With Advent well-begun last weekend; and on the way to my annual retreat – this time, with the Trappist Monks at New Melleray Abbey, outside Dubuque, I’m writing on Sunday night from Platteville. It’s the kind of letter I haven’t written very often in 25 years as pastor.
But, perhaps you’ve noticed the “financials” reported in the bulletin every week - important for information to be put out in front of the whole Community. You have noticed, that our current status seems like a run-away train, careening further and further each weekend, into deficit, compared with our budgeted expenses.
In the December 2nd bulletin, we had to report being $122K behind budget for the first 5 months of the current fiscal year.
The Parish Finance Council, reviewed the data on November 27th; while we aren’t yet completely ‘current’ in monthly reports, with the transition of Deb Lesage from her position as our Parish Business Manager; still it’s clear that we are ‘down’ in envelop about $90K, (as of November 26th) compared to last year.
Some of that can be ascribed to the pastoral transition; usually parishes figure for a 20% ‘dip’ in contributions, with the leave-taking of one pastor and the arrival of another.
I realize also, that some have chosen to ‘sit on their wallets’ until it’s clear that some positive, preventative action has been taken to resolve and conclude the clerical sexual abuse crisis, which has once more erupted since June. I understand, accept and respect that.
There have been 3 parishioners who have come in for very respectful, honest conversations in this regard; I’m grateful for the direct communication.
It may be as simple as a ‘cash flow’ cause. Or in may be some other combinations of factors and reasons, which the Finance Council, Staff or myself are unable to decipher?
In that case, I invite anyone who would be willing to clarify such ‘causes’ to please communicate with me, or a Trustee, or a Staff Member, to help us understand & respond.
But I also invite you to consider helping us to have a “Big December” and a good finish for the first half of the fiscal year, by whatever sharing for the life of Resurrection Parish Family that you are able to make. Hopefully in this way, we can ‘catch up’ at midpoint!
With a promise of good stewardship of your sharing, and sincere gratitude for your sacrifice, I pray every day...
“God bless us...EVERY one”!