more people and more climate action, but also more income for the next two years. Adding affordable housing means we are doing good, but also additional income for the foreseeable future.
Prudent Spending
We are also on track to spend about 13-15% less than our budgeted expenses for 2022. This is happening in the midst of historically high PG&E bills, as well as an increase in spending on our children and family ministries and community hospitality (funds used to support church-wide gatherings). We see those data points as signs and indicators of how we do and don’t need to allocate financial resources in this season of ministry.
Looking ahead to 2023, there are a couple goals we have for our finances:
Defining our Surplus
This continued increase in our overall income has brought our surplus to over $200,000. The Session, in partnership with the Stewardship and Finance committee and in conversation with church members and attenders, is intent on deciding how we want to use this in the present and the future. This will involve maintaining a sense of our priorities and values while we engage in conversations with church members and attenders, as well as conversations between the relevant committees.
Financial Services Transition
As some know, Jonelle Crow has served as our church treasurer and accountant for almost 20 years. In 2022, at her urging, we began to transition Jonelle from that role by forming our Stewardship and Finance committee, hiring an accounting firm to do our bookkeeping, and creating processes to facilitate a healthy transition. This process is ongoing, but will require a few things:
Deciding on and communicating policies around how staff members access relevant funds
Establishing new policies around check writing and signing
Working with our new accountant to understand our financial service needs in relationship to the rhythms of our faith community
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