an important message from your Finance Committee

Dear Chamblee Methodist,

It’s hard to believe we are nearing mid-March and the Easter season is upon us.  Though a summary of our final 2022 financial performance was provided on Feb 2, I wanted to hold true to my promise and provide the congregation with more transparent, comprehensive information about our budget.

As you well know, 2022 was not an easy year.  We dealt with our first full year return from Covid, mourned the loss of long-time members, and sorted out the best way to reconvene and be better together, all while dealing with the highest level of inflation in over four decades.  By the middle of last year, the finance committee had to deliver the dire news of how off-pace we were financially.  The large, negative budget built for 2022 was based in anticipation of improvement as the year progressed.  That was not the case, and by August, we faced a harsh reality.  As a stop-gap solution, the Extra Mile giving campaign was launched and spending was cutback wherever possible.  As a congregation, we rose to the challenge, and we made significant strides in the latter part of the year.  The Extra Mile campaign yielded significant incremental giving and underspent budgets helped offset the inflationary costs from early in the year.

As a result, we finished the year only $73,500 in the red, as opposed to the over $200,000 deficit originally forecasted. That bounce-back was truly an accomplishment and cause for celebration.  Because, despite our financial hurdles, we were able to reinstate and carry out many of the missions of our church.  Our Children’s Ministry reached over 250 families, sparking joy with a multitude of events.  We packed over 1,000 backpacks with food to nourish school-aged children over the weekends.  Our food drive provided 96 families (456 fellow humans!) with a Thanksgiving meal.  The Chamblee Methodist Mens smoked 36 pork shoulders to feed the congregation and raise over $2,000 for programs.  The UMW Bake Sale raised over $3,000 for local missions.  We added 10 new members to the congregation, baptized 2 babies, and, together, experienced the impact of generosity and gratitude.  

As we turn to 2023, I find myself hopeful.  While 2022 was a difficult year, I see stabilization in the congregation and our operations.  We recently hired Deanna Hamilton as our Executive Director, and she has immediately gotten to work addressing many items that help us move forward more effectively and more efficiently.  Our Trustees, led by new chair Chad Henderson, are addressing critical facilities needs with optimal cost in mind.  And, as previously mentioned, we secured incremental funds from a tax relief program that will help us re-establish cash reserves by the end of the year.  In addition, as shown below, we built and approved a very responsible budget for 2023.  We further trimmed expenses and increased expected revenues from programs, rentals, and giving.  We will use some of the tax program money to ensure we deliver a net bottom line erases our 2022 year-end deficit by paying back designated funds.  Finally, as the year goes on, we will remain transparent.  We will soon restore the practice of reporting YTD giving and expense updates in all church communications to keep you all informed on where we stand.  You will continue to receive quarterly updates, like this one, both written and in-person on Sundays.  And, as needed, we will continue to request your help.

I’ll close this update with an ask from all of you:  EMBRACE POSITIVITY.  Focus on hope about the future of Chamblee Methodist.  Let our missions and ministries give us purpose and direction.  Show up with enthusiasm on Sundays and at other church events.  There is great power in positivity and this year, together, we will grow our church deeper and wider!

Thank you and God bless,
Chip Zint
Finance Committee Chair