This is the text of the announcement Joe read out to our church in late August.
Parish Council met last Sunday to discuss our financial situation particularly for our budgeting for next year.
When we agreed to a budget at our AGM earlier this year, we had anticipated that Glenquarie church would be leased at some time in the not too distant future and that it would be able to provide substantial income for us to be able to continue to fund our vision for growth.
However, as we’re all aware, the economic climate has changed dramatically this year and we have so far been unable to lease the property out. This has created a $50k hole in our budget for this year and an $80k hole for next year under our current arrangements. Taking everything into account we are $49k behind budget to the end of July, with the lost rent from Glenquarie being the major factor. We are pursuing the leasing of Glenquarie, however we are not confident it will happen fast enough to guarantee staff funding for 2024.
This has forced us to make the decision that barring the Glenquarie church site being rented in the next month we will reduce paid staff for next year. That decision will be finalised at our next Parish Council meeting and we’ll let you know what happens the following week.
We have considered a range of other options but none of them are realistic or viable.
When we brought on a third minister to our paid staff in 2020 we knew it would push us financially, but we decided to take the plunge for the sake of the gospel. And in God’s kindness it’s been incredibly successful for the spiritual life of our church. But because of a range of factors it didn’t come with the financial growth needed to sustain the position long term.
It’s sad that this has come now when there’s a real momentum and growth heading towards our 15 year vision. Spiritually speaking we are as healthy as we’ve ever been and I’m particularly grateful to God for the way we’ve prayed together, worked together and looked outward together in increasing measure.
We continue to trust God’s sovereignty and grace even in what may appear to be a setback. He will continue to carry out his work both in our church and in the life of whichever paid staff member will be moving on. We know that God is wiser than we are, and that all things are in his hands:
With that in mind I want to make sure you hear four things:
1. We should never lose heart, none of this is unforeseen by our heavenly father. Even more than that we trust his good plan to grow his kingdom in our parish and further afield. 2. The next season of church life is going to require us all to be dedicated to the work of ministry to build up the body
of Christ. We are going to need to be more generous than ever in all aspects of church life. 3. Thirdly our budget for the rest of this year includes an expectation of increasing offertory. If you’ve joined us recently we’d love you to consider supporting this church financially. You can find details in this flyer about how you can do that. If you’re an existing partner, that’s for you too. 4. Finally In your prayers ask God for the following: - that GAC might be leased out very soon. - to give us all a hunger for his heart and especially Parish Council as they prepare next year’s budget - for me and the paid staff as we deliberate over which changes to make. - for the families of our paid staff who will be experiencing a range of emotions. - for this challenge not to dampen our work of sharing the gospel and building one another up as the body of Christ.
Remember this is God’s body, God’s church - as we heard in our passage today:
15 But speaking the truth in love, let us grow in every way into him who is the head—Christ. 16 From him the whole body, fitted and knit together by every supporting ligament, promotes the growth of the body for building itself up in love by the proper working of each individual part.